The wait for the next Batman game has been a long one- and sure, WB Games Montreal’s upcoming open world action RPG Gotham Knights won’t star the Caped Crusader himself, but with Gotham City in turmoil and the Bat-family stepping in to set things right in their mentor’s absence, there’s still plenty of reasons to get excited about the game. Ahead of its launch not long from now, here, we’re going to talk about a few key details that you should know about Gotham Knights.
Gotham Knights’ central premise is one that has raised many eyebrows. When the game begins, both Batman and Commissioner James Gordon are supposedly dead, and in their absence, crime in Gotham City is running rampant. The biggest threat that the city now faces (and it faces quite a few of them) is that of the Court of Owls, a shadowy organization that has been controlling the city from behind the scenes for literally centuries.
With the Dark Knight no longer around to save Gotham from the criminal element, it falls to members of the Bat-family to step in and step up. Gotham Knights will see four heroes coming together as the protagonists, with Robin, Nightwing, Batgirl, and the Red Hood all being playable characters. All four will, of course, have their own unique playing styles, abilities, gear, and more- so let’s go over each of them and what they will bring to the table.
Tim Drake is the Boy Wonder in Gotham Knights (sorry, Damian Wayne fans). In combat, his quarterstaff will serve as his primary weapon, and he can use it in a number of ways, both offensively and defensively (like spinning it around real fast to deflect bullets). Meanwhile, Robin has also picked up more than a few skills from his mentor when it comes to both stealth and investigations. Where traversal is concerned, he will use tech made by the Justice League, which will allow him to teleport short distances.
The original Robin, Dick Grayson, also stars in Gotham Knights, having taken up the Nightwing persona (which he is arguably associated with more strongly). Nightwing’s combat style is very melee oriented, as you’d expect, with his batons serving as his main weapons in brawls. Those familiar with the character will, of course, be aware of his past as a circus performer, and his athleticism is clearly going to be a crucial element of his fighting style as well. Nightwing will also be able to use a glider to fly around the city.
If you’re heading into Gotham Knights for gameplay that sticks closely to the Arkham games, Batgirl is going to be the character for you. From her brawler style combat to the way she operates in stealth, from the gadgets she makes use of to how she glides around in the open world, of all four playable characters in the game, Batgirl’s gameplay is likely going to be the most similar to Batman. Meanwhile, having lost both Bruce Wayne and her father, Barbara Gordon is clearly going through some stuff, so her role in the story is going to be an interesting one as well.
Jason Todd a.k.a. Red Hood has plenty of demons in his past, but with the death of Batman, he’ll be putting aside his violent ways in Gotham Knights to help the Bat-family bring order to Gotham City. His gameplay style, meanwhile, promises to be quite unique as compared to his counterparts, with his attacks being focused on ranged weapons (the non-lethal kind)- though of course, he has plenty of melee attacks up his sleeve as well. Interestingly, thanks to his experience with the Lazarus Pit, Red Hood will also be able to use an ability called Mystical Leap, which will allow him to essentially bounce across thin air.
Batman has perhaps the strongest rogues gallery of all superheroes out there, so it goes without saying that on this front, Gotham Knights will have lofty expectations to live up to. Thankfully, it seems to have a strong roster of villains lined up. The Court of Owls is, of course, going to be the central antagonist, but on top of that, several other iconic Gotham baddies have also been confirmed for the game, including the likes of Mr. Freeze, the Penguin, Harley Quinn, and Clayface.
OPEN WORLD DETAILS
Gotham Knights is, of course, an open world game, but what can we expect from its rendition of an open world Gotham City? Well, the developers have certainly been talking it up, that’s for sure. It’s supposedly the largest version of Gotham City in a video game yet, and will apparently boast plenty of density and verticality. The city will be divided into five boroughs, with multiple criminal factions wreaking havoc all throughout. Meanwhile, unlike the Arkham games, Gotham is going to have actual citizens going about their schedules and daily lives, which will (hopefully) make it feel more alive and dynamic.
Arkham Knight let us drive around Gotham City in the Batmobile (though not everyone liked that too much), and now, in Gotham Knights, we’ll be able to hop into yet another iconic Batman vehicle. Each character has their own unique traversal methods, but if you want to cover larger distances more quickly, you’ll use the Batcycle to get around. Interestingly, the Batcycle will also be customizable.
NO DAY/NIGHT CYCLE
As you’d expect, Gotham Knights is a game that wants you to be out and about in the city only at nighttime- Batman may not be around, but this is still a game set in the Batman universe, after all. There’s no dynamic day and night cycle in the game, and the open world itself is going to be perpetually locked in nighttime. Every team you leave your base of operations, the game will fast forward the time to make sure there are no vigilantes fighting crime while the sun’s still out.
Speaking of your base of operations, Gotham Knights is leaving the iconic Batcave behind, and will instead see the Bat-family setting up shop in Belfry Tower. It’ll be daytime every time you return to Belfry, and here, the four heroes will appear as themselves, rather than their superhero alteregos. Here, players will be able to manage their equipment and gear using a Workbench, tinker with the Batcycle, read up on Gotham’s criminals and all the available activities using the Batcomputer, interact with other characters, and more.
PROGRESSION AND CUSTOMIZATION
Gotham Knights is making some lofty promises where its progression mechanics are concerned. Characters will earn experience, level up, and spend skill points to unlock new abilities, while equipping new and improved gear and customizing existing equipment will also be crucial. But how will the game handle that with four unique playable characters? Interestingly, each character will have four skill trees, which means you can expect plenty of variety and choice when it comes to upgrading all four characters. The developers have also confirmed that there won’t be any level gating in the game, which is always nice to hear.
PROGRESSION ACROSS CHARACTERS
Gotham Knights will, of course, allow you to switch between the four playable characters any time you want, but what will that mean for progression? Developer WB Games Montreal has made some smart choices here. For starters, the characters you’re not playing as will automatically level up right alongside the one you’re in control of, so you won’t have to worry about having to catch up if you ever decide to switch. What that means, essentially, is that you’ll have unspent points stocked up and ready to go for unused characters when you decide to play as them.
Gotham Knights can be played through entirely as a completely solo game, though you can play it in co-op as well. Drop-in drop-out co-op has been confirmed for the action RPG, but though there are four playable characters, only two-player co-op is supported. Both players can play as the same hero though, so at least there’s that.
Gotham Knights’ minimum and recommended system requirements on PC have yet to be confirmed, but WB Games Montreal has said that on PCs with Intel Arc A-Series GPUs, the game will feature support for ray-tracing. Can we expect the same on PS5 and Xbox Series X/S yet? There’s no word on that yet, but we’re certainly keeping our fingers crossed.