Warner Bros. Games Montreal’s Director, Geoff Ellenor, narrated the first gameplay demo for the upcoming Batman-related video game, Gotham Knights.
Whether you’ve played the Arkham series of games or watched the latest Batman film, you can tell you’re in Gotham from the first moment you see the world of Gotham Knights. The tone is perfect as it feels dark, at peace, yet alive with hope and despair at odds with each other as unseen forces from the criminal underworld seek to spread their influence.
This demo focused primarily on using the characters of Nightwing and Red Hood, Bruce Wayne’s first two sidekicks who have outgrown the Robin moniker. What is shown at this time really highlights these characters’ movement to and from different parts of Gotham City, combat mechanisms, stealth-based interactions, as well as puzzles to be solved.
Red Hood can use a mystical leap to travel across building tops, and it’s nice to see an adaptation leaning in on the supernatural elements of his character, which should be more normalized given that we’re talking about a character that was resurrected back to life.
Nightwing’s combat style looks like it’ll be a fun time button mashing and seeing him dance across the screen knocking down enemies with hand-to-hand combat as well as using his escrima sticks (batons).
You can tell this Red Hood is brutal based on his techniques which include throwing an opponent away from him, but not before attaching an explosive to deploy later for maximum ranged damage, of course, at a safer distance.
Between moving through Gotham and fighting, there will be more subtle, nuanced moments such as sneaking around in the dark and getting the upper hand on wandering henchmen. There will be the option to perform either silent takedowns or ambush strikes, with the latter being faster but at the risk of causing a louder commotion.
It wouldn’t be a Batman video game without mysteries and puzzles, so once the coast is clear, there will be interactive elements in the setting that are to be investigated and solved with a familiar type of “bat vision” alerting you to these objects in a highlighted, sonar-like, x-ray vision.
And of course, there will be the option to switch characters into a number of alternate suits/costumes, each with different properties and advantages within gameplay.
Now at this point, my only hope is that Batgirl and Robin are just as fun and exciting to play as.
Growing up playing the Nintendo Entertainment System, one of my favorite games was Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles which gave players the opportunity to play as each of the titular turtles across a number of challenging stages. Each turtle was distinguishable by the color of their mask and their choice of weapon. And for some reason, I just had zero interest (if not absolute disdain) in Donatello, the purple masked turtle who fought with a bo staff.
As an adult, I realize that the characters were all functionally identical in this 2D video game with only one combat command. However, as a child, I completely believed that Donatello was the weakest character and would often have the dilemma of either using him first to get him killed first or to avoid using him altogether at the risk of having him as my last character standing.
Bringing this back to Gotham Knights, I reiterate this concern for the game to be able to balance out each of the characters with enough appeal for players to want to try everyone. It would be such a waste of a game if only 2 of the playable characters had any appeal. But based on what’s been shown so far in this gameplay demo, I’m excited to play Gotham Knights once it is out October 25th.
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