After years of leaks, rumours and speculation, Warner Bros. Montreal finally unveiled their latest project at Saturday’s DC Fandome event.
Said project is Gotham Knights, a co-op RPG centred around the Bat Family that’ll launch in 2021. Set in the immediate wake of Batman’s death, the game will put players in the shoes of Batgirl (Barbara Gordon), Nightwing (Dick Grayson), Robin (Tim Drake) and Red Hood (Jason Todd), as they “protect Gotham City, bring hope to its citizens, discipline to its cops, and fear to its criminals.” The Court of Owls are confirmed to play a key part in the story, and fans have already begun to theorise that they may be trying to resurrect Batman to use as one of their own Talons.
Following a reveal trailer that blended CGI with actual gameplay, WB also showed off eight minutes of uninterrupted pre-alpha gameplay, opening with Batgirl riding a Batcycle, before being joined by Robin as they attempt to take down Mister Freeze (about “halfway through” the villain’s storyline, according to Creative Director Patrick Redding). The title’s RPG mechanics are in full view during the demo, with Batgirl and Robin utilising different gear and cosmetics before engaging Freeze in a rooftop boss fight.
While many had been expecting Montreal to deliver their own spin on the Batman: Arkham series – with rumours before even stating that a full reboot was on the cards – few would’ve expected the departure that Gotham Knights appears to be. It looks as though the freeflow system from the Arkham series has been abandoned entirely, while the game’s art style also differs massively from its predecessors. (In both instances, I am very much here for it.)
Oh, and if it wasn’t already clear from the reveal, the studio have since confirmed the game takes place in an entirely different continuity – unlike Rocksteady’s Suicide Squad, which continues to be set in the Arkhamverse.
That isn’t necessarily a bad thing, of course. Montreal are clearly putting their own stamp on the Batman license and it certainly looks bold, to say the least. A Batman game without Batman is an exciting prospect, and there’s also the potential for other Bat Family characters to join the fray – including Batwoman, who I’m absolutely desperate to be included at some point in the future.
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World news – GB – WB Montreal Reveals Gotham Knights Co-Op Game!