Gotham Knights will give its heroes more time to develop than the hectic Arkham games.
The Arkham series took place almost exclusively across one very long night for Batman (one night per game, that is, it wasn't that mean to poor Bruce). Batman's suit would assemble cuts, dents, and other damage, and one way or another the story would end by dawn - even if you'd spent a few hundred hours collecting all those damn Riddler trophies.
While Gotham Knights builds on the fundamentals of Arkham, it doesn't share a fictional universe. A longer in-game timeline gives its four young heroes more chances to develop, both narratively as they grapple with a post-Batman world (opens in new tab), and mechanically as players build out each hero's upgrade path.
"It's not one story set over one night, but really about the mid to long term growth of the hero," creative director Patrick Redding told PlayStation Blog (opens in new tab). "The game affords players a huge amount of growth and a huge amount of goal setting in an open world environment that they need to protect, that they need to go back to again and again.
"It's that idea of how this new guard of younger heroes - that are not Bruce Wayne, are not Batman - approach the problem of equipping and training themselves up, preparing and adapting for that next major threat, that next major menace that they're going to need to combat?"
Redding says you'll be able to experience more of the city throughout that time. You'll encounter more of the normal citizens of Gotham, the criminal factions that prey on them, the Gotham police, and many familiar faces from Batman's assortment of enemies. You'll do some detective work one night to find out what the villains are plotting, then you'll foil their plans the next. Superhero life goes on.
"We want to make you feel all that work you're investing into protecting Gotham City," outlines Redding. "Regardless of whether you're dealing with a small street gang on a corner somewhere or dealing with a major supervillain like Mister Freeze."
You can play all of Gotham Knights on your own or in co-op if you prefer (opens in new tab).