Developer WB Games Montreal says that it has completely redesigned the Arkham Knights' combat to ensure the game works better in co-op.
Gotham Knights was formally announced back in August, and during the official reveal at the DC Fandome, we saw some trailers that sort-of let us know what to expect from the title.
We know that Gotham Knights does not take place in the Arkhamverse and that it is not a game-as-a-service. As per a new interview with GamesRadar, executive producer Fleur Marty has shared even more information about the game and explains that – whilst the new title will follow on from the Arkham games mechanically – there are some key differences in how the gameplay works.
“We have entirely redesigned the combat system in order for it to work well in co-op,” Marty explains. “Of course, we’re still a brawler, and some of the mechanics won’t feel totally alien for people who played and enjoyed the Arkham series, but it is in many ways very different.”
Marty goes on to explain that players are free to switch characters more or less any time they want, though they'll have to return to the thematically-appropriate Belfry to do so. This makes sense for a game that is primarily designed around co-op and appears mostly built to be played in tandem with other players.
“Since the story progression is shared between all the characters, it also makes sense that you don’t have to level them up from scratch every time you want to switch. It also stays very coherent in terms of our narrative,” Marty outlines.
“Since the other members of the Batman family are always present in some way in the background, while you’re out in the world fighting crime or unravelling the mystery, they don’t stay inactive. So it makes sense that they are also progressing and getting stronger.”
Explaining the co-operative nature of the game further, creative director Patrick Redding explains: “The ‘duo’ or team-up is such a central feature of the universe that there’s a literal shorthand for it in the comics, animation, film, and TV versions. [...] The two-player dynamic fits the fantasy and the Gotham City setting.”
In the game, you can choose to play as either Batgirl, Robin, Nightwing, or Red Hood, who take on the mantle of protecting the city following the death of Batman. The game can also be played solo, for what it's worth.
Gotham Knights releases sometime in 2021 for PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series.