‘Gotham Knights’ is a solid DC game
After more than two years of waiting, we finally have the newest video game from DC. Set in the Batman universe Gotham Knights video games are separate from Batman Arkham franchise, which is intended to appeal to both fans of the previous Batman games as well as new players.
The Gotham Knights the game shares similarities with previous Batman entries, with elements such as the story, the characters available to play, and the open-world aspects players have seen before. This game already has some mixed reviews, but are the negative pre-release reviews justified, or is the game better than others are giving it credit for? Can it really just be an average game from the Batman universe? Let’s explore everything Gotham Knights has to offer.
[Note: While I am reviewing this game independently and honestly, it should be noted that a copy has been provided to me by WB Games Montreal for the purpose of this review. Warning: spoilers from the Gotham Knights game are below!]
Gotham Knights the story works very well, even without Batman
If you have followed all the teasers and previews for Gotham Knights, you’ll know that the video game follows Nightwing, Robin (Tim Drake), Batgirl and Red Hood, who are tasked with keeping Gotham safe after Batman’s death. Yes, Bruce Wayne is indeed dead in this game, and this is a key moment in our heroes’ history.
Bringing them together to defend the people of Gotham and ensure as many lives as possible is difficult, to say the least. Especially with the voice in the back of your head saying “You’re not as good as Batman and you never will be.” But even after his death, Bruce Wayne is still with these young heroes, helping them through every obstacle and guiding them to become better defenders of Gotham.
In the game, you have the choice to play one of four available characters. Every night you go on patrol, protecting the city from those who wish to harm the citizens of Gotham. Players can switch between outfits, weapons and heroes while in the Belfry (the new hideout of the Bat Family).
Play time as Dick Grayson/Nightwing: About 5-6 hours
Dick Grayson is my, and many others’, favorite Robin, but i Gotham Knights video games, he has left the Robin mantle behind. Dick gave up being Batman’s sidekick a long time ago when we met him Gotham Knights but has now returned from Blüdhaven to protect Gotham with his bat-family. He had fled Gotham to avoid being as destroyed as Batman, but has now returned with no fear of becoming him.
He is a strong and natural leader whose charisma inspires others to never give up. Dick is also very protective of everyone, which can make him an easy target. In the game, Nightwing is very acrobatic and fights with Dual Escrima Sticks along with his fighting style known as Kali.
Play time as Tim Drake/Robin: About 4-5 hours
Tim Drake is only 16 years old in Gotham Knights, but that doesn’t change the fact that he’s the most serious and intelligent hero in the whole group. He’s been Robin for a very short time, but Bruce’s death has affected him a lot. His grief has made him a hero who is more calculated with his decisions, toning down his recklessness.
He has mastered the Wushu fighting style, which helps make him an expert at the Quarter Staff he uses to fight crime. Among his very unique qualities, Tim is the skilled master detective of the group, noticing things that others would ignore.
Jason Todd/Red Hood
Playtime as Jason Todd/Red Hood: About 3-4 hours
Before becoming the Red Hood, Jason Todd was better known as the second Robin. He was killed by the Joker and later resurrected thanks to the Lazarus Pit. At first he was a villain who didn’t follow the rules, but with Batman’s help, Jason returns to the brighter side.
Although not quite a hero, Jason tries to honor Bruce’s memory and has become a better man and brother to his Bat-family. As in the cartoons, animations, and other games, the Red Hood uses modern firearms and explosives, as well as enhanced interrogation methods designed to frighten his opponents and make them flee before he gets to them.
Jason is very impulsive, decisive and ruthless. These traits, along with his physical strength, make him one of the hardest characters to control in the game. He is an expert in the Gun Kata fighting style, which is very impressive when using different combos later in the game.
Playtime as Barbara Gordon/Batgirl: About 8-9 hours
Barbara Gordon was Batgirl long before the game begins. She had her iconic accident when the Joker shot her, but now after rehabilitation and spinal implants her health is back to normal. Batgirl is a tech support, strategist and Bat-family planning expert. Her coding and hacking skills, along with her eidetic memory, make her a worthy addition to the group, as well as a playable character.
She has mastered kickboxing as her fighting style and uses Tonfa as her main weapon to fight criminals on the streets. Batgirl is more of a tank in the Bat Family because her health and the damage she takes can be manipulated to near-op levels, where you can defeat criminals quickly while retaining a large amount of health.
Game Gotham Knights video games in co-op, if you can
When it comes to defending Gotham City, if you can, save it with a friend. This game offers players a co-op mode where they can play alongside their friends and progress through the story together.
I haven’t played much Gotham Knights co-op (only about 2-3 hours), but it’s incredibly satisfying when you and your friend plan how to attack criminals or divide tasks to prevent hostages from being blown up by bombs.
It also helps a lot when fighting big bosses like Harley Quinn, Clayface and Man-Bat. It felt like an actual dedicated RPG. I felt like Nightwing when I tried to explain to my friend who was playing Red Hood why it’s not good to just surprise criminals.
After completing certain challenges (both solo and co-op), players can unlock additional costumes and Knighthood abilities for our heroes, which should make traveling around Gotham much easier. For Batgirl, it’s Batman’s cape that allows her to glide through the air, Robin can teleport a medium distance using a teleportation device from the Justice League’s Watchtower, Red Hood uses spirit platforms, and Nightwing can fly with his flying trapeze.
Other Batman Vs Gotham Knights
Compared to other Batman games, such as Batman: Arkham Asylum or other games in the Arkham series, Lego Batman, Counting speech games and other legacy projects, Gotham Knights is still a very solid video game. It has many faults, but there are also many positives that cover them, which is very rare, especially when it comes to action-adventure RPGs like this.
What works best in Gotham Knights is the story, a variety of suits (some of which we can further modify), the chemistry between the characters, especially in terms of their relationship with Alfred, and the bosses to further develop our characters.
Gotham Knights is a fun, simple and at some moments very emotional game to play, which makes it an even more amazing experience. Although it can feel repetitive at times, you can still find multiple ways and different scenarios to go through it. There is also the ability to replay the game many times because each mission has different dialogues and situations depending on which character you play.
My rating for this game:
★★★★ / ♥♥♥♥
Gotham Knights is currently available on Playstation 5, Xbox Series S/X and on PC. Have you played it? Let us know your thoughts on our Discord or social media!
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