Gotham Knights is a joy to play. If you love the Arkham games, it’s the same combat system, the same classic villains (Mr Freeze, for example), and the same incredible, expansive open-world experience we have become accustomed to, from what is arguably the greatest fighting game series in existence.
There will be no spoilers here!
It’s a good old-fashioned beat ’em up. You fight to survive, and it’s not always easy. You have to level up to improve, and of course, there are other rewards and bonuses for good combat scores (you can change your outfit, buy new skills, etc). Overall, the mechanisms are simple but effective. There are no frills here, and if you are reading this, I doubt you expect any.
Batman fans should be happy. Arkham series fans should be happy.
I think, the only issue here, is who would want to play as anyone but Red Hood? I joke of course, but he certainly has the most diverse move-set, and you just know that most fans wanna use guns, over a staff and sh**. I joke, of course. The developers have done an incredible job building this universe (and continuity) for us.
I’ve read other reviews that call this a “rip-off” of the Arkham games, and my answer to that is that stories must evolve. This is based on the Gotham Knights comic, and honestly, it’s refreshing to see a game that doesn’t centre around Batman and gives his proteges time to shine.
As the story progresses, we get deeper exposition into each individual character – and this of course means that players will want to have a turn as Batgirl, Robin, and Nightwing to see how the story differs for each person. Just having this multiplayer/multicharacter option is a clever bit of marketing (and development) work that serves to separate this game from the more obvious Arkham comparisons. People will play this for months, and years to come to find out more easter eggs, and collectibles. Excellent.
As ever, the depth of storyline, and sheer effort of WB Games Montreal needs to be recognised. This is an expansive game, and even without Batman at its centre (yes, he’s in it a little bit), it includes most of our favourite comic heroes, and villains (see Harley Quinn).
If you want something more mentally challenging (baring in mind the amount of side missions and collectibles on offer here), or you need a different spin on the Batman gaming franchise, I will always recommend the Telltale series. However, if you just wanna beat people up, look cool doing it, and experience a simple, but great story, then this game is absolutely for you.