Gotham City faces dreadful times, as its protector Batman meets his destiny after the heroic fight against Ra’s al Ghul. Is there anyone with enough balls to take up a fight with Batman’s strongest antagonists, including Freeze and Penguin? Luckily for Gotham, here come Wayne’s sidekicks, who call themselves Gotham Knights.
Seven long years have passed since the premiere of the last Batman game. Ironically, when it finally comes out, Batman himself dies at the very beginning. There are no doubts, he’s dead and gone forever. Four young superheroes take over, which are: Batgirl, Nightwing, Robin and Red Hood. Brought together by pain, our heroes have to deal with the last case, which had been investigated by their demised teacher. It’s gonna be a tough nut to crack, since Batman’s obituary gone viral, so, you know, when the bat’s away, the wrongdoers will play…
At this point, it’s worth mentioning that Gotham Knights story doesn’t revolve around the Arkham trilogy, which is to be continued in the forthcoming Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League. Gotham Knights plot is an individual approach of WB Games Montreal – a decent approach I would say.
Gotham Knights story does the trick. First of all, I have to praise the boldness of the developers, who decided to make up a Batmanless story within Batman’s world. To my mind, the result is astonishing – as the main protagonists make it up to us. Gotham Knights stands for an intriguing hero team, and, as in real life, members have issues of their own. This approach makes the characters more than likeable, and, thanks to it, the whole story seems extremely engaging.
What’s more, the developers also paid a great deal of attention to the antagonists. You’ll get to know Penguin, and learn surprising facts about him, or come across Harley Quinn, who offers vague cooperation, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg, considering bad characters!
Despite what the title itself suggests, Gotham Knights gameplay doesn’t allow you to switch between characters in the real time, as in Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy. So, you pick one out of four heroes, and switching becomes possible between the tasks/patrols.
As for the Knights themselves, the controls are much alike, however, there some differences. Slim, but agile Robin is great at sneaking contrary to Red Hood, who’s powerful, and takes down enemies like a ripe plum. On the other hand, Nightwing is the best one to choose for a co-op game. As for the Batgirl, her espionage skills often come in handy, and I must admit, she was the character I played the most.
The fight system itself is pretty decent –it’s a variation of system known from the Arkham series. Your character smoothly gets to the enemies; the punches and kicks are quick and heavy. Nevertheless, enemies do their best to make your life miserable. Watch out for Molotov cocktails, you’re gonna see lots of them, not to mention the artillery and tough guys, who are able to squeeze the guts out of you. Between the regular fights, you have to face the bosses – however, it’s not a strong point of this game, as almost every boss confrontation comes down to a mundane depleting enemy’s life bar.
Technical issues are the main downside of Gotham Knights. The version for PS 5 and Xbox consoles works with only 30 FPS. It’s a pity, considering modern standards. Graphical masterpieces such as Horizon: Forbidden West or Assassin’s Creed Valhalla run smoothly with 60 FPS.
As for the graphics, well, it seems that Arkham Knight, which was released 7 years ago and which surprises with its graphical works till this very day, looked way better. Gotham City lacks of details, it doesn’t stand out from the crowd of other metropolises. WB Montreal Games could have done better; their artwork lacks the spark.
I played Gotham Knights on my PS5 console. PC gamers have to mind demanding technical requirements:
So, what’s the verdict? Well, it’s hard to give a clear-cut opinion about Gotham Knights. Gamers, who looked up to it, hoping for it to be a decent successor of The Arkham Trilogy, would rather be disappointed – it’s just not the same league, considering entertainment, budget and artwork. However, if you’re still looking a good comic book story, and don’t mind those pitiful 30 FPS, you’re not gonna regret the purchase. Gotham Knights will give you several dozens hours of decent gameplay.
The game is available for PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X|S consoles and on Steam
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