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Gotham Knights: Release date, gameplay, Arkhamverse connection, Batman and trailers

Gotham Knights: Release date, gameplay, Arkhamverse connection, Batman and trailers
(Image credit: WB)

Gotham Knights is the cooperative Batman Arkham game we’ve always wanted. Well, minus the Batman and minus the Arkham, but it is one of the most ambitious looking Batman-related multiplayer games that’s coming to next-gen consoles.

We actually have a release window as well as a story trailer and gameplay trailer that shows off WB Games Montréal’s work on the pre-alpha game build. It not only looks stunning, but also relatively far along in development. Gotham Knights is the first of two cooperative Batman-related games launching in the next few years.

Here’s everything we know so far about Gotham Knights.

Gotham Knights release date

Unlike most next-gen games that have no apparent release date, Gotham Knights is actually set to launch sometime in 2021 for PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One and Xbox Series X. 

However, we don’t know the exact date, but if this title follows the release date of the other Batman Arkham games, it’s likely to launch sometime in Q2 or Q3 2021. There’s no word on cross-play functionality as of yet, so stay tuned for that before you decide which platform you’re going for.

Gotham Knights story

Gotham Knights is set in a world after the death of Bruce Wayne / Batman and James Gordon, events which caused crime to spike in Gotham City.  Dick Grayson / Nightwing (Christopher Sean), Barbara Gordon / Batgirl (America Young), Tim Drake / Robin (Sloane Morgan Siegel), and Jason Todd / Red Hood (Stephen Oyoung) all receive a farewell message from Bruce asking them to carry on his legacy and protect Gotham City in this vulnerable time.

We do know that the overarching story will focus on the heroes battling it out with an iconic group known as the Court of Owls, which is a secret criminal society. At their command are a bunch of brainwashed assassins called Talons, which were showcased in the story trailer.

Other notable villains like Mr. Freeze will be returning, as well as supporting characters, such as  Alfred Pennyworth and Police Captain Renee Montoya. Additionally, one interesting story element is that unlike other Batman games, Gotham Knights actually doesn’t take place in one night, but over the course of several months.

The Gotham Knights team took a screencap of the Knights presumably hanging out at Pamela's Cafe, which is leading some fans to believe is owned by none other than Poison Ivy, whose real name is Dr. Pamela Isley.

Recently, the Gotham Knights' Twitter account has posted suit breakdowns for Batgirl and Robin. We imagine we'll see more breakdowns for Nightwing and Red Hood.

Gotham Knights gameplay

Gotham Knights isn’t being developed by the main Arkham developer, Rocksteady, but it is being developed by Batman: Arkham Origins developer WB Games Montréal Inc., so this particular title will be akin to Arkham’s legacy gameplay, but with a slightly different take.

Gotham Knights will actually be a cooperative action role-playing game. While it’s base combat remains equivalent to the beat-em-up action you get in the Arkham series, you’ll also be gaining experience, leveling up and seeing damage numbers on the screen. 

The game features four playable characters: Nightwing, Batgirl, Robin and Red Hood. Each character will feature their own unique playstyle. For example, Robin can teleport via the Justice League’s satellite. Gotham Knights will feature drop-in and drop-out two-player co-op, so you can partner up with a friend to take on Gotham City’s most vicious villains. And unlike Marvel’s Avengers, you can actually choose to play the same hero.

In a PlayStation blog, Gillen McAllister. Senior Specialist at SIE, said this about the gameplay:

"Red Hood is a brutal brawler with a focus on gunplay. Nightwing’s acrobatics lead to a more exaggerated style of fighting, while the current Robin favours stealth and is a dab hand at using status effects to disrupt enemies. And Batgirl? 'She combines a laser-focused, targeted and efficient melee fighter approach with a lot of resilience and the ability to weaponize her environment using hacking,' says creative director Patrick Redding."

In the gameplay walkthrough that was unveiled, we saw Batgirl and Robin taking on Mr. Freeze in an epic-looking boss fight. It was revealed that boss fights scale to your level, so you’ll never have to worry about over-leveling your character. It’s unclear if this game will also have an arbitrary gear system similar to the one found in Marvel’s Avengers (I hope not).

Additionally, Gotham Knights appears to be an open-world game, you can even traverse Gotham City using vehicles like the Batcycle. To top it off, the entirety of Gotham City spans across five boroughs, so it’s supposedly fairly large. And unlike most Arkham games, Gotham City won’t be on lockdown, so you’ll actually see citizens of the city walking, driving and living out their lives at night.

According to Gotham Knights creative director Patrick Redding, there will be set piece missions that take place over several nights called Villain Crimes. These missions will require the player to do “a certain amount of legwork and detective work” in order to “hunt down the villain at the next major confrontation.”

Gotham Knights: Is it connected to the Arkham universe?

Despite the eerily similar art direction, world-design and WB Games Montréal's previous work on Batman: Arkham Origins, Gotham Knights is not connected to the Arkhamverse. WB Games Montréal has stated that "Gotham Knights is an original story set in DC's Batman Universe and not connected to the Arkham series."

Gotham Knights: Release date, gameplay, Arkhamverse connection, Batman and trailers

(Image credit: WB)

It’s actually a good thing that this title isn’t connected to the Arkhamverse, as Gotham Knights can utilize many of the iconic villains and heroes that had their stories concluded in previous Arkham games. However, ironically, Rocksteady’s recently announced Suicide Squad game is connected to the Arkhamverse, so that’s your best bet if you’re hungry for more Arkhamverse stories.

Gotham Knights: Is Batman really dead?

In an interview with GameSpot, creative director Patrick Redding and senior producer Fleur Marty spoke on the status of Batman, and what they said was that Batman is “dead dead.” Specifically, that “He is dead from the start of the game” and that he’s “not playable.”

Gotham Knights: Release date, gameplay, Arkhamverse connection, Batman and trailers

(Image credit: WB)

When asked about the theory if Batman was embedded in the Court of Owls, Marty said, “No. We see all the theories, but yeah. No. He's dead dead.”

While their response was always going to be that Batman is actually dead, it’s entirely possible that we may see some form of Batman in the game, whether it be through pre-recorded video or even as a creepy Lazarus Pit appearance.

It’s hard to predict how Gotham Knights is going to run, whether it’ll be optimized for most gaming PCs, or be a graphically taxing powerhouse, or maybe both. Even if we take a look at the most recent Batman game, Batman: Arkham Knight, it’s tough to predict what Gotham Knights will require, given that Arkham Knight is over five years old now. 

However, at the minimum, Arkham Knight did require an Intel Core i5-750 or AMD Phenom II X4 965 CPU, 6GB of RAM and an Nvidia GeForce GTX 660 or AMD Radeon HD 7870 GPU. Meanwhile, the recommended spec was an Intel Core i7-3770 or AMD FX-8350 CPU, 8GB of RAM and an GTX 760 or Radeon HD 7950 GPU.

We imagine these specs will get upped to require at least 16GB of RAM and leap a few generations forward in terms of CPU and GPU, so we hope you’re at least packing a Nvidia 10-series or equivalent GPU to run Gotham Knights.