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Gotham Knights: Should you care about the DC game that doesn't star Batman?

Gotham Knights is a Batman game without Batman? And that's not as implausible as it might sound...

Bruce Wayne is dead. And the nefarious criminals of Gotham are keen to capitalise on a city free from violent vigilantism and a sociopathic billionaire in a mask. But there's one thing they haven't counted on – Batman's various progenies. Nightwing, Batgirl, Robin and Red Hood are the eponymous Gotham Knights, and it's up to them to take up Batman's task of protecting the seemingly always at-risk Gotham from the criminally insane.

The game starts up with Batman's bat-signal bat-sending a bat-call to arms to his four underlings, warning them that all hell is liable to break loose in Gotham now that he's (apparently) kicked the bat-bucket.

The title is being developed by the in-house Warner Bros. team at WB Montréal –the same studio responsible for Batman: Arkham Origins back in the day. This game is not a direct continuation of the Arkam series, but rather a side story from that side of things – it'll be Rocksteady's Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League that carries on the stories set up over in the orginal trilogy.

The Court of Owls will be the main antagonists in the game.

If you're eager to learn more about the characters in this title, here's who'll you be able to play as:

  • Dick Grayson / Nightwing: The OG Robin that wanted something a bit more dark and brooding for his superhero moniker.
  • Jason Todd / Red Hood: Robin number two that suffered something of a psychotic break when the Joker nearly pulped him.
  • Barbara Gordon / Batgirl: A woman mourning a lot; her dad, Jim Gordon, passed away before Batman. But just because she's alone, that doesn't mean she can't kick ass.
  • Tim Drake / Robin: The current Robin (in this timeline) with a lot to live up, by the looks of things.

As for gameplay, not only will we get to travel using vehicles in open-world segments of the game, but traverse across smaller environments and engage in more close-quarters CQC, hand-to-hand combat, and use stealth to take down enemies. It's going to be interesting to see how this will also change depending on the character being played in different parts of the game, which character you're playing as, and how co-op works in the usually single-player setup.

Cover image for YouTube videoGotham Knights - Official Court of Owls Story Trailer | DC FanDome 2021

It's a brave move, making a Batman game without Batman, but with Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League operating on the other side of the DC Universe, the title seems well-primed to give Dark Knight fans the sort of action romp they're craving.

But is it worth getting exciting over? It remains to be seen – I personally did not rate Arkham Origins at all, so the jury is out on whether WB Games will be able to provide something really worhty of merit with this one. Times (and developers) change, so maybe WB has managed to get its bat-s**t together enough to really deliver the goods this time. I'm also torn on the mutli-protagonist thing, and I'm curious whether the game can hold up against proven all-timers Rocksteady and their own, wider-DC affair with Kill the Justice League.

I remain unconvinced, but maybe a really good gameplay trailer some point this year will convince me that, actually, this game is going to be worth it after all.

Gotham Knights is currently expected to release on 25 October, 2022 for Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, PS4, PS5 and PC after suffering a dealy from 2021.

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Batman: Arkham Knight

PS4, Xbox One, PC

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About the Author
Dom Peppiatt avatar

Dom Peppiatt


Dom is a veteran video games critic with 11 years' experience in the games industry. A published author and consultant that has written for NME, Red Bull, Samsung, Xsolla, Daily Star, GamesRadar, Tech Radar, and many more. They also have a column about games and music at The Guardian.