The tumor that is Games For Windows Live has now been excised from another game - two games, in fact. Following the welcome news that BioShock 2 had been cured of its reliance on Microsoft's insidious service, both Batman: Arkham Asylum and Arkham City have undergone successful surgery, swapping GFWL for the much less awful Steamworks. In honor of being free at last, the games have been given a 75% price cut for this weekend.
We're going to need to hone our investigative skills to get to the bottom of this one. Let's turn on Detective mode, and see if any clues emerge from the green-washed light. Hmm, a suspicious stain - Enable scan! It's cheap coffee, that which might be drunk by a hastily fleeing reporter. Let's follow the trail in the hope of... Aha! It leads to a quickly scribbled note, saying "Kotaku report that Batman: Arkham Origins will have multiplayer."
Steam informs us that Batman: Arkham City has just been updated, fixing its DirectX 11 issues, at least for 64 bit users. According to Rocksteady, those playing the game on Windows 7 or Windows Vista 32 bit systems will sadly have to stick to DirectX 9 until a the next patch, but everyone else should be fine.
Check inside for the full list of fixes:
Batman: Arkham City is arriving a month late on PC. Which is annoying. BUT, the PC version will come with a few extra bonuses. Those running NVidia GTX cards will be able to take advantage of the extra PhysX effects present throughout Arkham City. See the first video above, spotted via RPS, and check out the Nvidia site for more.
So those enough with GTX cards can expect glowing, bouncy sparks, swirling wreaths of paper, shards of ice and low Gotham fog. DirectX 11 cards will also be able to take advantage of "tessellation," a technique that shatters polygons into smaller components that can be raised and lowered according to the whim of the graphics artist, creating more detailed 3D models. The first screenshot of Batman: Arkham City's tessellated environments has been released. And... er, yes. Those leaves certainly look more detailed. Just look at that... foliage. Oh my.
That poor misunderstood Mr Freeze. He's a romantic at heart. All that talk of his long lost love Nora, and flowers ...dying and rotting from within. Okay, perhaps romantic isn't the right word. Psychotic, perhaps? Sociopathic. Robotic. In other words, a man desperately in need of a little care and understanding, courtesy of Batman's enormous punchy fists. We'll get our chance to twonk Freeze in his gigantic jar head when Arkham City is released on October 18 in the US, October 19 in Australia and October 21 in Europe.
Oh dear. The Riddler has started kidnapping civilians and dangling them over deadly drops in Arkham City. If there was only some sort of man dressed as a bat nearby to save the day. Oh, wait. Bad news, Riddler. There is. Not only does he have the brains to solve your puzzles, he can also punch you so hard in the griddle that you'll never riddle again.
At least the Riddler's showing more ambition than he did in Batman: Arkham Asylum in which he featured as a disembodied voice on the other end of Batman's intercom. We can look forward to teaching Riddler a lesson when Arkham City comes out in North America on October 18, and Europe on October 21.
Update: According to the official Batman: Arkham City Twitter feed there are a series of clues hidden in the trailer above. If you figure out the puzzle, you have until Friday to post your answers on the Arkham City forums. They don't say what will happen next.
If you live in the UK, you'll want to mark Friday October 21 on your calendar, preferably with a giant bat symbol, because that's the day Batman: Arkham City hits store shelves. Rocksteady have been teasing us for months already with their trailers and brilliant screenshots, now we're going to have to wait until the other side of summer to pound the streets of Gotham. That's seven whole months away! It's fine for Batman, bats can hibernate, what are the rest of us supposed to do?
Ever since it was revealed that Catwoman would play a major part in Arkham City, there have been rumours of a co-op mode that might see the bat and the cat team up to take on the rogue criminals of Gotham. Sadly Rocksteady studio boss has spoken out to puncture these rumours, saying "Arkham City is a single-player only experience."