Gotham Knights, an all-new game set in the Batman universe, is officially announced. For some time now, fans have speculated over a new Batman title. What's more, off the back of various rumours and mouth-watering teasers, it was surely only a matter of moments before a new entry would materialize.
Thankfully, we stand here today, safe in the knowledge that those talented creators behind Batman: Arkham Origins, development studio WB Games Montreal will step in to assume the mantle. But this time, as we will discover, with a decidedly different take than previous entries.
So, let us look at Gotham Knights, and the story so far.
How Can I Play Gotham Knights?
To answer that all-important question, we need to revisit the recently aired DC FanDome. A comic book convention centred around the DC universe and its many ongoing assets.
Due to release 2021 across consoles, including present and next-gen iterations, Xbox One, Xbox Series X, PS4, PS5, and PC, WB Games didn't pull any punches with its latest reveal.
The game, shown exclusively at DC FanDome, will offer online co-op for up to two players. Not to mention, a version of Gotham City, split into five different districts. And if that doesn't get the bat-senses tingling, then the ability to cruise around the streets of Gotham City in the Batcycle surely will.
On top of that, the player will seemingly have access to an arsenal. One set to expand as the game takes its course.
What Sort of Game Is Gotham Knights?
Based on the recent reveal trailer, much to many people's shock and surprise, Gotham Knights will play out without its star protagonist. You know, the city's masked saviour, Batman, also known as Bruce Wayne.
In the trailer, we learn of a recent catastrophe to hit Gotham City. Whereby Bruce Wayne's body gets unearthed in the aftermath, amidst the rubble. Or so it seems.
Following on from that, we get a good glimpse of the game's central cast. Aside from familiar favourite and forever loveable sidekick Robin, Gotham Knights throw Batgirl, Nightwing, and the Red Hood into the roster.
We'll cover more on those in a moment. At one point in the trailer, Gotham's fallen hero's posthumous message to his four allies reveals his demise. We soon discover the Batcave blew up in an explosion. But even today, the Belfry can be used as a safe place of refuge, should the need ever arise.
The trailer isn't short on action, either. We see plenty of explosive sequences, a handful of new abilities come to the fore, and confirmation that the Court of Owls will play a primary role in some capacity. So, all extremely exciting on that front.
Gotham Knights Gameplay Trailer
DC FanDome didn't stop there, though. Oh no, fans were also treated to an extensive seven-minute or so gameplay trailer, showing of further elements of the game.
Some of the more noteworthy inclusions for me cast the game in a positive light. Of course, before we continue, it's worth noting the footage is from a pre-alpha build of the game. So is, by nature, unlikely to represent the final product.
Early in the trailer, we learn that "freeze has recently returned to Gotham, with a mysterious agenda that involves manipulating the weather to flash freeze the city."
Taking on the entire game in either solo or co-op mode, we see Batgirl make clever use of the grapple hook. Thus, gliding over her intended target and performing a sneaky takedown or two. In my view, combat here seems more open-ended than previous entries.
Traversal looks fluid, too. All via shared traits familiar to the franchise making a welcome return, mainly in terms of melee combat. I'm sure multiplayer fans will be pleased to see signature moves and cooperative finishers enter the combat scene.
I, for one, cannot wait to team up and cause carnage with killer combos!
According to WB Games, "confronting a villain like freeze can be a very different proposition at level 5, or level 15." Meaning, there's a sense of scalability with the bosses, which should tie into the progression system somehow.
At face value, the animations in the trailer look smooth. And overall, there is an impressive amount of polish to soak up. Not least so, from a visual point of view.
A Word from WB Games on Gotham Knights
You have heard my take on it. But to truly gain a grasp of what's to come, we can glean further insight on WB Game's upcoming title via the Gotham Knight official website, which states:
"Batman is dead. A new expansive, criminal underworld has swept the streets of Gotham City. It is now up to the Batman family; Batgirl, Knightwing, Red Hood, and Robin to protect Gotham, bring hope to its citizens, discipline to its cops, and fear to its criminals. From solving mysteries that connect the darkest chapters in the city's history, to defeating notorious villains in epic confrontations, you must evolve into the new Dark Knight and save the streets from descent in chaos."
The closing statements reads, "Gotham Knights is an open-world, action RPG set in the most dynamic and interactive Gotham City yet. In either solo play or with one other hero, patrol Gotham's five distinct boroughs and drop in on criminal activity wherever you find it."
Gotham Knights Predictions
So, after all that, there is plenty to digest. But if one thing is sure-fire, I am super excited about this one. Even though the star attraction is missing; although that aspect appears somewhat shrouded on secrecy, I'm intrigued to see how the open-world format will play out.
Especially so, during stints of cooperative play.
For me, Batman Arkham Origins may not be the best of the series so far. And perhaps in some ways, lives in the shadows of its acclaimed predecessors. That said, if WB Games can maintain the quality of combat while keeping the same level of storytelling present in previous entries, Gotham Knights could be another surprise package from DC.
What do you think? Stoked for a new game set in Gotham City? Better still, is the apparent loss of Bruce Wayne an obstacle? Or do you love the notion of a new, revolving roster?
As always, your views mean everything to us. So, feel free to forward any down below via the comments.