After Rocksteady’s Batman Arkham Knight, WB Games Montreal is releasing the next installment to WB’s Batverse Gotham Knights on 25 Oct 2022 and is currently available for pre-ordering, but should you ?
Let’s find out by analyzing what we know so far
Gotham Knights is a reboot to WB's Batverse and isn’t a sequel to the Arkham series.
Set in a different verse where Batman is missing (or dead?) and Jim Gordon is dead, crime lords of Gotham are acting freely and it’s on the Bat family to restore order to the city.
Gotham’s legend The Court of the Owl also seems to have a major role in the story most likely the main antagonist of the story and might be the reason for Jim and Bruce’s fate (fingers crossed).
Playing with Batgirl should feel almost identical as playing with Batman from the Arkham series. This include using an arsenal of gadgets to fight enemies and solve puzzles.
Robin has access to the Justice League’s teleportation satellite so he can teleport at a short distance which should help in stealth based combat other than that Robin’s fight style shouldn’t be any different than Batgirl’s.
What is this, Fortnite ???
See the similarities!!!!
Anyways, Nightwing’s combat style has lot of acrobats so players who mostly dodge and isolate an enemy from their group to take them down should feel comfortable to play with Nightwing.
4. Red Hood:
I don’t know how many of these weird surprises I’m going to see in this game.
According to this universe’s lore he gained this ability called “Soul Leap” after getting resurrected (Yes, he was dead) by an assassin. Soul Leap allows Red Hood to jump in midair by creating a floor under him formed by his own soul energy.
This is how Red Hood makes up for the lack of cape or a Fortnite glider to travel across the map.
Red Hood’s fight style should be a mixture of hand to hand combat and gunfights and should be compatible with gamers with a head-on approach to the game.
Looking at the gameplay demos the combat feels very much scripted and is a let down to the fans of the free flow combat from the Arkhamverse. Careful observation should allow you to see that punches and kicks actually don’t land precisely on the enemies but rather a flash of light is used as illusion of hitting something whether you are jumping, shooting or dogging the flash light always kicks in.
As you can see that the trailing light from Nightwing’s batons activates just to create an effect of free flow combat.
The funny thing in this scene is that the thug lying on the ground but still somehow gets hit by the batons in midair which again shows how much scripted the animations are.
The structures in the game world also seem to be unnatural and feel like as if they were forced fully placed by the developers so as to force the player play the game as they intended it to be played. For example
Look at this inclination on which Batgirl is about to fly her Batcycle, do you really think Mr. Freeze personally came to that spot and created that ramp so that Batgirl can fly her cycle to the building ? Feels so unnatural right ?
Honestly when you try to impose your methods on the player it actually takes away the freedom from the player ruins the natural aspect of an open world game.
As stated earlier in the Batgirl and Robin gameplay demo, players can only play in solos or duos which is also confirmed by PlayStation Store’s listing of the game.
It would have been nice if WB allowed a maximum of 4 players play as team taking the role of their favorite Knight but I guess the game structure solos and duos oriented so WB doesn’t allow more than that.
The game has a generic RPG level up system which involves gaining experience points to create and upgrade your gear or add skill points to the character.
The environments and especially the character models have a huge polygon count which makes them incredibly detailed and good looking.
Characters have genuine human expressions on their faces and voice acting is also splendid thus making the models behave less like robots.
In my opinion that the graphics are kind of Telltale like and the animations are also a bit broken, i.e, lacks smooth/fluidity (as I showed you before in the gameplay section where Nightwing was hitting the thug with his baton).
The saturation and contrast of the colours are very offset, objects in darker environments still look crystal clear as if they are placed in a light room.
The new art style along with the neon theme makes the game look cartoony.
The members of the Bat family are crime fighting vigilantes but here they look like a group of street punks about to take upon the city.
There is a huge disconnect between the seriousness and the visual aspect of the game, the game tells a story of an evil legend now turned into reality, actively terrorizing Gotham after the loss of its protectors whereas from an visual standpoint it has too much funk
This ultimately creates an ambiguous atmosphere which makes it difficult to stay interested in the the game.
Music and sound design plays a major role in building atmosphere but it shall be discussed later when we have more info about it.
In my honest opinion the main selling point of this game will be its storyline as I’m not very impressed with neither the gameplay nor the graphics. I don’t mean the latter two as terrible but from an Arkham series fan’s perspective it’s a down grade for me on those aspects.
The game is hard to recommend as of now solely on the basis of the story as we only have the skeleton of it. If you are someone who chooses to play their games for the storyline then my recommendation for you is to wait till launch and avoid pre-ordering it.
If you haven’t played any of the Arkham games before and this would be your first DC game or you liked Spiderman PS4 then you can definitely pre-order the game.