Gotham Knights has a very long introduction where Batman dies. He spends what feels like 20 minutes with Ra’s al Ghul and is eventually crushed by the rubble of a collapsing bat cave. The game’s protagonist finds his body in the rubble, with one hand holding his mask. Death of Batman is the setup for a game that wants to distance itself from the Arkham series and features four Bat Proteas as worthy replacements. But the Gotham Knights weren’t ready to let go of the Dark Knight.


No matter how dead Batman is in Gotham Knights, this game can’t escape his legacy as the best videogame superhero. It mimics the freeflow combat that defined the Arkham series and features many of the same villains that were already in Rocksteady’s games. Gotham Knights tries hard to convince you that it’s different and that Batman is, in fact, definitely dead, but all of its new characters pull from the same old script.

However, Gotham Knights fooled me for a few hours. At first it reminded me how delicious Arkham-style third person stealth and combat can be. Every punch and kick has weight and rhythm – it’s practically constant. It’s a rare action game outside of Musso beat-em-ups like Dynasty Warriors, where a group of enemies isn’t a chore; This is your opportunity to flex your gadgets and patience by sneaking through the puzzles of the Patrol. The fights escalate from messy scraps to Hong Kong ballet as you learn how the scene unfolds and press the button to join them.

Then I went back and tried both Arkham Origins and Arkham Asylum and felt the trick Gotham Knights played on me.

Gotham Knights benefits from the years-long gap between it and the Arkham series, because if you haven’t spent time in those games lately, you may have forgotten how awesome the combat in Arkham Asylum was and how it was for Arkham Knight. How consistent , It was already ancient, but Gotham Knights awkwardly tries to tear it apart.

Despite its efforts to reflect the battle of Arkham, it is hopelessly inferior to those years old games. Like so many games transforming into open world RPGs with skill trees and levels and missions and crafting, it takes the resourcefulness and strength of being Batman and scattering them across a large map to earn hours and hours of playtime. Is. And it divides them between different heroes. Robin’s skill tree has Batman where you can kill an enemy from one vantage point, but the ability to place elemental-based mines is in another tree. And Batgirl can’t do that trick at all. Instead of building an all-powerful arsenal of equipment and attacks, each character was only a fraction of the Batman I know.

As for the entertainment that makes other games great, it’s a failure. Gotham Knights’ attempt to translate Arkham into an online co-op game, pieces of great design in jagged pieces to cheap dopamine hits of gradual progression.

Carbon copies 

In the beginning, Batgirl, Robin, Nightwing and Red Hood are effectively Batman Light, but in four different sizes. Because they’re interchangeable, they all have the same goal – to follow the plot that Batman was pursuing before he died – and all the same basic skills needed to work. Their conversations are the punctuation mark between the open world segments and the setup for your next mission. There are a few scenes that deal with apparent tension in the group, but the game has the most interest in having four playable characters pretend to be. Jason Todd, or the Red Hood, has died and resurrected, and yet no one wants to talk about how he shaped his relationship with the rest of the crew and his campaign to fight crime in the same way. fundamentally changed. The characters can’t stray far from the mission or the values ​​of Batman, which gives Gotham Knights a great opportunity to differentiate themselves from the Arkham games.

You can swap between batpipes in the central belfry location; Level and ability points progress, and each character is given enough armor and weapons to equip. They develop their strength through their skill trees: Robin can run around without making noise, Batgirl can disable security cameras and turrets, Nightwing can debuff and heal allies, and Red Hood tanks. Can hit and crowd control enemies. This may slightly change your approach to stealth and combat scenarios, but the disadvantages of being at least the optimal character are not enough. I spent most of my time as Batgirl for her fast combo attacks and because her suits looked good, and I ran into zero obstacles in the open world or in the game’s villainous missions—which saw the return of characters like Mr. , Harley Quinn, and Clayface.

In two-player co-op I could begin to see where their distinctive traits intertwined. I fought as Robin alongside an ally Red Hood from Harley Quinn, an aggressive, high-level boss who repeatedly erupted in deadly grab attacks. I built my Momentum Meter to put a noose that distracted the boss while I helped raise the Red Hood from a down position or give it a place to recover. But apart from tough encounters like these, there is little need to strategize around abilities. You punch enemies cooperatively until a notification pops up with an XP reward.

