The City of Gotham, a place so rife with crimes—it’s a miracle if you don’t get mugged when you go home. It’s here that Batman makes his vigil. For years he protected the citizens from normal crooks and his various rogue’s gallery. That was, until his death. Now, with Gotham reeling at the death of Batman, it’s up to those that he trained to become his successors. Now, they have to be knights, Gotham Knights.
What Is the Gotham Knights Game?
Gotham Knights is an action RPG created by WB Games Montréal that’s set to release this 2021. The game was first unveiled on DC Fandom in August last year to the excitement of the people there. The game’s set on Gotham City where Batman has died, and now it’s up to others to pick up the slack.
What Kind of Game Is It?
Gotham Knights is set to be an open-world, action RPG game. There are some rumors that the game will also include looter elements but those are just rumors and are not confirmed. Other than this, there’s a progression system based on skills that you can unlock for each character. Though the game also encourages you to play all four available characters as progress is shared between them.
Looking for games to play while waiting for Gotham Knights, here is our list of the best RPGs of all time.
What Consoles Can You Play It On?
Gotham Knights can be played on PC, Xbox One, Xbox Series X, PlayStation 4, and PlayStation 5 on the release date. So expect a lot of co-op fun when it’s released.
When Is the Release Date?
As of right now, there’s no concrete release date for Gotham Knights. The World Premiere trailer shown on the DC Youtube channel states that it will be released this year (2021). Other than that, nothing more was shown on the nature of the game’s release date.
Gotham Knights Gameplay
Gotham Knights is a two-person action game that’s set in Gotham City after Batman’s death. You can control one of the four characters—Robin, Batgirl, Red Hood, and Nightwing—to secure Gotham from criminals. These criminals, emboldened after Batman’s death, now run amok around the streets, need to be stopped before they turn Gotham into a wasteland. It’s like what happened at that time when Bane took over on the Dark Knight Rises. Only worse because Batman’s actually dead. Or is he?
In addition to this, you can also invite another person to join you on your crime-fighting escapades. Unfortunately, you can only invite one person only. Also, you can’t do multiplayer on the local split-screen, only online, as well as have a full team of four players, so that’s a bummer.
However, the game is said to have a combat system that’s reworked from the ground up by WB Games Montréal. So that’s a possible treatment for players. From what can be seen on the trailers, each of the Bat-Family members has its specialties and fighting styles. From stealth to full-on combat, you can tweak your Bat-crimefighter to be whatever you want. And it’s fully expected for you to use all four of them in various missions as progress is shared between all four characters.
Setting and Plot
The game starts immediately in a pretty dire situation. As for how dire? Well, Bruce Wayne’s dead. And for those not in the know, Bruce Wayne is Batman, which should send red flags to the superheroes in the DC universe. Before his death, Bruce sent out Code Black, an alert to the rest of the Bat-Family that everything’s in the worst-case scenario. Due to this, Nightwing, Robin, Batgirl, and Red Hood have to step up to the challenge of becoming the heroes that Gotham needs.
The City of Gotham is a dangerous place, filled with tall skyscrapers, poor slums, and dangerous criminals. There’s a lot of places where ordinary folk can get killed, or worse. And ever since he arrived, Batman was a force that kept criminals in check, making the city safer to live in. However, with his death, the old status quo returned, and crime increased in frequency once again.
The game’s aesthetics certainly lends to this in incredibly gorgeous ways. The city is incredibly gloomy in appearance, as it should be. However, the various lights on the streets and buildings give it a lived-in appeal.
As of right now, four playable characters were shown on the game’s trailer. These characters are Nightwing, Batgirl, Red Hood, and Robin. Now for the fans of DC, and especially Batman, these four characters should sound familiar. However, for those not in the know, let’s get into more detail on each character, shall we?
Nightwing is the original Robin and one of the most recognizable heroes in the Bat-Family. Dick Grayson, as he’s known outside the costume, is Batman’s first protégé and sidekick. That is until he decided to continue on his own and fight crime as a lone hero. Though he left to become his hero instead of staying with Batman, he still keeps in touch. It’s why he’s one of the four people Bruce sent the message to when it came out that he’s dead.
