It had been quite a while since we last got any new updates on WB Games Montreal’s upcoming open world action RPG Gotham Knights, but when it was announced earlier this year that the game would be launching in October, it became rather obvious that that would be changing in the near future. Sure enough, we recently got treated to a brand-new chunk of gameplay footage, showing off various aspects of the game in action and revealing new details. Here, we’re going to be combing through those details and talking about the biggest highlights.
As an open world game, Gotham Knights is obviously going to have plenty of side activities for players to dive into, and typically enough for a game that sees you playing as superheroes, plenty of those side activities will come in the form of criminal activities for you to put a stop to. In the recent gameplay demo, we saw Nightwing and Red Hood taking on a group of criminals engaged in some hacking on a rooftop. There will be several different kinds of crimes in the game’s open world, and according to the developers, each one of them will function as a mini-mode of their own, with their own unique rules and optional objectives.
WB Games Montreal also took a deep dive into Gotham Knights’ combat, and one of its new features that we learned about is the Momentum Bar. With each successful attack and dodge, players will build up their Momentum Bar, while correctly timed combos and strikes will do that even faster. With a full bar, players will be able to unleash special abilities and attacks. In the recent gameplay demo, the Momentum Bar was shown on the bottom left of the screen, but according to the developers, every element of the game’s UI will be customizable.
RED HOOD ABILITIES
Speaking of abilities, we also got a taste of a couple of abilities for both Red Hood and Nightwing. Let’s focus on the former first. His regular attacks are ranged and deal plenty of non-lethal damage, but he’s also got some interesting abilities. There’s the Barrage ability, which can do piercing damage to armoured foes and, in turn, interrupt their attacks or movements. Another unique unlockable ability allows Red Hood to attach a bomb to an enemy and then manually detonate it with a ranged shot, which can have some pretty interesting applications, especially when dealing with larger crowds.
Nightwing’s fighting style is obviously quite different from Red Hood’s, focusing primarily on agility and pace as he zips around the battlefield to deal fast strikes and dodge attacks. Where his abilities are concerned, we saw some interesting stuff. The Elemental Shockwave ability, for instance, not only interrupts enemy armoured attacks, it also deals status effects of its own, like the cryo status, which can freeze an enemy and temporarily take them out of the equation.
Gotham Knights might not be set in the Arkhamverse, but it is, of course, still being billed as a spiritual successor where its gameplay loop is concerned. That means stealth is going to be just as important as its brawler combat, and we got to see a little bit of that as well. Each of the four playable heroes will have their own unique takedowns and finishing moves. Nightwing, for instance, can unleash Ambush Strikes, which are faster and more effective than silent stealth takedowns- but, as you might expect, they make more noise, so players will have to be smart about when to use them.
This is Gotham Knights’ very own take on Detective Vision. By activating Augmented Reality Vision, players can highlight points and objects of interest in their surroundings. As you might expect, this will be used to solve various puzzles in the game and to “investigate mysteries”. The puzzle shown in the recent gameplay demo saw Nightwing using his AR Vision to detect a hidden mechanism under the floor, tracking its connections to a different room, activating a switch inside of a statue there, and then coming back to the original room to find a secret staircase leading to an underground tunnel.
Traversal is a crucial aspect in any open world game, so how’s it going to function in Gotham Knights, especially with four unique playable characters? As you’d expect, it’ll be different for each of them. Nightwing will use his glider to, well, glide around, while Red Hood can his his soul energy to literally skip across thin air. The Batcycle, meanwhile, will be usable by all characters, while players can also use the Batplane to fast travel across Gotham.
Gotham Knights is being billed as an action RPG, which, of course, means upgrades and progression are going to be a crucial pillar of the gameplay. The Belfry, which is the game’s hub location and the titular knights’ base of operations, will be where you’ll be upgrading your suit. Using the workbench, players will be able to upgrade their suits and equipment. Fighting crime and completing missions will yield crafting materials and blueprints as rewards, allowing you to unlock new suits and upgrades for improvements to things such as your armour rating, attack stats, health, and more.
NO MICROTRANSACTIONS OR CROSS-PLAY
Unfortunately, microtransactions are always a concern with most AAA games these days, and Warner Bros.-published titles have been particularly flagrant in this area quite often over the years. Thankfully, Gotham Knights will be an exception. Developer WB Games Montreal has re-iterated that, as previously stated, the game is going to have no microtransactions, so any and all unlocks and earnable items in the games will be earned through gameplay (or, you know, DLC). Meanwhile, the developer has also said that there are currently no plans for cross-play support, which is a bit of a bummer, seeing as the entire campaign can be played through in 2-player co-op.
NOT CROSS-GEN ANYMORE
When Gotham Knights was announced back in 2020, like many other games, it was confirmed to be cross-gen, with a release planned for PS5, Xbox Series X/S, PS4, Xbox One, and PC. That is no longer the case. Warner Bros. has confirmed that the game’s last-gen versions have been cancelled, and when it launches on October 25, it will be available only on PS5, Xbox Series X/S, and PC. The game will cost $70 (which is, sadly, becoming the industry-wide standard for most AAA games), while the Deluxe Edition will cost $90. A Collector’s Edition will also be available, and that’ll set you back $300.