— Gotham Knights (@GothamKnights) October 7, 2022
The Bat is dead, so too is Commissioner James Gordon and it won’t be long until the whole of Gotham City knows. This crime-infested city is already on its knees with the mere presence of Batman’s absence. So, it’s done for the knights of Gotham to step up to defend the city where Bruce Wayne gave his life for.
The Gotham Knights must save their city from destruction and stop the criminal underworld from emerging from the shadows. But first, they must investigate the death of Batman and put an end to a secret society known as the Court of Owls from ruling their home with fear and tyranny. Batgirl, Robin, Nightwing and Red Hood are the heroes that Gotham City needs.
At its core, Gotham Knights plays very familiarly to the Batman Arkham series. You beat up bad guys, dodge attacks, put together some combos and hopefully, bring down the villainous scum in style. However, while Gotham Knights feels somewhat familiar to the Arkham series, it doesn’t quite pack the same punch.
For starters, the pace of the combat is much slower. This takes some getting used to, but overall, it’s fine in that respect. To be honest, the slower-paced action probably suits the locked 30fps. Yes, Gotham Knights is locked at 30fps, so it’s not quite the super-smooth 60fps that has become a new-gen standard. I’m not defending this game being 30fps, because, at the very least, I feel it should hit 45fps. However, combat is still fun, despite lacking that added oomph!
Each of the playable characters has its own distinct style. Batgirl relies more so on her gadgets. Robin favours stealth, Nightwing with his acrobatics and Red Hood loots to whack enemies in the face with his guns. I’d say it’s worth playing each character at various points in the game, as each will have its own strategic advantage and it also helps mix the action up a little. Your heroes will also traverse the city via the Batcycle, as well as a very handy zipline. As you progress in the campaign, Batgirl and Nightwing will unlock the ability to glide via their own unique means.
Batgirl, Robin, Nightwing and Red Hood will also earn their own XP, as well as unlock new abilities via the skill tree. Furthermore, Gotham Knights has a plethora of skins, and weapon upgrades to acquire. You can even craft new items and upgrades too. Now, there are various crafting materials, more than I can remember. However, just go with the flow and you’ll acquire materials from missions as well as hidden crates throughout Gotham City. Hopefully, the crafting materials won’t be a gateway for unnecessary microtransactions.
— Gotham Knights (@GothamKnights) October 7, 2022
As well as the main story, there are plenty of side activities in Gotham City, many with added interesting story content. Side missions can range from stopping civilians from being attacked, banks being robbed or helping police, which following the death of James Gordon, most will hate you for whatever reason. Gotham Knights also lean a lot into investigations, which is something that I appreciate and certainly fits Batman’s “world’s greatest detective” tagline with your base of operations being the Belfry.
One of the strongest aspects of Gotham Knights is its audio design. Perhaps not too much the voice acting and writing. For the most part, that feels cheesy, even for games based on comic book characters. Thankfully, however, the sounds of Gotham are wonderfully put together. Gotham City is riddled with crime and corruption, and you can hear its tainted heartbeat at every turn. Police sirens, gunshots, fearful pedestrians and even the wind gushing as you speed through the streets on the Batcycle. You can hear it all and it’s even more immersive with any decent headset.
There has been a lot of negative talk about Gotham Knights prior to its release. Some of it may be warranted, while some of it perhaps not. Gotham Knights don’t look or perform all that much as a new-gen game. This can be considered quite bad, considering that the last-gen versions have been ditched.
In this new generation, we’re already used to 60fps and 4K gaming, and that’s right. I think at the very least, 60fps should be the new-gen standard. Sadly, however, Gotham Knights aren’t the only game to fall short in that department. That being said, despite running at 30fps and not looking as good as most other AAA new-gen titles, Gotham Knights is still a lot of fun.
We get to play as unsung heroes of the Batman family, each with their own stories to tell and their own unique ways of defending their city. I know, even compared to the likes of Batman: Arkham Knight, a game that was released back in 2015, Gotham Knights is somewhat lacking in the visuals department. However, visuals aren’t everything and while 60fps is often preferred, it’s not the be-all and end-all.
Don’t get me wrong, I much prefer 60fps, but Gotham Knights is still a steady 30fps nonetheless. What I’m trying to say is, that don’t write Gotham Knights off. This is a fun game to play solo and even better with friends. It would be easy to listen to the negative whispers, but if you like the DC universe, Gotham Knights might be worth giving a chance. It won’t win any Game of the Year awards, but it still has charm. Be the hero that this game needs because Gotham Knights is an underdog story worth experiencing.
- “Heroic Assault” a four-player co-op will arrive via a free update on November 29th, 2022.