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Batman is dead, crime is running rampant in the streets and an unknown organization is running Gotham from the shadows. It’s up to Batgirl, Nightwing, Red Hood and Robin to pick up where Batman left off. The Knights must rise up and defend the city in Gotham Knights by WB Games Montreal.

Info:
Developer: WB Games Montreal
Publisher: WB Games
Platforms: PC, Playstation 5, Xbox Series X
Release Date: October 21st, 2022
*Played on Xbox Series X and PC*

Gotham Knights by WB Games Montreal
The Batcycle is your main source of transportation if you need to get around quickly.

Next Time on Gotham Knights!

Gotham Knights kicks off just moments before Batman is killed in an epic battle with Ra’s al Ghul. Just before his death, Batman is able to send out a signal to his four proteges and he detonates the batcave with Ra’s and himself still inside. Nightwing, Batgirl, Robin and Red Hood arrive on scene and after burying Bruce, the four set out to discover more about his death. Quickly learning Batman had been investigating a secret organization, known as the Court of Owls, the Knights intend to finish what he started.

Without spoiling too much, Gotham Knights tells a predictable story. While some things did come as a surprise, like a legitimate Penguin who helps the Knights in their endeavors, it’s easy to see where things are going. This is a story involving Batman, the League of Shadows and the Court of Owls. There’s only so many paths for the story to go. The Knights have their own moments on the side but again, it’s often in predictable ways. They all seem to suffer from their own trauma, like Jason Todd’s resurrection or Barbara’s relationship with her father and help one another overcome those issues, thus growing as a team.

With that being said however, I felt like the side cases outshine the main storyline. It’s just a bummer that they only came up with three side villains for the Knights to pursue. These villains consist of Harley Quinn, Mister Freeze and Clayface and they’re all doing their own thing. Quinn is going through a sort of… rebranding while Freeze is mourning the loss of Batman in his own cold hearted way. Despite his case being the shortest, I felt Clayface had some of the coolest moments, like when you pursue him through Gotham. It’s one of the few moments where the villains actually interact with Gotham. It’s both comical and paints Clayface in a terrifying light.

Gotham Knights by WB Games Montreal
The heroes can be customized with skins or you can tweak their equipped suits.

When The Bat’s Away, Gotham Knights Will Play:

With the death of Batman spreading around town and the Knights often confirming the rumor with villainous head honchos, crime is running rampant. The Freaks, Mob, Regulators, Court, League, corrupt cops, you name it, all start hitting the streets when night falls. Gotham being Gotham, crime is endless and that’s a good thing because the combat system is one of the few things Knights gets right.

In Gotham Knights, combat is similar to that of the Arkham games but slower and more reliant on an RPG-esque leveling and gear system. Each Knight has their own perks to set them apart from the others. For instance, Robin’s skill trees are more catered toward stealth, while Batgirl is tankier. For me, I liked playing as Red Hood and Batgirl but I spent quite a bit of time with each Knight.

The combat really shines when you play it with a friend. Having another Knight with you, out stopping crime and taking down the Court really does enhance the gameplay. Players aren’t tethered to one another, so each player can be where they want when they’re not in the Belfry or on a story mission.

Another thing I felt brought gameplay to a grinding halt was the way you unlock momentum abilities. Most of the abilities are unlocked by leveling up and spending skill points on new perks. These make your heroes tougher and more efficient. Momentum abilities are unlocked by defeating specific enemies and hunting them down is a grind. Each hero needs to do this on their own as completing the mission they’re assigned to only counts towards that specific hero.

Gotham Knights by WB Games Montreal
Interrogating enemies is key to discovering new premeditated crimes.

Growing up in Gotham City:

Gotham City is an open world and players aren’t restricted from exploring its crime riddled streets and alleyways. It’s full of side activities to do like time trials, collectibles and of course crimes. Random crimes are signified by little markers on the map. There’s usually an enemy you can interrogate at these locations which when you collect enough clues, may lead you to predetermined crimes.

Predetermined crimes are committed on a larger scale and are accompanied by a set of objectives. You might need to save kidnapped civilians, or stop a gang from hacking into Gotham’s electrical grid. Completing these moments will get you experience, materials for crafting and on occasion, new gear.

One thing I did not like in Gotham Knights however, was the crafting system. The UI is obnoxious to navigate and crafting items outside of the Belfry, requires you to go back to the Belfry to retrieve them. In doing so, you end your day and lose any crimes you might have had on the map.

It felt strange to me that Batman had time to hide batarangs and set up intricate rooftop races but couldn’t hide some 3D printers for later use if he and his crew needed something in a pinch. Thankfully, you can unlock Fast Travel points to alleviate some of the travel issues within the game.

Gotham Knights by WB Games Montreal
The Belfry is where you’ll regroup, resupply and select your characters.

Foggy Knights in Gotham City:

Gotham City is absolutely gorgeous in Gotham Knights. The lighting is fantastic and the game sports some lovely looking weather effects. Depending on the material of the suit, rain water will drip off and the tallest skyscrapers are enveloped by clouds of fog.

The character models are also great as well, though I felt Jason Todd’s design is the weakest. For a man built like a tank, it’s odd that Batgirl fills that role more than Redhood does. Thankfully there is some degree of customization. My favorite design is probably Mr. Freeze, as he’s upgraded his cryo suit into a more menacing looking mech suit.

Performance wise, Gotham Knight is marred by issues. The game does not offer any performance options and it’s capped at 30 Frames Per Second on consoles. The PC version is able to run the game at 60 frames but that platform has plenty of optimization issues as well.

I played the game on the Xbox Series X and the game ran fine for the most part. However, when you’re going too fast or entering specific areas, you really can feel those frame drops. I would gladly disable ray tracing as well as all the fancy lighting and weather effects for a 60 fps option.

Gotham Knights by WB Games Montreal
Gotham City is a gorgeous place to beat people up in.

Gotham Knights: Is it Worth Being Knighted?

Without comparing it to the Arkham franchise, I personally found Gotham Knights to be an enjoyable experience. It has plenty of issues but I feel like it will make Batman fans happy for the most part. Afterall, it is rare that we get a superhero game that doesn’t feature the biggest names in the industry.

If you can get past the game’s performance issues, it’s a fun game. The story may be lackluster but do you need a good reason to punch a bad guy in the face? If you’re on the fence, at least consider picking the game up when it goes on sale, especially if you have friends to co-op it with you.

Review Disclosure Statement: Gotham Knights was provided to us by WB Games for review purposes. For more information on how we review video games and other media/technology, please review our Review Guideline/Scoring Policy for more info. 

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Gotham Knights Review – Lock Me up in Arkham

Gotham Knights is a fun, if not shoddily made super beat em up that is best experienced with a friend or three.

Pros

  1. Combat is fun.
  2. Co-op enhances the gameplay.
  3. Customizable gear and transmog system.
  4. Gotham itself is pretty.
  5. Unending crime.

Cons

  1. Performance issues
  2. Lackluster, predictable story
  3. Crafting system
  4. Messy UI
  5. Gotham just doesn’t feel alive.