It’s been five years since the departure of Bruce Wayne/Batman as the silent protector and the watchful guardian of Gotham City. Very soon, the streets of Gotham will need protection once more, but this time, but this time, it won’t be from the Batman himself, but his four protégés in the upcoming Gotham Knights by WB Montreal.
The developers of Batman: Arkham Origins seems to have fully taken the reins of the Batman Arkham series from Rocksteady, who has all hands on deck on Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League. Gotham Knights was long rumoured to feature a heavy multiplayer component.
From what we’ve seen in the cinematic and gameplay trailers revealed at the DC FanDome event, this seems to be the case, and will no doubt appeal to the fantasies of many Bat-fans who have witnessed echoes of it in the likes of Arkham Knight and Arkham City, where Nightwing and Robin would join Batman in kicking criminal butt.
In Gotham Knights, players will take control of four of Bruce Wayne’s most trusted companions in Dick Grayson/Nightwing, Tim Drake/Robin, Barbara Gordon/Batgirl, and Jason Todd/Red Hood. The cinematic trailer reveals that Bruce Wayne is presumed dead and gone from Gotham (we imagine sometime after the events of Arkham Knight, though WB Montreal has to confirm whether this game will take place in a separate timeline altogether), and so his four wards will have to take charge of things from here on out.
If we’ve learnt anything from a certain other big-name superhero co-op action-adventure game, it’s that you’ll get to take to the streets and skylines of Gotham with possibly up to three other friends, each fully controlling one other member of the Bat-family in a fully-cooperative gameplay loop.
The trailers both display just how distinct each character is from one another, most strikingly utilising their signature weapons to devastating effect. Robin swings his bo staff around expertly, tripping enemies and knocking them senseless from reach; Batgirl uses her tonfas charged with electricity to stun her foes; Nightwing capitalises on his acrobatics alongside his iconic steel batons; and Red Hood takes on a no-nonsense approach by shooting enemies in the face with his double handguns.
How exactly distinct they will be from one another remains to be seen, but WB Montreal will need to ensure they all have to be, otherwise it would be just a game with four Batmen running around.
Another huge reason to be excited for Gotham Knights is the fact that the Court of Owls will be making their long-awaited debut in a video game. First created in 2011 by Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo in their now-iconic Batman run for DC Comics, the Court of Owls is a shadowy secret society borne out of Gotham City’s wealthiest families. The Court possesses the supernatural ability of being able to recruit members into their ranks by mummifying them within the deepest bowels of Gotham City.
Just exactly how they are involved in the main story and how they might be involved in Bruce Wayne’s death/disappearance remains to be seen, but we’d like to think it’s too convenient for the Dark Knight to truly be dead and gone. Hence the slogan “Capture the Knight”, we suppose.
In any case, Gotham Knights is shaping up to be a massive new title for Bat-fans to gorge upon once it releases sometime in 2021.
Marion has a serious RPG addiction. Sometimes it bleeds into real life; he forgets to sleep because he thinks he has a Witcher’s body clock. Forgive him in advance if he suddenly blurts out terms such as “Mind Flayer” and “Magic Missile”, because never once does he stop thinking about his next Dungeons & Dragons game.