A lot of gamers have experienced the pure awesomeness that is Rockstar’s Batman: Arkham series, compromised of Arkham Asylum (2009), Arkham City (2011), and Arkham Knight (2015). The three games provided some of the best gameplay, story, visuals, and characterisation seen in superhero video games up until that point, each winning multiple awards, which is further testament to how great they are to play.
So it makes complete sense that gamers lost their minds when WB Games Montreal announced Gotham Knights at DC FanDome in 2020. However, it was soon revealed that this game would be a brand-new story, not connected to the previous Arkham games. Fans of the series were disappointed, but that was short-lived because the gameplay trailer was amazing.
Set to release on October 21 (recently moved up from October 25), Gotham Knights allows players to take control of one of four of the Bat-Family: Barbara Gordon’s Batgirl, Dick Grayson’s Nightwing, Jason Todd’s Red Hood, and Tim Drake’s Robin. Each character will have their own distinctive playstyle, and players will be able to main the character they like the most while tearing around Gotham City, fighting goons and defeating supervillains. In addition to this, players will have the opportunity to team up with a friend, as Gotham Knights supports co-op gameplay, so you can defend Gotham as your very own dynamic duo.
The gameplay itself is quite similar to the Arkham games, as it is an action-RPG set in an open world. Players will be able to visit the Belfry, which will be their headquarters, and is where they can switch characters, prepare for the next mission and manage progression. When characters leave the Belfry, in-game time will fast forward to night. While players can level up their characters, enemies will level up accordingly to keep the gameplay interesting. Traversing around Gotham is dynamic, with grapple guns and gliding available to most characters. Gamers will also be able to use the Batcycle, and Robin will have access to the Justice League’s satellite, enabling him to teleport in and out of areas/situations.
The premise of the game is very intriguing and is set after the deaths of Bruce Wayne and Commissioner Gordon, which has seen a steady rise in crime. Each of the titular Gotham Knights receives a video message from Bruce Wayne, calling them to action to save and defend Gotham. Throughout the game, they encounter some of Gotham’s most famous supervillains such as the Court of Owls, Penguin and Mr. Freeze, as well as many others. Thankfully, there will also be friendly faces to encounter, like Alfred the butler and Police Captain Renee Montoya (who comic fans will know goes on to become The Question).
It will be very interesting to see how the game unfolds, as the gameplay seems very similar to the Shadow Of War games. The idea of the enemy characters levelling up with the player characters is a unique idea, that can pay off if done correctly. The important thing with this game, however, is to get the world right. In Arkham Knight, Rockstar fleshed out Gotham City as a fully explorable sandbox open world that felt like a lived-in and crime-ridden city. WB Montreal previously had a go at creating Gotham in Arkham Origins, which wasn’t received as well as the main Arkham games (that being said, it’s still a worthwhile instalment!).
One of the main things fans are looking forward to is the opportunity to control their favourite member of the Bat-Family featured in the game, especially when it comes to customising them. There will be equipable gear throughout the game, that will enhance the character’s abilities and stats. Additionally, the gear will actually have a cosmetic effect and will alter the character’s appearance. This means that theoretically no two players’ characters will look the same, and each one can have their own unique look.
This is definitely going to be a game to look out for, and if the gameplay trailer is anything to go by, will be an absolutely incredible ride through the streets of Gotham. Previously, gamers have only been able to use these characters in DLCs or bonus missions, so it will be an exciting experience to play as Batgirl, Nightwing, Red Hood, and Robin. This game will have something for everyone, from Batman fans, to open-world RPG fans.
‘Gotham Knights’ releases worldwide on PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X|S and PC on Oct 21