Gotham Knights – 10 Things Players Dislike About it

Even with some bright spots, Gotham Knights is a flawed title in a post-Arkham world. Check out some of its major flaws.

Posted By | On 31st, Oct. 2022

Gotham Knights – 10 Things Players Dislike About it

WB Games Montreal’s Gotham Knights is out and not getting the best critical reception. While there’s plenty to like about the game, it also has many flaws that range from annoying to downright confounding. Let’s take a look at 10 of them here, not including the iffy performance on all platforms.

Horrible UI

Somehow, someone on the development team saw the UI for Marvel’s Avengers – already a mucked-up version of Destiny’s equipment screen – and found a way to make it worse. It looks ugly, with multiple items divided into oversized tabs for Suit, Melee and Ranged (with massive text denoting each category) while your hero is shoved to the absolute left of the screen.

No unique icons or anything to distinguish gear either. Head over to the Crafting screen, and you’re met with three tabs for Blueprints, a mess of crafting materials under “Salvage,” and just the entire right side of the screen left empty. When you craft something, guess where it shows you the materials required. On the actual gear itself? Nope, on the bottom left of your screen. It feels like a badly cobbled-together interface, even by mobile game standards.

Grinding

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This is an action RPG, so some grinding is expected, right? Unfortunately, Gotham Knights takes this in a mind-numbingly annoying direction. Though you only need to level up one hero – since the rest gain experience alongside them – you must complete 10 street crimes for each Knighthood tree for 40 street crimes overall.

Each is excessively dull as you go to a place, beat up some thugs, gather some evidence, and then beat up some more thugs. Hand-crafted challenges would have been great, but you get this procedurally generated hogwash with little to no imagination. The fact that later subcases require leveling up, otherwise enemies will feel way too tanky, is also annoying. Speaking of which.

Damage Sponge Enemies

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As noted above, levels, loot, and all that good stuff is a factor in combat as much as dodging, combos, and abilities. Except the latter is pretty moot since several enemies are damage sponges for no rhyme or reason. The Brutes are perhaps the worst offenders, especially the Gladiator Talon that can fully heal. When you’re just wailing away at an enemy again and again and again as their health bar slowly shrinks, you don’t feel like a superhero or successor to Batman. You feel like a schmuck who should have grinded some more levels.

Boring Loot

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The suits are perhaps one of the best parts of the game, and you’d think there would also be some unique weapons to discover or craft. Unfortunately, each Knight’s weapons are the most uninteresting filler, equipped with some perks that do this thing or that and don’t feel exciting to use. It would have been preferable to do away with all this clutter and instead opt for a handful of weapons that the player could earn through treasure hunts or challenge battles.

They could have unique, game-changing perks and abilities, and maybe crafting would add on a random perk or two for more build variety. Unfortunately, “missed opportunities” may as well be Gotham Knights’ subtitle at this point.

The Court of Owls

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When the game was first confirmed to feature the Court of Owls as antagonists, there was genuine excitement. After all, it was part of one of the best Batman storylines in comic books to date, and the Bat Family played a pretty sizable role there. How would the video game adapt their mythos and history? Poorly, as it turns out. The entire faction was simply tossed aside in favor of the League of Shadows because….well, why not? No interesting enemy types or bosses, either. Truly a waste.

Three Villain Cases

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There’s a lot of talk about Gotham City becoming besieged by crimes once the criminals find out Batman is missing/dead. The Court of Owls is quickly tossed aside in favor of the League of Shadows. But there should be more than enough other villains ready to claim Gotham, right? Well, in Gotham Knights, there are three.

Yes, three other villains to go after in different subcases, namely Harley Quinn, Mister Freeze, and Clayface. Where is Black Mask? What about Carmine Falcone? Penguin does little other than give you some quests, while the Man-Bat is another enemy type you beat up. Bane, Hush, Killer Croc, Mad Hatter, Scarecrow – where are they? Some interesting sequences featuring them would have been nice, even if you don’t outright fight them.

Boring Bosses

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Unfortunately, any additional villains would have probably been wasted on Gotham Knights since the bosses are boring. You dodge around, shoot/punch them, and repeat. The sad part is that many of these fights could have been more. Clayface splitting into copies before turning into a larger boss could have opened up some unique challenges, like using stealth to exploit a weakness and beat him down once he shrinks.

Harley Quinn weaponizing her followers could have allowed for a chase sequence through the streets as her minions try to stop you from reaching her. A massive fight against venerable crowds of rioters would have also been interesting. Mister Freeze even gets a cool-looking mech but feels mostly dull to fight since you’re just dodging missiles half the time. The less said about the final two main case bosses, the better.

Locking Abilities

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Remember how great gliding felt in the Batman Arkham series? Traversal felt pretty good overall, thanks to the grappling hook mechanics, but being able to chain grapples and glides or dive bomb onto enemies felt amazing. So how does Gotham Knights adhere to that legacy? Why, by locking its unique traversal abilities behind the Knighthood skill tree, which doesn’t even become available until later in the game.

Want to glide as Batgirl? Want to hop about in mid-air with Red Hood? Maybe short-range teleport as Robin? You can’t because only Batman gets the big boy moves. Knighthood isn’t a terrible concept, but locking special traversal abilities or Ultimates behind it is lame.

Contextual Jumping

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On the surface, the lack of a manual jump button can seem annoying, but it’s not the real problem. The real problem is that various jumping actions, whether leaping down on foes or vaulting over obstacles are all contextual. Sometimes you’ll run into objects that can’t be vaulted because they’re not supposed to be. Other times, you’ll miss that stealth takedown because the contextual controls got a little wonky. Either way, it’s another annoyance to add to the list and turns open-world exploration into a slog.

No Endgame

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No endgame in a loot-focused action RPG? No high-level activities to grind for better gear, no Prestige System for minor stat boosts drip-fed to keep you playing? No hidden dungeons with super bosses, raids for multiple players, or two-player-only co-op missions that take advantage of each hero’s unique abilities? No solo missions for each character that are tailor-made for them? And no, the Villain Arc subcases don’t count just because you can finish them after the main story ends.

Heroic Assault, a four-player co-op mode with players fighting through 30 floors of enemies, is coming next month, so maybe that will serve as the endgame for some. It’s crazy how heavily loot is emphasized without any real reason to use it once the game wraps.


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