Gotham Knights is out in just a few weeks, and Batman fans are already excited – and nervous – about the adventures of the great Bat family. To find out how the project was taking shape, I went to Warner Bros.’s Montreal. to play the game for two hours. I spent time fighting crime as all four characters, exploring the open world of Gotham and killing criminals with a cooperative partner. I also chatted with the development team to discover more about what adventure has to offer. Here are some general impressions and fascinating fun facts I learned about the Knights of Gotham as the march towards the October 21 launch draws near.
The feeling of fighting is completely different from the game Arkham
I matched all four heroes at different points during my more than two-hour play session. Combat has a distinctly different feel to the Arkham games, which, if you haven’t kept up with Gotham Knights, might surprise you.
The game has a single melee attack button that is used to perform simple combos. Gotham Knights feels less hectic than the fast-paced, fusion-oriented Arkham games, mainly because of the elaborate animations that accompany each attack. It was a bit annoying at first, but I gradually fell for the more straight forward approach of the game, although I wanted a bit more weight behind the offense.
A ranged attack that loses ammo weapons, such as firing Red Hood’s pistols or throwing Batgirl’s Batarangs. Holding the melee or ranged button unlocks a more powerful variation of each attack; Batgirl, for example, fires a shotgun-like volley of projectiles.
Combining these into combos while dodging oncoming attacks creates momentum, one meter is divided into two lines. Using these gauges activates a character’s special ability, for which each Knight can have several items of equipment. Earning special moves by successfully basic attack reminds me of the mentality of fighting games like Street Fighter and I think the formula is well suited for a second person action game. father. Robin’s portal teleport is one of my favorites, allowing him to open a rift to transport distant enemies towards him. Nightwing can drop a healing device that restores himself and his allies.
WB Montreal hopes the initial simplicity of battle will help players quickly integrate into the Knights before they gain additional abilities, which are unlocked using ability points on the skill tree. It’s worth noting that I’ve played the base version of these characters and only upgraded them a few times, so even though the battle starts out relatively short, hopefully it turns out to be powerful and fun. more as you progress.
Surprise: Co-op is more fun
Soloing Gotham Knights is doable, but partnering with a developer for a co-op session has become a favorite part of my time playing the game. I’m assuming Robin while my partner takes on Nightwing, and we work in tandem to stealthily take out gang members before plunging into a scuffle when the situation turns sideways. I also love the fact that you can grab and hold an enemy to initiate a duo move, which is reminiscent of doing tag group moves in a wrestling game, weirdly.
Players can also play together regardless of their level. WB Montreal promises a game balance that allows rookies to fight alongside veterans with fully leveled Knights and have a good time. What’s even better is that each player can play according to their own difficulty settings. If someone likes the challenge on Hard while their friend wants to go through the experience on Easy, all is well. But the best news is…
Cooperative partners can explore Gotham separately outside of story missions
Story missions can be understood as keeping players relatively closely linked, but teams can stay separate and go their separate ways when roaming freely. That means you can be south of Gotham fighting street crime while your friend is on the map exploring the university in search of secrets. By not making players feel tied together, WB Montreal hopes to capture the superhero biting more than you can just chew so your friend swoos in deus ex machina style to save your ass before disappearing. lose back any activities in which they were engaged. Plus, it’s more fun to chat with each other if one of you discovers something interesting.
Just two players is a storytelling decision
Many players are confused that Gotham Knights only supports two-player co-op despite having four main characters. When I asked why, the gaming team said they chose this format because it best served the story.
“Storytelling is also one of our really important pillars in the game,” said game director Geoff Ellenor. “We really want to do that. So as we went through our initial prototyping, at some point we drew the line that four players together was like a group moving in a common direction. And it’s fun, but it’s not storytelling if the experience becomes more and more about the social experience and less about the story you’re experiencing in the game. “
The key cutscenes come in four variations
Depending on who you’re controlling, the story’s key moments will be tailored to that character, meaning four versions of them for every key moment. While the narrative gist of the scene remains the same, the interactions change with even the cinematography. When I visited Harley Quinn in Blackgate as Batgirl. The Joker’s former sidekick calls me “Bratgirl” and seems sarcastically delighted to be spending time with a certain girl with me (to Barbara’s annoyance). Robin, however, has never met Harley in this universe, so they will have a different conversation. But with that in mind…
You get the whole story in one play
On the previous point, I wonder if Gotham Knights is the kind of game that requires multiple plays per hero to understand the full scope of the story. Thankfully, that’s not the case.
Director of Narrative Ann Lemay said: “You can totally get the whole story from a single level. “But if you want to get the nuances that we did for each character, I highly recommend doing the playthrough. [at] different time. There is another taste. “
Civilians tell you how good a hero you are
Unlike the Arkham series, this version of Gotham City is inhabited by ordinary citizens as well as criminals. These organizations are not here just to make the city more dynamic; They serve as constant reminders of your progress as a hero.
“Initially, they don’t think you’re as good as the superhero who ended up defending the city, and they’ll tell you,” Ellenor said. “And as you progress through the story, you gradually gain citizens. You get more trust from the people around you. They are happier with what you are doing.
Walking the streets, people often react to my presence. In most cases, they were largely supportive, cheering me on while occasionally making humorous remarks that reminded me of the street-level interactions in Marvel’s Spider-Man.
Belfry has over 40 cameras
In the midst of nights fighting crime on the streets, you’ll return to Belfry’s hideout to change, unlock new gadgets, and most of all, hang out with the group. Lots of stories and relationship building take place at Belfry. So much so that the central area alone has more than 40 cutscenes, according to Wilson Mui, the game’s cinematic director.
“There’s a potential tension with them at the start of the game, but you’ll see that sort of wear off as they find their space and comfort zone around each other… I think we’ve hit something. pretty cool because it’s not something we’re used to seeing in a superhero game.”
These scenes are divided equally to create separate stories for each Knight. Many people will focus on how each teammate dealt with the heartbreak after Bruce Lee’s death.
Robin’s outfit is not inspired by Damien Wayne’s outfit
Some fans confused Tim Drake with Damien Wayne when the Gotham Knights were first revealed, largely because Tim’s Robin suit sports a hood and poncho-esque design that Bruce’s son is famous for. language. According to art director Jay Evans, the resemblance is purely coincidental.
“I’ve heard that comparison to him. At first it was more of a streetwear type, jackets were some of our influences. [It] kind has become a little, almost like poncho. But these clothes, like the default suit or the original suit, are, you know, a combination of a real-world wearable outfit and a combination of an extreme suit. They’re somewhere in between, you know? And that’s where we want to start. “
Harley Quinn is a total villain
Harley Quinn’s popularity has exploded in recent years thanks to Suicide Squad/Birds of prey movies and animations Harley Quinn series. These adaptations have portrayed the Joker’s former protagonist as a sometimes heroic anti-hero, but Gotham Knights brings Harley back to her villainous roots. Despite going back to what brought Harley to the dance, WB Montreal teases their version of the character will be a new step.
“…Like [a] Big Harley fan, what we’ve done with her, I think is unheard of,” said executive producer Fleur Marty. And, I just love where the narrative and character team took her and made her not a heroic antagonist. The all-round superman. Things are going absolutely horribly wrong, and she doesn’t need anyone but herself to do it. “
Gotham Knights launches October 21 for PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, and PC.