Boss battles in Gotham Knight don’t stack up like they do in Arkham games, thanks to massive stats and reflexes battles. Bosses have large health bars, hard-hitting combos and AoE attacks designed to punish your dodging time and position more than normal enemies. As a single player, they are marathons that drain your resources, forcing you to balance earning Momentum and spending it on your high-damage abilities to capture. In co-op, they resemble ordinary MMO bosses, who need to focus their attention to work on dodging while the other takes damage.

Gotham Knights isn’t fully committed to fanatics like Tanks, Support, and DPS. And as a result, each character moves like a thinner version of Arkham Batman. Neither of them have really dramatic strengths or weaknesses. Unless you dig into the final parts of the talent tree, craft unique gear, and equip them with the stat-enhancing armor mod, four heroes can’t match how much Batman as a videogame hero. was right. He is a walking Swiss army knife of gadgets and fighting techniques, all at your disposal. But Gotham Knights kills him, splits his body into four parts, and forces you to play as one amputated limb at a time.

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Been there, done that

Gotham Knights’ smartest idea is taking the open world activity bloat and breaking it down into nocturnal adventures, which begin after you check-in to Belfry Base. As you battling between rooftops, you find special targets that, when interrogated, will give you information – as hilarious as clue points dropped on the ground like the Diablo loot to discover pre-planned crimes. These crimes will show up with better XP and crafting material rewards the next night as you explore the city. Most missions have bonus objectives such as eliminating undetected or killing enemies with weapons, but pre-planned offenses have more enemies and even harder objectives. If you fail or lose the field, you cannot redo them.

These crimes The open world of Gotham Knights gave me some of the toughest and most satisfying challenges, and felt worth the plethora of rewards. Only the pre-determined crimes prompted me to consider how to apply the characteristics of the Bat Fam to the encounter requirement. As Batgirl I could scan an area, disable a turret or enemy sniper and swoop in for a silent knockout. When I inevitably screwed up and found out, these missions became frantic as I tried to manage the many enemies throwing fire bombs and bullets in my path.

But by the time I was finishing my fourth bank robbery and gang deal, the suspension of disbelief was over. There’s a lot of crime in Gotham City – the kind that’s supposed to be a real city, there’s a lot more than realistic for where people live, even if it’s a notorious hell. You’d at least think that criminals would learn to go on less ambitious crimes than those that involved having 20 of their friends and a laser cutter stolen every other day to open a safe. There’s no systematic or procedural progress to adapt Gotham’s absurd ecosystem of crime to your actions, so preventing these robberies and kidnappings quickly loses all importance.

It’s a half-hearted system, and yet sadly, it’s the only thing in the game that aims more than all the Arkham games before it.

Swing and a miss 

Even in the largely barren open world, Gotham Knights depleted my PC’s resources while clearing all the crimes and collectibles. I ran the game in 4K (with DLSS enabled) on the 3080 Ti and Intel i9 2900K and the open world dropped my fps down into the 60s and lows when I fought near fire or other busy effects. Locking my FPS to 60 made it more consistent, but not enough to completely smooth out performance.

Interior areas ran much better, but considering the bulk of the game is you going through town, falling off a perch and managing frame drops without alerting a whole bunch of enemies was a pain. I also experienced a handful of crashes when I entered story missions and belfries, but they cleared up considerably after upgrading to the latest nvidia drivers and restarting my PC. Other PC Gamer staff reported framerate issues at 1080p as well. None of my issues made the game playable, but it is concerning for players with low hardware, and made the early part of the game a pain to play as I adjusted the settings.

Everything in Gotham Knights is done better than in the other games; Some with Batman and some without. Arkham games had RPG-like talent trees and progression, but they were layered on top of already satisfying stealth and combat systems. Gotham Knights begins and ends with brawls that feel like fighting in mud, even in comparison to the developer’s own Arkham Origins. And its massive version of Gotham is riddled with repeat crimes and almost no reason to be safe in the first place. It’s a mostly empty playground for your four heroes to cultivate XP for the next mission.

Gotham Knights tried to distance Batman by killing him, but instead it split him into four faded gimmicks, set in a vast open world. It’s just like he’s dead; Even Batman couldn’t fix this mess.

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