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Gotham Knights Review

by WB Games Montréal 0 text

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Bat-Family Misfire

Gotham Knights invites players into a Gotham City devoid of its iconic caped crusader, Batman, placing the responsibility of crime-fighting on the shoulders of the Bat Family: Batgirl, Nightwing, Red Hood, and Robin. The game proposes an ambitious open-world experience, heavy on narrative and team dynamics, leveraging a mix of stealth, combat, and detective work. However, the game struggles under the weight of its own ambition, with mixed execution in several critical areas that we'll dive into.

Gameplay 5

The gameplay of Gotham Knights is a mixed bag that offers moments of exhilaration intertwined with bouts of frustration. The combat system deviates from the rhythmic precision that defined the Arkham series, opting instead for a more RPG-like progression system that influences attack power and effectiveness. This change introduces a new layer of strategic depth but often feels sluggish and less responsive, particularly during large-scale encounters.

Each character has a distinct playstyle, with Batgirl excelling in cybernetic attacks, Nightwing utilizing his acrobatics, Red Hood offering heavy firepower, and Robin focusing on stealth and gadgets. This diversity is initially appealing, providing a fresh experience with each character. However, the novelty wears off due to repetitive mission structures and an over-reliance on grinding to level up, which can detract from the narrative flow and overall enjoyment.

The cooperative multiplayer component, which allows for two-player online co-op, is a highlight, offering players the chance to team up and tackle missions together. This mode brings a much-needed dynamic element to the gameplay, enhancing both strategy and enjoyment. Unfortunately, technical issues such as frame rate drops and occasional connectivity problems can mar the multiplayer experience.

Graphics 7

Visually, Gotham Knights is a treat, particularly in its depiction of a sprawling, neon-lit Gotham City that feels alive and oppressive. The character models are detailed and animate well, especially in combat sequences where each hero's unique abilities are on full display. The environmental textures and lighting effects are impressive, contributing to an immersive atmosphere that faithfully captures the essence of Gotham.

However, performance issues detract from the overall experience. On consoles, frame rate inconsistencies and occasional graphical glitches can break immersion, an aspect that is less pronounced but still present on higher-end PCs. Despite these hiccups, the art direction and overall visual presentation remain strong points for the game.

Storyline 6

The narrative of Gotham Knights aims to fill the void left by Batman's death, focusing on the personal growth and challenges of the Bat Family as they strive to protect Gotham. The story has strong moments, particularly in character development and the exploration of themes like legacy and justice. Each hero's journey feels personal and is well-integrated into the broader narrative.

However, the pacing suffers from the game's open-world structure and RPG mechanics, often feeling disjointed as players must undertake repetitive side missions that stall narrative progression. Moreover, the main antagonist's motives and the overarching threat sometimes feel underdeveloped, leading to a climax that lacks the emotional impact expected from such a rich setting.

Multiplayer 6

Multiplayer in Gotham Knights offers a fundamentally different experience compared to solo play. Teaming up with another player adds a tactical layer to combat and exploration, making the repetitive aspects of the game more bearable. The ability to coordinate attacks and combine heroes' unique abilities creates some genuinely thrilling moments.

However, the game's performance issues are more pronounced in multiplayer mode, with increased frame rate drops and some bugs directly affecting gameplay. The integration of multiplayer elements into the narrative and missions is somewhat clunky, often feeling like an afterthought rather than a fully realized component.

Issues and Community Feedback

Players have expressed mixed feelings about Gotham Knights. Common praises include the game's visual fidelity and the depth of character customization. Criticisms are more frequent, focusing on performance issues, repetitive gameplay, and a lack of true innovation in combat mechanics. The community has also highlighted concerns regarding the game's deviation from the beloved mechanics of previous Batman titles, feeling that this title lacks the same polish and engagement.

Conclusion 6

Gotham Knights ventures boldly into new territory but ultimately fails to consistently deliver the depth and polish expected of a AAA Bat Family title. While it shines in its visual presentation and character diversity, the game is hampered by performance issues and repetitive gameplay mechanics. It's a commendable attempt that will satisfy fans looking for more stories from the Batman universe but might disappoint those seeking a refined successor to the Arkham series.

Pros and Cons

  • Stunning visuals
  • Character diversity
  • Co-op gameplay
  • Repetitive missions
  • Performance issues
  • Lackluster combat

Player Quotes

"Love the visuals, but the gameplay gets tedious."

"Wish the combat felt more like Arkham!"

"Co-op is fun but buggy. Hope they fix it."

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Please note that this review is based on the feedback and sentiments of players on various Reddit threads and does not represent the views of all players.