Gotham Knights is the latest project from Batman: Arkham Origins developer WB Games Montreal. Here, Batman's apparent death has left a void in Gotham City, and so the Dark Knight's former accomplices have reunited to fight off the Court of Owls, the Talons, and everyone else who wants to see Gotham crumble.
The premiere trailer reveals a couple of major threats to the city, including Mr. Freeze and the Court of Owls. Not much is know about the Gotham Knights story at this point, but we've managed to piece together some clues from the trailer and formulate some educated guesses. How did Batman die? Is he even really dead? Those are questions we'll need to wait a little longer for answers, but we know a bunch of key details that WB Games has already confirmed.
We've bundled all of those official details, along with some spirited speculation, to bring you everything you need to know about Gotham Knights. We'll also continue to update this page as we learn more, so if it's the Gotham Knights release date you're after, trailers, story or gameplay details, or just what we think the Court of Owls are up to in Gotham Knights, read on.
Gotham Knights trailer
Gotham Knights has been delayed to 2022
After originally setting a 2021 launch window, the studio delivered an update to Twitter sharing its vague reasoning for the delay. No specific reason was given, but as with most things right now, it's very likely the pandemic has had a negative effect on Gotham Knight's development.
"We are giving the game more time to deliver the best possible experience for players," reads the announcement. "Thank you to our amazing fans for your tremendous support of Gotham Knights. We look forward to showcasing more of the games in the coming months."
There are at least four playable Gotham Knights characters
Batman: Gotham Knights takes place after the death of Batman, seeing the Gotham Knights assemble to bear the Dark Knight torch. Warner Bros. confirmed during an interview after the reveal that Gothan knights will feature "a whole host of playable characters," but the footage so far mostly centers around Batgirl. We also see Robin team up with Batgirl at a few points for some co-op gameplay. That said, it's been confirmed that you'll also get to play as any hero from the Gotham Knights crew, including Nightwing and Red Hood.
Watch the first Gotham Knights gameplay walkthrough below:
Here's the official synopsis for Gotham Knights: "Batman is dead. It is now up to the Batman Family - Batgirl, Nightwing, Red Hood and Robin - to protect Gotham City, bring hope to its citizens, discipline to its cops, and fear to its criminals ... You must evolve into the new Dark Knight and save Gotham from chaos. Your legacy begins now. Step into the Knight."
The Batcave is gone, and in its place is the Belfry
Surprise, surprise, the new Batman game takes place in the faintly-lit alleyways and bustling streets of Gotham City, and it looks like there's a range of different neighborhoods to explore. Yet, you'll notice the Gotham Knights aren't operating out of the Batcave - which was presumably destroyed when Batman was killed - and instead are using the Belfry as their new base.
In comics lore, the Belfry was introduced back in 2016 as a school for Batman to train superheroes while Batwoman resumed day-to-day operations. It was also the base for a team called the Gotham Knights, made up of Batman, Batwoman, Clayface, Orphan (a former Batgirl), Spoiler (another former Batgirl), Red Robin (Tim Drake, a former Robin), Nightwing, and Azrael.
"In [Detective Comics #935], we're introducing a new secondary Batcave that's going to be in Gotham City. It's called the Belfry, and it is the – honestly, I got to sit down and design my own Batcave from scratch. And it's honestly one of the coolest things," writer James Tynion IV told Newsarama about the location back in June 2016. "When I saw the pages come in from Eddy Barrows designing it for the first time, I was just floored. This feels like a new iconic setting in Gotham City, and I can't wait for people to see it."
In the comics, the Belfy even has a room similar to the X-Men's Danger Room or Star Trek's Holo Deck, called the 'Mud Room,' where Clayface can make traps and the like for the team to train against. We didn't see anything like that in the trailer, so we're only speculating, but it should be interesting to see how Warner Bros. implements the new base.
The Gotham Knights story is completely original
While you'll see more than a few familiar faces and locales, Gotham Knight tells a story entirely its own, and not based on any existing comic book stories. "It's a completely original story," explains Fleur Marty, senior producer on Gotham Knights in an interview with GamesRadar. "We're not re-enacting any of the existing stories from any of the comics. Gotham Knights' story is fully original."
