Gotham Knights, the new open-world Bat-Family RPG (not to be confused with the identically-titled TV show), is almost upon us. The AAA video game from WB Games Montreal releases this Friday, October 21, on PS5, Xbox X/S, and PC.
Here’s the latest cinematic trailer, showcasing the somethings-to-prove for the four main playable characters: Batgirl, Robin (Tim Drake), Red Hood, and Nightwing.
Depending on who and how you ask, Gotham Knights is a spiritual sequel/cousin/successor of the massively-popular Arkham game trilogy from Rocksteady Studios, and the more direct progeny of WB Montreal’s Arkham Origins. Set in a Gotham City where Batman and Commissioner Gordon have died, it’s up to four members of the Bat-Family to fill his cowl.
HOLY SIX REASONS I’M SUPER-LOOKING FORWARD TO THIS GAME, BAT-FAM!
– For those of us let down by the recent cancellation of the Batgirl film, this game will be a welcome scratch of an itch. All four characters were playable in 2015’s Arkham Knight as DLC story missions, and can be played in the various Injustice games, but this is the first AAA game in which one can play them as featured protagonists in the campaign.
– We no longer hurt ourselves by trying to hold DC accountable for which Batman universe we are in at any particular minute — let’s just recap, factually: the trilogy of Arkham games, starring Batman, were widely regarded for revitalizing the superhero genre in video games. Gotham Knights does not claim to be part of the “Arkham-verse,” although its premise starts with the same story point as the end of the Arkham trilogy; Batman has passed away, and Gotham City’s future is uncertain.
– The studio has promised that four-player co-op gameplay will be patched into the game shortly after launch, making it ideal for gathering with your three nerd friends and playing as, y’know, ALL THE BAT-PEOPLE. ALL AT ONCE, with the Prince album bumping on the Bluetooth!
– There’s been a lot of healthy discussion about Nightwing’s butt. I can’t get into it here.
– The fact that Robin’s method of traversal involves the Justice League teleporter implies that the other members of the Justice League are not not in this universe.
– The announcement trailer for Gotham Knights premiered in August 2020, during the early peak of the pandemic, a time when immersive video games were of much amplified importance to me (and I’m sure, to many of us).
For that sentimental reason, the arrival of the game feels like the fulfilment of a small promise, that little mantra in the back of our 2020 heads: Eventually we’ll get to the other side of this.