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Controls and System Requirements

Batman: Arkham City Walkthrough and Guide
 
 


Controls and System Requirements

This section covers the basic controls in the game, the special collectable "Batarang" controller (gamepad) that was created for both the Xbox 360/PC and PS3 versions of the game, and the System Requirements for the PC version (in that order).

--== The Controls ==--

The following gamepad control layouts apply to Batman Arkham City -- when using the PC version with a gamepad it would be an idea to remap the gamepad to match these settings -- or not, it is all up to you.

-= XBox 360 =-

A = Run (held down)
X = Strike
Y = Countering
B = Cape Stun
RT = Crouch
LT = Aim
RB = Grapple
LB = Detective Mode
LS = Movement
RS = Camera
D-Pad = Select Tool
Back = Files/Gadget/Riddles Screen

-= PS3 =-

X = Run
Square = Strike
Triangle = Countering
Circle = Cape Stun
R2 = Crouch
L2 = Aim
R1 = Grapple
L1 = Detective Mode
LS = Move
RS = Camera
D-Pad = Select Tool
Back = Files/Gadget/Riddles Screen

 

[ img = P00B-batarang.jpg title=The Special Batarang Controller ]

--== Special Batarang Controllers ==--

We cannot really write the Controls Section without mentioning the new "Batarang Controller"  that is now available and that is styled to look sort of like a Batarang!   The standard gamepad-style controller is more looks than function, as it sports a flat gray finish and a collection of Batman-themed buttons including colorful LED illumination,under most and a textured set of rubber grips.

The point to this is both to celebrate the game, and to remind you of the Batarang, perhaps putting you through the immersion process quicker or, at the very least, adding a "cool" factor to the game before you even begin to play!

There are Batarang Controllers for both the PlayStation 3 and the Xbox 360, though I have to admit that the wireless USB transmitter support for the PS3 version makes me feel like we sort of got gypped with the Xbox 360 version -- as rather than make it wireless which would have both been cool and made it better resemble its namesake -- is actually a wired gamepad that sports a 10-foot USB cable.

The reason for that choice probably has to do with them wanting the Xbox version to be functional on both the Xbox and the PC -- I doubt that it was a battery issue, though now that I think upon it, perhaps it was?   There is no way of knowing how big a hit that the extra lights will make on the batteries...  But either way the point to this is that it can be used on either PC or Xbox 360, or both if you are so inclined!

The Batarang controller launched October 18th in North America -- which means you can go out and buy one of them if you like -- and why wouldn't you like?!  A quick check online shows that the RRP for these is $49.99 but they can both be had new on Amazon for a discounted price of $47 USD, while all of the rest of the retailers -- Walmart, Newgg, GameStop, and etc. have them for the full RRP.


--== PC System Requirements ==--

As the PC version of the game does not even release until November 18th this is more a "getting ready" section than a "oh man, my system sucks!" observation...  I am just saying.

So, the official specifications for the PC version of Batman: Arkham City are an established fact, but you should be aware that the first part -- the Minimum Requirements -- is more of a list of what will work, but not what will work really well, while the Recommended System Requirements represents what will work well and more smoothly. 

Honestly?  If you can afford to, you are better off exceeding the requirements -- especially if you are upgrading in order to actually play this game -- and I provide some comments at the end of this subsection specifically in that regard -- which while I hope that they will help you our, are totally voluntary on your part, with neither SuperCheats or myself endorsing or suggesting that you do them, or being responsible if your wife/girlfriend/SO clocks you over the head for spending money on upgrading your gaming system.  I am just saying...

According to the game publisher, these are the guidelines:

I. Minimum System Requirements

OS: Microsoft Windows XP, Windows Vista, or Windows 7.
CPU: 2.4 GHz (or better) Dual-Core CPU.
RAM: 2GB. **
Graphics Card: Nvidia GeForce 8800 or ATI Radeon 3800 with 512MB of VRAM. (minimum)
Sound Card: A 100% DirectX 9.0c Compatible Sound Card. ***
Controller: System-Compatible Mouse and Keyboard. *
Fixed Storage: At Least17.5GB of Free Disk Space.
Removable Storage: Quad-Speed (4x) DVD/DVDR Drive.


