Reviewed on the Ps5 and Xbox Series X
I want to start by say that I’m a massive Batman fan. Over the years, I’ve played all of the Batman games, read a large portion of Batman comics, and I’ve seen every Batman movie. Batman has been my jam. So when a Batman centric game is announced I always get excited. I can’t help but to look forward to going toe to toe with the likes of villains like Mister Freeze, Clayface, The Joker, and the Riddler. Batman games are always in my most anticipated games list. That is until the announcement of Gotham Knights.
So for background, Gotham Knights is an action Open World RPG that you can play solo or play co-op with a friend. It wasn’t made by the same studio that did the Arkham Trilogy, but it was made by WB Games Montréal who made the prequel to the Arkham games, Arkham Origins. In Gotham Knights you play as Nightwing, Robin, Redhood, and Batgirl. Batman is dead and it’s up to you protect Gotham and uncover the mystery behind the Court of Owls.
It’s a interested and fresh premise, but is this a good game? Is this a good game? Is this a good Single Player Experience?
Let’s dive into it.
Gotham Knights always looked off to me. I couldn’t quite figure out why. And then I realized that it’s because the games direction seems just as confused. Let me explain, Gotham Knights seems like a game that doesn’t know what it wants to be. It seems like it wants to be a live service game and it wants to be a single player action adventure game like the Arkham games were. This game would have been drastically better if instead of trying to be both genres of games, it picked one and really committed to it.
By trying to be both, it feels like it middling when it comes to its live service elements and the elements that it has from the Arkham games.
Pros/Cons and How Does it Compare to the Arkham Trilogy?
How does this game compare to the Arkham trilogy?
I know that the studio and all the marketing made it clear that Gotham Knights is its own stand alone game. That this game isn’t tied to the Arkham games or universe. I get that…but it’s hard not to draw comparisons to the Arkham games. For one it’s a Batman centric game and Arkham is the standard for those games. Two the game itself takes elements from those games. That said when you compare Gotham Knights to the Arkham games, Gotham Knights looks like a bootleg game in comparison.
The gameplay just doesn’t feel as good as the Arkham games.
This game gives you a Batcycle to drive around in, but it doesn’t feel as good to drive as the Batmobile did it Arkham Knight. In Arkham Knight, Rocksteady also made calling the Batmobile to you look cool. You could call the car to you and instantly start driving all in one motion. In Gotham Knights the cycle just magically appears close to where you are at and you have to walk over to it and get on it. It feels lazy compared to what we got in Arkham Knight.
That is a reoccurring theme with Gotham Knights. Everything feels less polished compared to a series of games that came out ten years before it. Cape gliding around the city isn’t as zippy and fun, grappling is more sluggish especially without the grapple boost mechanic from the Arkham games, and open world doesn’t have the little details that Arkham City and Knight did that made those open worlds feel lived in and like they were evolving.
Another critic of the Gotham Knights is just some of the decisions they made with the game overall. The bosses feel like damage sponges, the pacing of the story is weird and jarring, and the game isn’t mindful of the players time. For example, the game often has you returning to your HQ over and over again to start the next mission. Even when that next mission is in the open world you’re currently roaming it. It really just pads the game and makes it longer than it had to be.
I think it was a poor choice to have Tim Drake as Robin in this game. The version of Tim comes across as whiny. I think Damian Wayne would have been the better choice. Damian would have brought some spice to the story and it seems like a missed opportunity to see how the character would have responded to Bruce’s death.
Another con of the game is the long times. For a next Gen series x and S and Ps5 game the long times are long. It took me back to the olden days when I had time to pick up my phone and scroll through social media during a loading screen.
Good Traits about Gotham Knights:
Here are some good qualities about the game. The story is good and it’s good to see the other members of the bat family get the spotlight. The interactions between the members are fantastic. They flesh out the characters and you really connect with them. The intro cutscene of this game is so badass and hits so hard. It’s unlike anything I’ve seen in any medium other the comics. Honestly I’d would have loved to have this story as a live action or animated movie. The emails sent to each character are fantastic. Especially if you are a overall DC fan. They expand the lore and the universe of this world.
Overall/Should You Play Gotham Knights:
Overall Gotham Knight is a game that doesn’t know what it wants to be and it shows. There are some good things about the game. However, those good moments are feel and far between. For every step forward this game take 2 or 3 steps backwards. Gotham Knights has moments of greatness, but those are surrounded by a bland and dull open world, and lack luster combat. I think some people will enjoy this game. That is great and I’m happy for them. That said this isn’t a good game. It’s a massive step backwards for the superhero video game genre and it’s a game that doesn’t think of the player first. Gotham Knights is a game that I’d recommend skipping.
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