Nightwing is one of the best in hand-to-hand combat amongst the Bat-Family. All this is due to years of experience with Batman and his years as a crimefighter. Not that the rest of the team are slouches in that regard, but it’s still pretty noticeable. In addition to his hand to hand are his pair of Escrima Sticks, modified to also act as a shock baton to stun enemies. In addition to that modification, it can also be turned into nunchucks, allowing for greater maneuverability.
Overall, Nightwing’s main claim to fame is his incredible acrobatic ability, mostly due to his training in the circus back when he was young. Although, this was honed even more when he was taken in by the Batman and got some training. He fights with flair, using his natural abilities and weapons to their fullest effect, leaving bodies in his wake. As per usual with the Bat-Family, he doesn’t kill, though he’s going to make sure that the enemies he faces will wish that he did instead.
Before we can move on, we need to have a little history lesson of the Bat-Family. This is, of course, relating to Jason Todd, how he became Red Hood, and his place in it.
Jason Todd was the second person who took the mantle of Robin after Dick Grayson retired from the position and became Nightwing. He was a troubled kid, but he took the mantle of Robin well, even if his aggressiveness was a concern. This continued until his death at the hands of Joker after he lured him to the Middle East with his mother. He then beat Jason unconscious before leaving them both to die. Jason was dead but was then resurrected by Talia Al Ghul. After some training, he returned to Gotham to take on the name Red Hood.
Now enough of the history lesson, let’s talk about capabilities.
Red Hood is a brawler and is the toughest playable character in Gotham Knights. At least, when you’re talking about the four revealed to be playable. Above all else, you can expect Red Hood to not care about stealth like the other Bat-Family members. He dual wields two pistols effectively and can tank more blows than the rest of the Bat-Family. This playstyle was reflected in the Reveal Trailer when he straight-up brawls through enemies with gunplay and takedowns.
In short, get up close and personal, shoot them with your guns, and leave broken bodies in your wake. That’s how you should play Red Hood. Though just because that’s his preference, it doesn’t mean that he left his roots behind. He can still sneak around like any member of the Bat-Family and is proficient in doing so, just rusty.
After Nightwing and Red Hood, let’s talk about Batgirl, or who most people will know as Barbara Gordon.
Barbara Gordon is the daughter of Commissioner Gordon of the Gotham City Police Department. She was one of the original members of the Bat-Family, alongside Dick Grayson, the original Robin. However, she was disillusioned with the crime-fighting life and eventually soft-retired. That was until the Joker decided to go in and kidnap her father. The Joker also shot her in the spinal cord, paralyzing her and ending her career as Batgirl at that point.
After that event, Barbara got depressed, feeling that her disability won’t allow her to do good and help others. However, she turned that around and instead worked on mission control as Oracle. It took a long time before Barbara was able to recover from her paralysis, allowing her to work as Batgirl once again. But we digress; let’s talk about her playstyle.
Batgirl is an incredibly acrobatic fighter that uses her martial arts training to disable and subdue enemies. In addition to this, she has a grappling hook that allows her to traverse obstacles and the batarangs for range. Last but not the least, she’s primarily a stealth character, sneaking into enemy positions and wreaking havoc. Like the other two members, though, you can build her into a melee or ranged fighter as well.
Overall, Batgirl is a stealth specialist that can attack from any angle. She’s incredibly proficient in hand-to-hand combat and a deadly individual to come up against. However, she’s not the last member of the Bat-Family that we’re going to talk about. That distinction goes to the third iteration of Robin.
Last but not the least on the Bat-Family is Tim Drake, the third iteration of the name Robin. Now the name Robin is around for a long time, starting from Dick Grayson, and will continue in the future.