II. Recommended System Requirements

OS: Microsoft Windows 7
CPU: 2.5 GHz (or better) Dual-Core CPU
RAM: 4GB (8GB on a 64bit OS) **
Graphics Card: Nvidia GeForce GTX 460 or ATI Radeon HD 6850 with 768MB of VRAM -- DirectX 11 compatible.  Buy the best you can afford.
Sound Card:  100% DirectX 9.0c Compatible. ***
Controller: Compatible Mouse and Keyboard or Xbox 360 Controller for Windows *
Fixed Storage: At Least17.5GB of Free Disk Space.
Removable Storage: Quad-Speed (4x) DVD/DVDR Drive.


* Controllers

You can play this game using a keyboard and mouse.  You will have better results using a mouse and a keyboard that are rated for gaming -- the Logitech G500 is a great gaming mouse (I own one myself) and there are a number of gaming keyboards that offer enhanced gaming control, so if you simply prefer to play with a mouse and keyboard, look in that direction, but in my opinion the game really deserves to be played with a gamepad.  See the Gamepad Section for more details.

** Installed RAM Issues

There is a bit more to memory than simply the number -- for instance regardless of which of the Microsoft OS's you are using if it is the 32bit version the maximum amount of System RAM it can see (and therefore make use of) is just under 3.8GB -- so putting more than 4GB into a system with a 32bit OS is pointless -- UNLESS you are using a graphics card that is built into the motherboard (though that is really not a good idea) because in that case the graphics card will reserve a configurable amount of System RAM for its exclusive use.

What that means is that after you boot up and log into Windows, the OS will assign X amount of System RAM to the GPU -- say 512MB (half a gig).  Since that comes off of the end of the RAM, you end up actually getting to use all 4GB in a 32bit system that has 4GB in it, since the graphics card is actually making use of the small amount on the end that Windows cannot use. 

In a system that only has 2GB though, that means that once booted, there is only 1.5GB of RAM available for the system.  If you are running XP that is not as big a deal than if you are running Vista or 7, because XP can get by nicely on half-a-gig, leaving you around 1GB of RAM with which to run the game.  However, if you are running Vista or 7, the system will need a full Gig of RAM to operate comfortably even WITH the swap drive available (hard drive space that is set aside to be used for paging the contents of memory making it easier for the system to recall it or call it up as needed).  In this case there is going to be a lot of hard-drive thrashing, and this is not the ideal situation.

While the game will run with just 2GB of RAM, if I were you the first upgrade I would consider is boosting your system to 4GB of RAM.

If your PC has a 64bit OS, it can then access and use memory larger than 4GB, so hey, bonus!  In that case the above still applies if you are using the built-in graphics card and it uses system RAM  meaning you will want 4GB minimum to be comfie, but more would indeed be better!

If you have 4GB of System RAM in either case and you use the built-in graphics card on your motherboard, the next serious upgrade consideration is the graphics card.  Bear in mind that 99% of the time the graphics card is the literal bottleneck impacting speed and performance on a PC, so if you have a modern Dual-Code 2.4GHz PC you will get far better results spending money on a good graphics card than you would, say, by just upgrading it to a 3.0 GHz CPU.  Seriously.  Spend the money on the best graphics card you can afford -- you can always upgrade the CPU later if you find you actually have to, but putting in a robust modern GPU with a Gig of dedicated RAM on it will leave you feeling like you have a brand new computer.

*** Sound Cards

The jury is officially still out on this -- so all I can do is give you my opinion based upon my own experiences here...

When your PC is using the sound card that is built into it, all of the calls to it and the access is made via the main bus, which is the same data path that is used for the CPU, the interface to storage, the network, and if you are really unfortunate, your graphics card.  In addition to that, all of the memory handling and the sound processing for built-in sound cards tends to be lofted off onto the CPU...  So while this will work, and you will get sound, there are a lot of other issues associated with this like sound quality and the likelihood that the driver version revisions will be slow to keep up with changes in the software -- like games -- and it can impact performance.

Buying a sound card to install in your PC -- and turning off the internal one -- is a wicked easy, wicked cheap upgrade, it will take all of 20 minutes, and it can have instantly felt results.  In addition to putting the burden of processing the sound side of the game onto the sound card (where it belongs) you also move the I/O to the main board bus and not the system bus, which in my experience is always a good thing.



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