Gotham Knights Review: Snakes Thrive in The Shadow of The Bat

Gotham Knights is a collection of sensational video games and we love the noise and the sweet delirium that crawls in the streets of Gotham City, it has always fascinated me. A city made of masks and cloaked in a thick blanket of darkness, as if the whole place were the epicenter of evil. Look out into the streets and you start breathing in the realm of contradictions and opportunities. 

A world that has never hidden that it is the corrupt reflection of our souls, a place where the most tragic stories of the superhero universe have long fermented. We open the window and we are addicted to the moral perdition that hovers in the neighborhoods. The harsh reality of the DC world is fictional, but it is much closer, in its cycle of paradoxes, to our everyday life than we can imagine.

In this evocative setting, which would galvanize any lover of the superhero universe, WB Games Montréal tries to propose a different Gotham, even more, rarefied in its abyss of perdition. We all know how challenging the virtual reconstruction of the iconic city of the DC world is, so expectations have also been inflated by its business card. An open-world action RPG that has the honor and the burden of satisfying the orphans of the Batman series and teasing those who love superheroes in the videogame field. 

Without delay, therefore, let us be pampered by the new champions of justice who will arrive in your things on the PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X / S, and PC platforms on 21 October 2022. When you turn on your platform will you see the bat symbol in your room?

Batgirl in Gotham Knights
Batgirl, Image: Gothamknightsgame

Batman is dead. A phrase that numbs the good of the heart and makes the cowardly rejoice. It is not just the end of a hero, a symbol, but the very death of justice. It is as if the thin thread that held Gotham hanging just above the abyss of darkness had suddenly snapped. The news does not even need to spread. Ever since the bat’s wings began to fail from the moonlight for too many nights, crime has returned. 

Crawling from the sewer of selfishness, the disease of the city has returned to proliferate, now aware of having the clearance again to win over every heart. In this terrible climate of chaos, Robin, Nightwing, Batgirl, and Red Hood must become true magicians, even before succeeding Bruce.

The big deception now lies in concealing and mystifying the death of their mentor, so as not to open all the cages in the city together. The disappearance of the bat must be treated as it used to be with kings and regents. Reassure the people that the sovereign is only away for some time to recover, but without revealing the true extent of his problem. Just the fact that Batman exists in people’s minds is, for now, a more than comfortable thought. The deception can only slow down the truth and therefore the four heroes are preparing to preside in the bell tower of the city, teaming up against crime. They face reality, accept mourning, close unresolved cases, and even look for a bit of themselves.

Harley Quinn
Harley Quinn, Image: Gothamknightsgame

The Foundations of Gotham Knights’: Corruption And The Twilight Of Justice

Fortunately, the bat legacy is everywhere. Some people and objects almost speak for him, so the teachings will never be lacking. The plot of Gotham Knights, therefore, begins at the end of the era of justice, while the new vigilantes must collect the legacy of their master. We feel the discomfort of not being up to it, just as we perceive that evil now has no restraint in the streets. There will be many historical faces of the city making their appearance in history and you will be able to follow many intriguing parallel stories. 

Lovers of the DC Comics universe will surely jump on their seats in some meetings, but much of the work is down to the writing of the characters. Both heroes and antagonists are charismatic and memorable, even in their absurdities. Of course, quotations are often shouted at and wink at many past facts, but each narrative parenthesis has its well-defined arc.

Also Read: “Returnal” Review: An Uncompromising Third-Person Shooter

The main story is in itself an experience that manages to embrace many aspects of the city, from its history to the ramified socio-political intertwining. As you learn a little more about Gotham’s nature, it will be natural for you to read or hear with pleasure the various stories that swarm the neighborhoods. 

In addition to the main campaign, the work boasts a long set of really well-managed and amalgamated microstories, which will surely grab your attention from the main quests. A globally captivating, enveloping, and successful writer, which always manages to keep us glued to the screen, between a fistfight and another.

Mr. Freeze
Mr. Freeze, Image: Gothamknightsgame

The Upheaval of a City Poised on A Lie

The proposed Gotham City is a paradise for any lover of superhero titles. From our base of operations, we could go out to patrol the streets every night, to prevent heinous crimes and collect useful materials. In Gotham Knights, there is a slow, but satisfying, progression system as the days progress. 

Eradicating the evil that lurks in the streets is certainly not easy, but every small crime solved, against any enemy faction, will offer you clues and materials to enhance your arsenal. Accumulating a certain amount of data will ensure that you report more challenging crimes to complete, which can range from robbery to locating a crooks’ lair.

Fortunately, the investigations are well condensed in the game environment and you will be able to run around freely to satisfy your curiosity. However, we must warn that, although crimes of small intensity are numerous and sufficiently diversified, in the long run, there is a sense of repetition typical of this playful genre. 

What we missed are the in-game events between rounds, secrets to bump into that would break the routine, or bizarre activities to track down. You will undoubtedly have many activities to accomplish and wandering around the city still has its charm, so I’m sure boredom will only knock on your door after several dozen hours of play. The explorable Gotham City was built on the logical and creative basis of the classic “city of superheroes” model in the field of play.

Gotham City in Gotham Knights
Gotham City in Gotham Knights, Image: Gothamknightsgame

A Dull City and The Echo of History

An open world entirely explorable, which will make you wander among dark alleys and skyscrapers wrapped in the grayness of smog. On the ground, the city is perceived as alive in the points of interest, those of crime, and in the shadow of the great monuments of Gotham. The rest, alas, is a set of choices that this playful genre has perpetuated for years. 

Virtually no interaction with citizens, buildings only minimally real and mostly aesthetic cardboard, and scarcity of in-game events. It makes no sense to cross the game in question, also because it is affected by market influences. The formula, with its flaws and stage bottlenecks, works very well and guides the player’s focus on the key points of the city, not rewarding much free exploration.

