Gotham Knights made a splashy appearance at the recent DC FanDome event by dropping a game trailer that opens with the death of Bruce Wayne. In a shake-up to the traditional Batman game formula, players will not be playing as the Caped Crusader, but instead as four of his proteges: Nightwing, Batgirl, Red Hood, and Robin. But will Gotham Knights go even further in breaking with tradition and be a live service game?
Gotham Knights is an open world action RPG, and is completely unconnected to Batman: Arkham Knight, the last major standalone Batman game to be released. Nightwing, Batgirl, Red Hood, and Robin will all be playable characters, and the game will allow either solo play or two-player online co-op. Thus far the only two confirmed villains are Mr. Freeze and the cabal known as the Court of Owls.
While details surrounding how the gameplay of Gotham Knights will actually work are currently scarce, signs indicate that Gotham Knights will be a contained story game. The biggest indicator comes from Creative Director Patrick Redding during his narration in the Gotham Knights gameplay walkthrough. Redding, when speaking about the game’s co-op, says “An important goal for Gotham Knights was that players can play ALL of the game either solo or in two-player co-op.” This statement indicates a contained, closed experience, rather than an on-going online adventure that will be continuously updated. In addition, the only mention of online mechanics thus far has been in relation to the co-op experience, which will not be split-screen co-op but instead requires players to connect over the internet.
That’s not to say that Gotham Knights won’t be expanded in the future. Batman: Arkham Knight, for instance, had several story DLC packs that added additional adventures to the game. While the studio behind Gotham Knights, WarnerBros. Games Montreal, didn’t make the main game, they actually did do some of the DLC for Batman: Arkham Knight, making them more than familiar with the model. As an open world game, it’s not a far stretch to imagine a scenario where Gotham Knights DLC offers a new villain storyline affecting one of the city’s many boroughs, or even bringing a new playable character to the mix.
Gotham Knights’ seeming intentions to stick with the story game model comes as Marvel prepares to launch their live-service game, Marvel’s Avengers. That game is in beta at the moment and has had garnered mixed feelings from critics, many of whom are concerned that the repetitive combat won’t be sustainable for a game that intends to keep people playing for months. It might be that Gotham Knights is making a smart call, giving players a contained experience that will hopefully prove satisfying before the game wears out its welcome.
Source: Gotham Knights
Gotham Knights will be available in 2021 for PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X, Xbox One and PC