It’s been awhile since we heard from Gotham Knights. After the game was delayed from a 2021, things got quiet until last October when we got a new trailer and release date. However, following an yesterday, we got a 13-minute long gameplay video today courtesy of WB Games. The new Gotham Knights gameplay showcase focuses on Nightwing, aka the original Robin (Dick Grayson), as well as Jason Todd, the second Robin who died and came back as Red Hood.
We get to see a lot of the moment to moment gameplay of Gotham Knights in this video, with a particular emphasis on how these two characters play. The video is narrated by Geoff Ellenor, the game’s director, and begins with Nightwing on patrol in the city as he stops a group of criminals from finishing a data breach. Like most open-world superhero games, you can stop crimes throughout the world.
Taking on the streets
As Nightwing makes his way to the scene of the crime, we are told that each of the four playable characters will have their own unique modes of transportation. Nightwing uses the Flying Trapeze, a glider that lets him soar through the skies of Gotham. It’s similar to gliding with Batman’s cape in the Arkham series. Nightwing’s combat style focuses on acrobatics and agility. He flips around the battlefield more like Spider-Man than Batman ever did.
We then get to see Red Hood’s mode of transportation, Mystical Leap, in which he creates jump pads under himself using his “soul energy.” It’s implied that he received this ability after being brought back from the dead by the League of Assassins, led by Ra’s al Ghul. I’m pretty sure this ability is something made just for this game, and not taken from the comics. But I could be wrong. Red Hood uses guns, so in typical Arkham-style ludonarrative fashion, Red Hood’s bullets are non-lethal. Successful attacks and dodges fill up a super meter, which can then be used for a powerful takedown move, a la Arkham.
Save the city, solo or with a friend
You can play the game solo, or team up with friends for two-player co-op. There are also special two-character takedowns, which adds a cool visual flair to combat encounters. Gotham Knights missions follows two of the four characters. In co-op, you or a friend can play as either. There was speculation that there would be four-player co-op after details for the supported feature were spotted on the PlayStation Store. But that has since been updated.
Once the crime is resolved, we see Red Hood taking to the streets of Gotham on the bat cycle — a vehicle that all characters have access to — as he chases down a stolen van. As the vehicles speed down the streets, we can see a sign for Daggett Industries, a nod to the character Roland Daggett, a crime boss from Batman: The Animated Series. We then get to see a little more of Red Hood in action, showing how he can attach a concussive bomb to enemies, which he can then manually shoot to detonate. It is really cool, and it could add a lot of strategy to enemy encounters.
Tools of the trade
Red Hood also has access to a standard Arkham-style grappling hook. The gadget is something I would imagine all characters will have access to, but we didn’t get confirmation for that today. We then move on to the Belfry, the makeshift Batcave for the four heroes. Here, players can access the Batcomputer, which lets you track missions, begin story quests, and upgrade your equipment and craft new gear. We also get a small exchange between Jason and Dick, dealing with the aftermath of Batman’s death. Which I’m sure will totally stick.
Fast-travel is also in the game, courtesy of the “Fast Bat,” which seems identical to the Batplane from Arkham Origins. We then join Nightwing in the middle of a story mission, sneaking into a stronghold of the Court of Owls, the main antagonists of the game. Nightwing engages in a brief stealth segment, taking out two guards on patrol. Just like the Arkham games, there are two styles of takedowns, silent and ambush, the latter being louder and drawing more attention. Detective vision also makes a comeback in the form of “Augmented Reality Vision,” and serves the same purpose.
Infiltrating the Court
The scene immediately cuts to another fight, where Nightwing showcases his elemental shockwave ability. In this instance it has a freeze ability, which does what you imagine it does. After accessing a secret staircase, we get deeper into the Court’s facility and see the ensuing fight playout with Nightwing and Red Hood. It demonstrates that any character can handle these missions, resulting in different methods of play to complete the mission. The Gotham Knights gameplay showcase ends with Red Hood taking on a Talon Gladiator, one of the Court’s superhuman assassins. Afterwards, Red Hood attempts to rescue a kidnapping victim, but is trapped by the Court.
Despite being the upcoming DC game not directly connected to the Arkham series (that would be Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League), it is very apparent that Gotham Knights takes a lot of influence. Thankfully, combat and traversal aren’t identical carbon copies, as they do have their own unique spins to complement having four different characters. It is unknown when we’ll see Gotham Knights next, but I imagine it will be in the form of another gameplay showcase. It will most likely feature the game’s other two playable characters, Barbara Gordon, Batgirl, and Tim Drake, Robin. The game is available now for pre-order, which includes a bonus skin for the Batcycle.
Gotham Knights is scheduled to hero-land on the PC on October 25.