In early May, we saw Red Hood and Nightwing take center stage in a new blowout Gotham Knights Gameplay trailer from DC and WB Games Montreal. The video was our first proper look at the game in years and really clarified some of the questions we had about the title – but does it impress? And should you be interested in a Batman game that doesn’t feature Batman? That is still up for debate.
One of the most concerning parts of the footage we saw was how choppy it looked. Alongside the new footage, we’ve learned that Gotham Knights will only be coming to PS5, Xbox Series X/S and PC – and not a release on last-gen consoles PS4 and Xbox One altogether.
While that’s good (it’s always nice to have games that aren’t constrained by old hardware), we would have expected the footage shown to be really impressive and eye-catching…not riddled with texture issues and slowdown and looking quite blurry in places . Let’s put that down to being an unfinished version of the game. At least for now.
At least the gameplay itself looks okay. Game Director Geoff Ellenor guides us through the gameplay as the resurrected Red Hood and the acrobatic Nightwing go about their crime-fighting business in Gotham’s beleaguered streets. Let’s break down some of the most interesting bits of footage on offer:
Between Nightwing and Red Hood, we’re getting a good sense of what Gotham Knights will feel like. Nightwing’s combat is all about momentum, and jumping between enemies and using speed for crowd control is all part of the game here.
Red Hood uses non-lethal weapons (sure, okay) that fire shots at enemies, and can plant (supposedly non-lethal) grenades and explosives on enemies that can be detonated on a whim to kill groups of goons more to inflict damage.
Both vigilantes can team up to take down enemies, and it very much seems like the key part of the game here will be keeping approaching thugs at bay while teaming up to target more immediate threats.
Given the visible damage numbers (you can turn them off if you want) and more RPG elements in the game, it feels like it plays more like, say, Marvel’s Avengers than previous Arkham games. Is that a good thing? In my eyes no. But there’s only so much you can judge without actually getting your hands on the title.
To get around the city, Nightwing uses a flying trapeze – essentially a glider – that mimics the way Batman flew in past Arkham games to get from point A to point B as painlessly as possible.
Red Hood, on the other hand, relies on a peculiar mystical leap to hop through the air, which was apparently granted to him when he was brought back from the dead. Hm. This doesn’t really fit the Bat family, but I suppose everyone needs a way to get around.
All four heroes can ride the streets on a motorcycle, which seems to move quite sluggishly and stiffly – not normally what you’d expect from a two-wheeler. Maybe it will feel better if you actually use it with your hands. The jury isn’t unanimous here though – the accompanying animations are also a bit off.
You can also use the Fast Bat Mecha Glider to travel quickly around town, because parody is dead.
Fate has a lot to answer for. The UI in the menus looks like something between Destiny and Diablo, complete with graduated colors for exotic and rare items and resources that look like they might be from the Taken season or something.
What comes next comes naturally with something like this: atomized stats, tabs for crafting, tabs for mods, the ability to disassemble any suit you create, and nodes for upgrades and chips.
We were hoping that the game would have customization more in line with, say, Injustice 2 – where you can add modular pieces to armor – but instead it seems to be mostly wholesale outfits and looks that you buck against various resistances and perks can exchange.
Will there be as much love for the source material as Marvel’s Spider-Man on PS4? We will see.
Gotham Knights is currently scheduled for release on October 25th, 2022 for Xbox Series X/S, PS5 and PC after a delay from the original 2021 release window.
https://www.vg247.com/gotham-knights-gameplay-analysis-examining-combat-crafting-and-traversal Gotham Knights Gameplay Analysis: Examining Combat, Crafting, and Traversal