After months of teasers and rumours teasing the arrival of a new Batman ‘Arkham style’ game swirling over social media, Warner Bros Montreal has finally revealed the highly anticipated Gotham Knights trailer today at DC Fandome. Leading up to the trailer’s reveal, developer website http://www.r3dakt3d.com has been dropping hints this past week that alluded towards a potential Court of Owls centred game. While much of the buzz had audiences convinced that they were going to see a trailer showcasing something along those lines, the first trailer installment promoting Gotham Knights focused largely on the all-new roster of playable characters instead.
Based on the 4-minute trailer, we learn right off the top that Batman is gone. Authorities confirm they found the body of Bruce Wayne in an unknown wreckage. But prior to his disappearance, he leaves a heart wrenching, yet inspiring video message to the bat family, encouraging them to take up the role as the new protectors of Gotham City! With this new motivator, the trailer introduces each playable character: Nightwing, Redhood, Batgirl and Robin while showcasing some rather slick fighting abilities at the same time.
As a massive fan of previous Arkham games, the aforementioned characters were only available to play in short compact DLC stories after the main story was completed. It’s very refreshing to see that they are now part of a larger story, and not in taking a role in piece meal side missions. In a refreshing new twist, Gotham Knights takes away the safety of Batman. Developers claim that the player can now choose to grow each character as they see fit as they progress through the game. This completely shakes up the traditional Batman Arkham style game, and at the same time, helps to tell a new story that I for one can not wait to jump into.
Based on the trailer and on early gameplay footage, here is what we know. The fighting mechanics look great and are highly reminiscent of the previous Arkham games. If controls (for the most part) have stayed the same, this game will be easy to pick up and start playing right away. The smaller the learning curve the better, especially when working with more than one character. Furthermore, while watching Batgirl sneak around Dr. Freeze’s domain it also looks like all of the main elements of stealth and covert takedown have been kept constant. Those with Arkham Batman experience will be able to jump into this game without any issues of learning the game’s style and playability.
To continue, the character models for each of our heroes look absolutely amazing! The LED highlights on weapons and costumes add a nice sleek touch to their presence and stance. Looking closer at each character, it seems that each one of our heroes demonstrates distinct unique abilities as well. Batgirl seems to highlight or accent each of her power movies with an electrical charge. This could come in handy as a massive takedown move when dealing with larger groups of enemies. She also seems more agile than her cohorts. Robin appears to be able to use cloaking/teleportation technology to leap from building to building, which I can see would come in handy during some of the harder missions where serious precision stealth is required. Red Hood (swoon) still appears to be the awesome badass vigilante honing his marksmanship skills yielding dual firearms to get the job done. Finally, Nightwing seems like more of an acrobatic fighter as he dawns his escrima sticks.
In terms of transversal, it seems like the batcycle supersedes the batmobile in this next instalment of the series. This is a refreshing take as I’m sure everyone is tired of different looking batmobiles being the main source of transportation. Hopefully, the batbike’s controls are easy to pick up, and that it also comes equipped with interesting attack abilities.
Clearly, the game appears to support single player (hot switching between characters on the fly) and co-op modes. What remains to be seen however is if you can take any character into any mission or if each mission is tied to specific heroes. Are maps structured so that only certain characters can play them, or are they dynamic enough to suit any character’s ability loadout? The trailer shows many partnership scenes. Here is hoping that the player can mix and match heroes as needed while selecting missions.
Gotham Knights is slated to drop in 2021, and I’m sure WB: Montreal Games will be releasing more footage as we get closer to the date.