When you compare Tim from his predecessors you can see that he’s built differently. He’s not as acrobatic as Dick, he had to work for his acrobatic prowess. He’s not as tough as Jason either, needing more training. However, he is smarter and a more accomplished detective compared to the two of them. He’s mastered a lot of fields including biology, genetics, and engineering among others. Also, he’s a master tactician, though all the members of the Bat-Family are due to their training.
In terms of his equipment, he’s notable in his usage of batarangs and his version of shurikens. He also has a staff that can extend to cover more range as well as propel him to enemies. However, what’s interesting is the fact that Robin can use the Watchtower for teleportation. For those not in the know, the Watchtower is the headquarters of the Justice League and is a satellite. We don’t know if this ability is exclusive to Robin or if all members of the Bat-Family can use it. However, only Robin was shown to use it on the Gotham Knights trailer.
Possible Characters That Can Appear
Now that we’ve talked about all the members of the Bat-Family, let’s talk about the characters that we hope will at least have an appearance. Never mind the possibility of becoming playable.
However, do note that these are mere hypotheses and that a lot of these characters aren’t confirmed to be in the game. So take these with a grain of salt. It’s still fun to hope that these characters make an appearance.
Let’s start with the more obvious one on this list in the form of Catwoman, aka Selina Kyle. She’s one of the most prolific individuals in Batman’s story and at one point; both of them were even married. It would make a lot of sense for Catwoman to appear in a game where Batman is dead. Even if it’s only to mourn his passing and move on to another part of her life.
However, there’s also an opportunity here for Catwoman to be part of the team. Maybe it’s possible to have a Batwoman who looks for the killer of Batman. Maybe we can have a Catwoman that’s angered that Batman’s dead and wants revenge? There’s a lot that can be done by just adding in Catwoman to Gotham Knights. And we honestly hope that she’ll at least make a non-playable appearance in the game.
The history of the name Azrael in the Bat-Family is murky, one that should be explored in another article. However, the first person who took the moniker of Azrael is one that was also trained by Batman to replace him. This makes Azrael one of the best people to become either a vigilante or a villain in Gotham Knights.
Not only that though, but his overall design is just so cool. This guy uses a sword of fire to beat enemies to a pulp, and that’s hardcore. It would be great to see him as a boss fight in the game. However, we also won’t complain if he’s promoted to playable.
Talia Al Ghul
Next up on the list is someone that you’d know very well if you followed Batman’s history. The person we’re talking about is Talia Al Ghul, daughter of Ra’s Al Ghul and one of Batman’s contemporaries. At least, when they were still on good terms. Currently, they’re really on bad terms. With both individuals being at fault for the deterioration of their relationship. But we digress; you’re not here to talk about the past and past relationships.
All in all, the relationship that Talia used to have with Batman is reason enough for her to be in the game. However, if she does appear, it’s probably on a DLC, and as a villain, not a playable character. We already have the Court of Owls as the villains of the main game.
Now, this might not be a familiar individual on the mainstream, but fans know that Orphan is one of Cassandra Cain’s hero identities. The one she took after Barbara Gordon recovered from her paralysis and continued being Batgirl. Though she’s usually affiliated with the Birds of Prey, it doesn’t mean she can’t jump in to help Barbara in saving Gotham. This is in part because of her stint as Batgirl and partly due to their friendship.
Other than this, we can only expect Orphan to be a side character on Gotham Knights, not a playable character. Though having her in the roster would be a great addition, it might only be possible on a DLC and nothing more.
Last but not the least, we have Batwing, one of the more unknown members of the Bat-Family, sadly enough. Lucas “Luke” Fox is the son of Lucius Fox, who is a prominent member of Wayne Enterprises. After his father was almost killed, he donned the mantle of Batwing, helping the Bat-Family in solving crime in the city of Gotham.
Overall, he’s a fringe member of the Bat-Family and one that should have a spotlight shortly. Unfortunately, we might not see him in any capacity in the main game other than in DLCs. But a fan can hope for the impossible.