Also Read: 30 Best War Games of All Time You Must Play

It is also necessary to underline the exceptional work done on the historical-comic front. The memorable places in Gotham dominate the various areas in all their glory and the reconstruction is fascinating. We are not only talking about development skills, but also about the excellent dissemination of details and available materials that carefully explain the numerous anecdotes since its foundation. It is a pleasure to see that the whole game world is a mine of information to be absorbed, even passively. 

On more than one occasion it happened to me to be bewitched by the stories of those places and I let myself be lulled by the various documents we found. A great job was done on the side of artistic re-enactment. Finally, the move to the city was well thought out and enhanced.

Robin in Gotham Knights
Robin in Gotham Knights, Image: Gothamknightsgame

Old Gen Legacies and Role-Playing Qualities in Gotham Knights

We will be able to move on the various holds with the grappling hook, spread our wings to glide, unlock fast travel points to change neighborhoods, and always count on the Batcycle. The motorbike on call will appear in front of us and will always be available for a nice walk in the whiteness of the moon. Handy and customizable, a real pleasure for the eyes and the controls. 

The only flaw is that at high speed you notice slight frame drops, a victim of neglected optimization. Frustrating to praise a game for its playful qualities and then see it spoiled for technical trifles. The controversy about the fps is, in my opinion, absolutely inflated, but legitimate.

The game, not only for this aspect, is anchored to the rusty limits of the old gen, but it does not mean that it is not to be purchased. The frame drops, WE want to point out, do not affect the gameplay in any way, nor disturb the normal course of the game. However, when there is a chance to get angry about a missed opportunity, we must dutifully stop and think. Now, we don’t know if these smudges will heal with subsequent updates, but we can reassure you that you won’t feel them as disabling.

On the playful front, Gotham Knights juggle quite well, offering a well-branched and rewarding variety to discover. Strengthened by the presence of four playable characters with many peculiar abilities each, the gameplay lets itself be approached as if it were placed in our hands. 

Each mission can be strategically tested and modeled based on the strategy we want to use, the powers of our hero on duty, and his warlike attitude. Fortunately, you can switch characters when you want from your base of operations and everyone will level up evenly.

Freedom of play cannot be dismissed in a few words in the evaluation phase, also because each of the four heirs of the bat has a well-articulated number of qualities. We don’t mind saying that each of them is comparable to every other superhero in any single-player story. We strongly emphasize this to underline the fact that each of them has a unique gameplay and inventory, which is also artistically breathtaking as well as functional. 

Aesthetics in this sense is a solid strength of the work, as it draws on many costumes or gadgets that fans will surely remember. The role-playing site may not be avant-garde, but it performs its task very well. In addition to boosting the character’s basic traits in the skill tree, there are also elemental supports for weapons and special moves. This variable allows for a more intelligent and enjoyable approach, as well as a more varied weapon fleet.

Gotham Knights is The Crime Ballad That Never Sleeps
Image: Gothamknightsgame

Gotham Knights is The Crime Ballad That Never Sleeps

The equipment can be forged and placed in the headquarters, while the material can be found both at the end of the various quests and in the trunks scattered throughout the game world. Beyond the rich inventory, what leaves you stunned is undoubtedly the fleet of usable moves in battle. You will immediately notice that the progression system is well-balanced and calibrated, so there will often be a way to show off unique skills. Once you have mastered the basic combat, which you can refine in the training room at the base (the amazing, first-time tutorial does not bore me) you are ready to choose your style.

There are more useful moves against certain enemies and, in that sense, you will be punished for any forgetfulness. Aware of the best way to get your opponent drunk, between perfect dodges and disruptive blows, it will be your approach to the crime scene that will make all the difference. 

We now come to the thorniest topic when analyzing games of the genre: playful depth. We have previously pointed out the presence of a variety of actions during the sufficiently varied patrols, but we have not yet discussed the secondary ones. Although at first glance Gotham Knights do a decent job to make the gameplay stimulating and never stagnant, it is instead necessary to rise well beyond mediocrity in the work done in writing the secondary schools.

Red Hood in Gotham Knights
Red Hood, Image: Gothamknightsgame

Boredom Isn’t in Gotham City

Between thick villains, articulated stories and a river of optional activities, the trip to the city appears far more colorful than many other games on the market. The art of the development team was to enhance the big names in this chapter, then seek the right alchemy between patrol activities and arduous challenges. Your commitment to the game world is poured into the secondary missions, and what seemed to be dark areas of the city now have another flavor and meaning. 

Gotham Knights’ writing is, once again, commendable. The elements that act as a winning glue are interrogations and investigations. From time to time, you will be able to torch an enemy with low health during a fight to extract information about crimes or to advance in some quest linked to a faction.

Your wits and wits are tested as you search for clues to solve complicated cases or gruesome puzzles. In addition to the well-written secondary, you can have fun doing races with the bike, or spend time in the mini-games present at your base. In short, in terms of longevity and pure student spirit, we are here. 

The cooperative side is the one that thrives on ups and downs, unfortunately. Don’t get me wrong: the mode is enjoyable and playing with your friend will make your stay in Gotham Knights enjoyable, exhilarating, and never boring, but there is no news of any kind. We would have expected a couple of combos during the fights, a series of additional team activities, or a way – even simple – to make the most of this mode. We just do good homework, but with little courage.

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Gotham Knights is a collection of sensational video games and we love the noise and the sweet delirium that crawls in the streets of Gotham City, it has always fascinated me. A city made of masks and cloaked in a thick blanket of darkness, as if...Gotham Knights Review: Snakes Thrive in The Shadow of The Bat