WB Games Montréal has revealed Batman Gotham Knights, their next action-adventure title since 2013’s Arkham Origins and the latest to dive back into the universe following Rocksteady’s conclusion in 2015’s Batman Arkham Knight.
In a DC Fandome presentation by Shazam! actor Zachary Levi, WB Games showed off the first gameplay trailer rendered in a real-time engine. Taking notes from the ending of Arkham Knight, a late Bruce Wayne is shown giving a message to Batwoman, Red Robin and Nightwing as he passes what’s left of the mantle and resources to the Bat Family. They are also shown with anti-hero Jason Todd/Red hood as they overlooked an open world city.
As each of the four characters, they will be returning from the Arkham series as playable characters in third-person combat. They also sport unique abilities, including Batwoman’s cape glide, Red Hood’s motorcycle and Robin’s invisibility for predator scenes. Of course, it’s unknown if Batman is playable while the long-rumored Court of Owls were revealed at the end of the trailer. The organization’s enemies, called Talons, were also seen hanging from coffins as they wake up to terrorize Gotham.
The developers also revealed a brief gameplay demo, centered on Mr. Freeze clashing with the GCPD. Players saw Batwoman navigating through the roads of Gotham in a driveable batcycle, while Robin was able to drop-in via. online multiplayer. Of course, the series makes a co-op return since it was introduced as a mode in 2013’s Arkham Origins. For players, they have to work together to take enemies down through full frontal combat or stealth.
Gotham Knights also features a familiar form of freeflow combat the series is known for while players can chain different attacks for higher damage. Red Robin and Batwoman also worked together in stealth to take out Mr. Freeze’s goons, now sporting more dangerous weapons including ice guns. Indicators including a health meter on enemies and weapon lasers give players a heads-up before needing to dodge and counterattack.
Interestingly, this version of Batwoman is Barbara Gordon, who was paralyzed by the Joker before the Arkham series. But just like in the comics, Gordon makes a full recovery and takes on her own mantle again. The trailer also shows her standing beside a wheelchair inside the clock tower’s batcomputer. She was also prepared to fight Mr. Freeze, who shows up at the end of the Gotham Knights demo as a boss. Both players worked to whittle away his health as he attempted to use an ice generator to freeze the city.
Answers to fan questions revealed the Bat Family would be focused on as a change and growth for the action-adventure series. Though the characters were touched upon as DLC in challenge packs across the Arkham Series, each character would be driving the Batman mythos forward through their own motivations after Bruce Wayne’s mysterious disappearance.
This also adds four heroes instead of one against the Court of Owls, who would be throwing a dastardly plan (and challenging enemy types) at players across the game. Adding to the mystery is the parallel development between Rocksteady’s mainline series and WB Games’ own interpretation of Batman in their prequel. Gotham Knights‘ story suggests Bruce Wayne disappeared in an explosion, sharing some obvious connections to the climactic ending of Arkham Knight.
Batman Gotham Knights has a release window of 2021.