After months of leaks, rumors, and deliberate teases from Warner Bros. Montreal, Gotham Knights was officially revealed at DC Fandome. And what a reveal it was, with a full-length cinematic trailer setting up a seven-plus minute gameplay trailer showing off Batgirl’s slick moves.
Watch the first Gotham Knights trailer below:
Somewhat surprising is the fact that you don’t actually play as the Caped Crusader himself, at least judging from the trailer and gameplay footage. It’s always possible that changes later on, but for now we can only speculate. Though, the big reveal at Fandome did confirm a number of key details about Batman: Gotham Knight, and we’re here to break down everything we know about the Warner Bros. successor to the famed Arkham series, from playable characters to release window and more.
Gotham Knights release date is set for next year
Warner Bros. was kind enough to provide a release window for Gotham Knights, and it’s encouragingly soon. Barring any potential delays due to the pandemic, we’re geared up to “step into the knight” sometime in 2021.
Although it feels like it’s been years since we started hearing rumors about a new Warner Bros. Batman game, it’s only just been officially revealed, so a release date as early as next year is a positive sign that development is well underway, if not nearing completion. The gameplay footage we got at DC Fandome was from a pre-alpha build, and even so, it looked pretty dang good. We can only imagine what the finished product looks like when we (*crosses fingers*) get to play it next year.
There are at least four playable Gotham Knights characters
Batman: Gotham Knights takes place after the death of Batman, seeing the Gotham Knights assemble to bear the Dark Knight torch. Warner Bros. confirmed during an interview after the reveal that Gothan knights will feature “a whole host of playable characters,” but the footage so far mostly centers around Batgirl. We also see Joker team up with Batgirl at a few points for some co-op gameplay.
That said, it’s pretty much confirmed that you’ll also play as Nightwind and Red Hood. Although we don’t have any actual footage to prove that, Warner Bros’ pitch for the game suggests as much.
Watch the first Gotham Knights gameplay walkthrough below:
“Batman is dead. It is now up to the Batman Family – Batgirl, Nightwing, Red Hood and Robin – to protect Gotham City, bring hope to its citizens, discipline to its cops, and fear to its criminals … You must evolve into the new Dark Knight and save Gotham from chaos. Your legacy begins now. Step into the Knight.”
The Batcave is gone, and in its place is the Belfry
Surprise, surprise, the new Batman game takes place in the faintly-lit alleyways and bustling streets of Gotham City, and it looks like there’s a range of different neighborhoods to explore. Yet, you’ll notice the Gotham Knights aren’t operating out of the Batcave – which was presumably destroyed when Batman was killed – and instead are using the Belfry as their new base.
Thanks to the insights from our friends at Newsarama, we know the Belfry was introduced back in 2016 as a school for Batman to train superheroes while Batwoman resumed day-to-day operations. It was also the base for a team called the Gotham Knights, made up of Batman, Batwoman, Clayface, Orphan (a former Batgirl), Spoiler (another former Batgirl), Red Robin (Tim Drake, a former Robin), Batwing, and Azrael. Gotham Knights was never the name of a comic, but it’s clear Warner Bros. was loosely inspired by this team-up for their next Batman game.
“In [Detective Comics #935], we’re introducing a new secondary Batcave that’s going to be in Gotham City. It’s called the Belfry, and it is the – honestly, I got to sit down and design my own Batcave from scratch. And it’s honestly one of the coolest things,” writer James Tynion IV told Newsarama about the location back in June 2016. “When I saw the pages come in from Eddy Barrows designing it for the first time, I was just floored. This feels like a new iconic setting in Gotham City, and I can’t wait for people to see it.”
In the comics, the Belfy even has a room similar to the X-Men’s Danger Room or Star Trek’s Holo Deck, called the ‘Mud Room,’ where Clayface can make traps and the like for the team to train against. We didn’t see anything like that in the trailer, so we’re only speculating, but it should be interesting to see how Warner Bros. implements the new base.
Mr. Freeze is one of the Gotham Knights villains
There are sure to be multiple baddies standing between the Gotham Knights and the safety of Gotham City, but we know one of them to be Mr. Freeze, a cryogenics expert and the product of a laboratory mishap that left him confined to a cryogenic suit for survival.
For some context, Mr. Freeze has attempted to take over and/or freeze all of Gotham a couple of times in the comics. On one such occasion, from the 2017-2018 miniseries Batman: White Knight, Mr. Freeze builds a massive freeze cannon under a lighthouse in Gotham City. Harley Quinn (using the name Neo-Joker) finds the cannon and takes it over, freezing Gotham entirely and leaving Mr. Freeze and Batgirl to team up to fix the mess. It’s unlikely we’ll see any sort of partnership between any of the heroes and villains, but nothing’s out of the question just yet.
There’s drop-in Gotham Knights co-op
Combat in Gotham Knights is a clear evolution of the Arkham Series’ punchy, fluid battling, but there’s also the welcome addition of easy, drop-in co-op. You can see Batgirl doing her thing with the help of Robin, showcasing a few truly satisfying-looking takedowns.
The process of joining and leaving Gotham Knights co-op sessions looks seamless, with a “ROBIN joined the session” message popping up as another player enters without interruption the action or story. Co-op is limited to just two players at a time, despite the fact that given the number of playable characters, it would seem the obvious choice to make four-player co-op an option.
I’m GamesRadar’s green tea-fueled, late-night news hound. I’m perpetually in search of an MMO to recapture the feeling of playing Ultima Online in the early 2000s, and I’m still sorting out self-esteem issues from being relegated to second player duties growing up with two older brothers. On a related note, I’m irrationally defensive of Luigi and his mansion.