The new Bat-game from WB Games Montreal “Gotham Knights” had a whole slew of announcements. The long awaited follow up to the acclaimed Arkham series puts emphasis on the extended Batfamily. While we had seen a preview of the overall aesthetic of the game, this is the first time we see gameplay in action. The results are both exciting and for some purists, a little concerning.
[Editor’s Note: “Gotham Knights” the game is not the same as “Gotham Knights” the series, coming from The WB.]
The gameplay of the game looks very familiar to fans of Batman games like “Arkham Asylum” and “Arkham Knight.” In the trailer hosted by game director Geoff Ellenor, we first see Nightwing gliding in to fight some thugs on a rooftop. The fighting style of Nightwing looks comics-accurate, as he uses acrobatic moves to bring swift justice to the faces of bad guys.
Things get a little weirder once we get a look at Red Hood in a sequence designed to show off Co-op play. As explained by Ellenor, because Red Hood doesn’t have fancy tech to cross great distances, he instead uses magic to generate platforms in mid air. He then uses those platforms to make it to Nightwing’s position.
Now, in the comics, Red Hood is not a character with any magic abilities. While his alter ego, Jason Todd, was brought back from the dead through magic, it didn’t translate to powers. He relies on his guns and gadgets to get himself through most situations. What “Gotham Knights“ retcons in is that his resurrection allows him to create psychic constructs which help him keep up with the others. In practice, the visual looks a little goofy, as he leaps around all willy nilly to go fight.
What’s more, while we see Red Hood using his guns to attack enemies, the trailer makes it clear that he shoots non-lethal rounds. Again, it makes sense in theory cause why fight anyone if you can just gun them down? But in the game, you see him fire off rounds into peoples faces or shoot bombs strapped to bad guys, which looks really odd. On top of all that, we see footage of Jason out of the mask and he looks significantly more jacked than usual. Put all this together and it barely feels like the same character.
This is still an early look at the game and we still haven’t seen how Robin and Batgirl play. However, at this stage, I have real questions about the direction of the game. While its allowed to make changes to make a fun game, I worry that doing too much will make the fanboy in me too annoyed to actually play it. Time will tell.
“Gotham Knights“ is open for preorders for PS5, Xbox Series X|S, and PC. It is due out October 25th, 2022.