The game’s combat is said to be one that’s been remade from the ground up. Other than this, there’s nothing said by the developers about this issue. Though there is a gameplay trailer that was released that showed combat in the game, it still looks a bit similar to the Arkham games visually. Other than that, any verdict needs to be put on hold in that regard.
Controls-wise, the game looks like it’ll handle like a dream. From the various abilities that the characters have to the movement and camera, it seems like the game is fluid in its controls. Overall, the game’s controls seem to be on the up and up, and only time will tell if the combat will have the chops to follow through.
On the graphics side of things, the game is incredibly pretty in a gothic way. It looks like Gotham City if the city were in a crisis. One that’s pretty easy to do with the whole “Batman is dead” thing. There are fewer people out, and most of these people are gangers who want to take advantage of the chaos. All these and more add to the game’s visual storytelling about a city in turmoil, which is helped by the amazing graphics shown in the game.
Unfortunately, we still don’t know what game engine Gotham Knights is going to run on. This is unfortunate because it’s something useful to know when analyzing the game’s graphics. Other than that, the game looks great visually, but we need to wait and see before any final verdict can be done.
In terms of the game’s music and sound design, it’s pretty typical of the original Batman cartoons and the Arkham series. There’s a whole lot of nostalgia for fans to enjoy—at least, for those that still remember them. The Batman cartoons came out some time ago. And even if they’re still on the internet today, it’s still hard to look for them. Still, it’s a good set of tracks for those that have a keen ear.
Gotham Knights vs Other DC Games
Now Gotham Knights isn’t the only game that’s on the DC IP. Others came before. From the Arkham Series to Suicide Squad, we will be tackling them to see how they compare to Gotham Knights.
The Arkham Series is mostly centered around Batman and on his escapades around Arkham. Now for those not in the know, Arkham isn’t just a name thrown around carelessly. It’s the place where Batman throws his various rogue’s gallery. From Killer Croc, Poison Ivy, Bane, and the Joker, these villains are imprisoned there, mostly so that they can try to rehabilitate them.
Unfortunately, those efforts tend to fail. Partly because they’re not receptive to any kind of help. Joker in particular is the worst offender in this regard.
The Arkham series of games is also a game that’s primarily centered in Arkham’s various iterations. From the Asylum to the City, and while it’s still part of Gotham, the games are still centered mostly on Arkham. No more, no less.
Now Suicide Squad, on the other hand, is a different story. And it’s mostly centered around the titular Suicide Squad. Now we don’t know what the game’s overall gameplay is going to be. But what we do know is that you take in the titular Squad to defeat Brainiac, who decided that it’s time to invade Earth again but thought it’s a good idea to prepare something for the heroes. What’s that something you ask? Well, he brainwashed them into his slaves and uses them as his pawns.
Thus, even if a lot of people are reluctant about it, they have to bring in the Suicide Squad to defeat Brainiac. And even if they’re composed of several of the wackiest villains out there, Harley Quinn comes to mind. They’re probably Earth’s greatest chance in defeating Brainiac this time, which is saying something.
Other than that though, the gameplay is touted to be similar to Gotham Knights in that it has multiplayer features. Said multiplayer features allow three other players to control the four main characters of this game. These characters are the mad clown girl Harley Quinn, the crazy Captain Boomerang, Deadshot the mercenary, and King Shark.
Overall the game promises to be fun, and one that will have some pretty exciting things coming in the future. Let’s hope that it’s not going to add in something egregious.
Should You Be Excited for Gotham Knights?
If you’re a massive DC fan—hell, if you’re a massive Batman fan—then you should be excited for Gotham Knights. Batman might not be there because he’s dead and all, but his influence on his students is apparent. We can also now see how much his death affects them, and overall experience how they fight crime on a Gotham in turmoil.
Last but not the least, Batman fans can now also play together and fight alongside each other now. If they will be added in, we might be able to see Red Hood and Nightwing fight the Joker. Or Batgirl and Robin together solving a crime and then fighting Bane. Just the possibilities of team interactions are going to be endless. Overall, a fan of DC should pick up Gotham Knights. Hands down.