Note: This review is only covering the port and its quality, not the game itself.
Mac gamers have long been forsaken. Their only option for obtaining and enjoying blockbuster titles on their Mac is via BootCamp and manually installing Windows or resorting to the App Store’s increasingly inferior catalogue. But thanks to Feral Interactive’s accessible official ports of titles from WB Interactive and Square Enix, Mac gaming has been quickly on the rise. And Feral’s port of Batman: Arkham City, proving to be controversial due to its reported technical issues, encapsulates both the benefits and detriments that these new ports entail for gamers. Blighted by odd and frustrating technical hiccups but saved by a superior, mostly error-free port, Batman: Arkham City on Mac proves to be a decisive win that every Mac gamer should be a part of.
When testing the port on a 2017 MacBook Air, I was shocked to see how well it actually ran. After reading multiple threads and reviews, criticizing the technical hiccups that the port had, I was expecting to have the same disastrous experience. But in contradiction, throughout my play through of the entire campaign and its subsequent DLC, Harley Quinn’s Revenge, only one crash occurred. Perhaps in more time, these issues may surface, but as of the moment, the port seems mostly bug-free and retains the excellent game that Rocksteady originally created.
In terms of technical options, Feral Interactive mostly takes the standard route. Special effects such as dynamic shadows and reflections are available to be turned on or off in order to better enhance performance. In addition, there are multiple detail levels, ranging from “low” to “high.” However, it is in this option that my biggest issue with the port emerged.
When changing detail levels, the game actually resets with the progress from another detail level not being carried over. For instance, in order to improve the FPS, I changed the detail level from “high” to “medium,” but was disappointed to see that the saved data did not appear in the “medium” detail level. It’s a technical mishap on their part that will make repeat playthroughs far less common.
In addition, the game also runs in a window-only form, without an option to go full screen. It was strange to see a port so determined to run in window form, and frustrating to boot. Never before have I encountered this in any of Feral’s ports, so its inclusion here was interesting at best.
However, as a collective whole, Feral Interactive has retained the spirit and vision that Rocksteady had for Batman: Arkham City. With a few notable frustrating flaws such as its disastrous detail optioning, the port is far from perfect. But with the current lack of blockbuster titles available to Mac, this mildly out-of-date port may just be the perfect treat for a worn and frustrated Mac gamer.
Score: 7.0 out of 10
No escape from Arkham City...the sprawling super-prison in the heart of Gotham City, home to its most violent thugs and infamous super villains. With the lives of the innocent at stake, only one man can save them and bring justice to the streets of Gotham City...The Batman™.
BATMAN: ARKHAM CITY (MAC) is available for purchase from Steam and the App Store now.