The Court of Owls is a big focus
We saw in the premiere trailer for Gotham Knights that the Court of Owls is going to be one of the primary antagonists in the game. The group is a somewhat recent addition to the DC comics storyline, which sees Batman face off against the organized crime group. As Batman is seemingly dead in Gotham Knights, it's possible that the Court of Owls is responsible and the Gotham Knights are on a quest for vengeance. Please do note that that's purely speculation though.
A tiny teaser revealed for Gotham Knights puts further emphasis on the Court of Owls. The brief animation seems to reveal the labyrinth the group uses to hold Batman captive and feed him drugged water.
In the comics, it's canon that Batman took in Nightwing when he was orphaned after his family died performing at a circus. Flash forward to 2011's Court of Owls storyline, and it's revealed that the circus was a training ground for the Court of Owls' Talons, the group's legion of assassins, revealing that Nightwing was in training to become a Talon. In modern comics, the Court of Owls returns in an attempt to reclaim Nightwing. Again, purely speculation, but Gotham Knights could take inspiration from that storyline and see Nightwing imprisoned in the Court of Owls' labyrinth and the other Gotham knights on a rescue mission.
Mr. Freeze is one of the Gotham Knights villains
There are sure to be multiple baddies standing between the Gotham Knights and the safety of Gotham City, but we know one of them to be Mr. Freeze, a cryogenics expert and the product of a laboratory mishap that left him confined to a cryogenic suit for survival.
For some context, Mr. Freeze has attempted to take over and/or freeze all of Gotham a couple of times in the comics. On one such occasion, from the 2017-2018 miniseries Batman: White Knight, Mr. Freeze builds a massive freeze cannon under a lighthouse in Gotham City. Harley Quinn (using the name Neo-Joker) finds the cannon and takes it over, freezing Gotham entirely and leaving Mr. Freeze and Batgirl to team up to fix the mess. It's unlikely we'll see any sort of partnership between any of the heroes and villains, but nothing's out of the question just yet.
Gotham Knights has drop-in, drop-out co-op
Gotham Knights will feature seamless drop-in, drop-out co-op, which as we've learned is actually a huge focus for WB Games Montreal. You can see Batgirl doing her thing with the help of Robin, showcasing a few truly satisfying-looking takedowns.
The process of joining and leaving Gotham Knights co-op sessions looks easy-peasy, with a "ROBIN joined the session" message popping up as another player enters without interrupting the action or story.
Gotham Knights combat is catered for co-op gameplay
In an interview with GamesRadar, executive producer Fleur Marty got to talking about Gotham Knights' entirely new combat system, which has been optimized for co-op play. "We have entirely redesigned the combat system in order for it to work well in co-op, because that part of the experience is really exciting for us," Marty told us. "Of course, we're still a brawler, and some of the mechanics won't feel totally alien for people who played and enjoyed the Arkham series, but it is in many ways very different. Designing a combat system from scratch has its challenges indeed, but it’s been a very stimulating one and we're very proud of the result!"
You can play Gotham Knights offline and entirely solo
Despite speculation that Gotham Knights would wind up being a live service game where you need a constant internet connection, Warner Bros. has confirmed that you can play through the full campaign offline and by yourself.
"It's a third-person, open-world action-RPG," senior producer Fleur Marty told GameSpot. "The whole game is fully playable solo. You can play on your own offline if you want to. There is no always-online. And on top of that, if you want to experience that with a co-op partner in a very seamless drop in, drop out way, you can do so. There are no game-as-a-service elements designed into the game."
Gotham Knights characters each have distinct skill trees
Talking to GamesRadar, creative director Patrick Redding confirmed that each Gotham Knights character will have their own unique abilities and skill trees. Redding said balancing each character for co-op was one of the trickier aspects of developing Gotham Knights, but that having each character feel different to the next is key to the story.
"They're all trained under Batman, so have certain crimefighting approaches that are derivative of that. But at the same time, they have all kind of evolved in their own direction, and they have their different specialties. With things like traversal, we wanted to make sure that each character had a kind of different spin on that idea of being able to kind of party-crash on crime," Redding said.
"So they might have access to some of the same tools, like the grapple and the Batcycle. But they also have ways of kind of approaching and entering into the fray that is really distinctive and specific to each of them," he added.