"Gotham will need its protectors now more than ever."
Batman is dead. But don’t worry Gotham’s in the hands of the next generation of heroes –– the Bat family. In Gotham Knights, you have the opportunity to finally play as some of the core members of the Bat Family: Nightwing, Batgirl, Robin and Red Hood. This next step in the Arkham series is created by developer WB Games Montreal and is set to launch sometime in 2021.
The game appears to pick up right after the events of Arkham Knight, when Batman activated the Knightfall Protocol where he and all bat-related items are seemingly wiped from existence. Dick Grayson, Barbara Gordon, Jason Todd and Damien Wayne received a pre-taped contingency message from Bruce Wayne tasking the Bat Family with stepping up to protect Gotham.
Batgirl goes to investigate an unnatural ice phenomenon in the middle of the city. She arrives by way of Batcycle while Alfred fills her in on the situation. As she closes in on the location, we’re given a wide shot of a massive ice tower, signalling its time to get to work. Batgirl jumps into the fray, attacking with an electrified tonfa. It'll be interesting to see if each Bat Family member will have unique combat styles and weaponry.
As the game demo shows, the Arkham Freeflow Combat system is back and better than ever. The heroine deftly dispatches foes with a mix of acrobat strikes, tech and special moves. However, the combat definitely looks smoother than previous takes of the mechanic. And of course, if you’re not into hand-to-hand combat, you can use stealth and grapple to darkened areas to quietly take out enemies like past Arkham games.
When Batgirl reaches the top of the tower, she engages with battle Mr. Freeze, signaling that we’ll definitely be seeing some of the more well-known members of Batman’s Rogues Gallery. And while it’s nice to see Mr. Freeze doing his ice schtick, I’m excited to see the Court of Owls rumors were true. We get a quick glimpse of the secretive group that has controlled Gotham City since its founding. We get a quick glimpse of the Talons as the cryptic nursery rhyme about the organization is recited in the background.
Aside from having the ability to play as members of the Bat Family, the most exciting element of Gotham Knights is the ability to play with a friend. During the game demo Batgirl was slinging one liners back and forth with Robin as the duo pursued Mr. Freeze. I’m curious if you’ll have the ability to play the entire game in co-op or if the gameplay will be accessed via a separate mode.
Hopefully, with the Court of Owls being officially introduced, we’ll see even more members of the Bat Family. I’d like to see Batwoman, Batwing and Cassandra Cage brought into the mix somehow. As far as villains, it’d be nice to see a few lesser-knowns like Killer, Lady Shiva and Bronze Tiger get some shine. However, since the Court of Owls will seem to feature heavily in this game, I’m expecting to see some Cluemaster, and Talon in the mix at some point of the game.
The first look at Gotham Knights proves that a game starring the Bat Family is long overdue. The first look reveals that WB Games Montreal is staying true to the things that made the Arkham series so extremely impossible. However, the developer is not afraid to expand the formula. I definitely can't wait to get my hands on a demo