After years of speculation and rumours, the 24-hour DC FanDome event, which started on the 22nd August, saw the official announcement of WB Games Montreal’s Gotham Knights.
From the trailer, it can be seen that the game takes place during the aftermath of an explosion that has rocked Gotham City and killed Bruce Wayne. In his typical prepared-for-anything fashion, Batman has prepared for a video to be sent to his allies in the event of his death. Leaving the Belfry as their new base of operations, he leaves the safety of Gotham in the hands of Nightwing (Dick Grayson), Batgirl (Barbara Gordon), Robin (Tim Drake) and Red Hood (Jason Todd).
Full details of the game’s plot have yet to be revealed – the developers no doubt want to keep some things under wraps – but the trailer makes it clear that the Court of Owls will play a large role, though the developers suggest that the mystery is much bigger than just that.
After some confusion, WB Games Montreal has announced that the game will take place separately from the Arkham series with an original new story set within the Batman universe.
In terms of gameplay, Gotham Knights can be played solo with the option of online co-op, though at this point it is unclear as to whether this online mode is available for more than two players.
Nightwing, Robin, Batgirl and Red Hood are all playable, each with their own unique set of skills. Their character descriptions set out by the official press release are as follows:
- Batgirl, also known as Barbara Gordon, is a determined fighter and a skilled hacker. As the daughter of deceased Gotham commissioner, Jim Gordon, she had helped Batman as Oracle in the past. Now, after years of recovery and preparation, she is ready to step into her new role, wielding her melee tonfa, and harnessing her training in kickboxing, capoeira and jiu-jitsu.
- Nightwing is Dick Grayson, the first Robin, who was Batman’s protégé before becoming a hero in his own right. He’s a natural leader and the eldest and wisest member of the Batman Family. Nightwing’s mastery in acrobatics is complemented by his expertise use of his signature dual Escrima Sticks, making him proficient at taking out enemies.
- Red Hood, formerly known as Jason Todd, is an intense and volatile anti-hero, which stems from his death and forced resurrection by one of Batman’s most dangerous foes. Red Hood has trouble keeping his temper in check but will not hesitate to step into the line of fire when a friend is threatened. His training has given him peak human strength and proficiency in multiple combat techniques with all manner of weapons – both traditional and high-tech.
- Robin is Tim Drake, the young prodigy and genius of the team, who is a master of deductive reasoning. As a true believer in Batman’s mission, he is motivated by the conviction that Gotham City needs protecting and hopes to be the type of hero Batman personified. An expert fighter armed with his collapsible quarterstaff and skilled in a variety of stealth techniques, Robin also possesses a background in combined psychological warfare and behavioral sciences.
Gotham Knights is set to release on current and next-generation PlayStation and Xbox. along with PC in 2021, though a more precise date has yet to be announced.