Batman is dead. So it’s up to you now.
Thankfully, “you” are Batgirl, Nightwing, Robin, and the Red Hood, Batman’s extended family of allies who have fought on the streets of Gotham alongside him for years. And in the new Gotham Knights video game, you get to get to take control of these supporting characters as they step into the spotlight to save the day following their mentor’s sudden demise.
Gotham Knights was unveiled at the DC FanDome event today, which showcased the first trailer and some extended gameplay. You can watch it all below.
During the virtual panel hosted by Shazam! star Zachary Levi, Warner Bros. Games Montreal offered a first look at Gotham Knights with a dramatic trailer that introduces the compelling core concept. If Batman died, who would take on his extensive rogues’ gallery and defend the city?
Gotham Knights Trailer
Bruce Wayne is dead. Jim Gordon is dead. The villains are still kicking. And in those final moments, we see the video game debut of the Court of Owls, a secret society that operates in the shadows of Gotham and utilizes enhanced warriors called Talons to destroy their enemies. Do they have something to do with the death of the Batman? Does the Joker like a good joke? C’mon.
The trailer’s visuals should look familiar to anyone who has played Batman: Arkham Asylum or its sequels, which have established a pretty firm “house style” for the modern Batman video games. While Gotham Knights is not made by Rocksteady Games (the producers of those original games), Warner Bros. Games Montreal has experience in this world already as the creators of the Batman: Arkham Origins spin-off. They seem to have adopted an “if it’s not broken, don’t fix it” approach to these character and world designs, which blend the classic comic book looks with just enough modern touches to bring them into a next-generation video game.
After the trailer reveal, the panel revealed that players would be able to grow the cast of characters “how you see fit” and that “you are becoming your own badass superhero,” not just Batman. Although they did not go into detail, this suggests a level of character customization common in modern action games, where players are allowed to play how they want and adjust their characters’ abilities to reflect that.
This was followed by an extended video showcasing actual gameplay.
Gotham Knights Gameplay
The open world design, the cinematic exploration, the combo-driven combat, and the major set pieces should look familiar to anyone who has played a recent Batman video game. However, the fact that you’re not playing as Batman is already a welcome change of pace, as is the inclusion of cooperative multiplayer. In the gameplay footage, we see Batgirl and Robin teaming up to take down Mr. Freeze and the developers confirmed later in the panel that the game will allow players to recreate the fantasy of a superhero team-up and work together. After the often lonely Arkham games, that sounds like a refreshing change of pace. It also means the characters can quip and banter, a trait uncommon for the brooding Batman but a cornerstone of his proteges.
The footage also reveals that while Batman may be gone, other key members of his support structure remain. Both detective Renee Montoya and loyal butler Alfred pop up on the radio to offer assistance. Batman may be gone, but this is very much a game that utilizes every piece of his legacy.
The rest of the panel was light on details, but the developers did promise an important home base location with “The Belfry” (the Batcave has been destroyed) and that the story’s mystery is “way bigger than the Court of Owls.” However, they did not specify which gaming consoles Gotham Knights will be available on. However, the 2021 release date suggests this is a next-gen game. So get ready to buy a PlayStation 5 or an Xbox Series X.
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