The latest trailer for Gotham Knights focuses on the unmasked sides of its four playable heroes and how their comic book origins shaped the family of Batman successors.
"The fans trust us to be true to the universe, but they also want to be surprised," says community manager Pauline Zampolini. Character art director Jay Evans sheds some light on the team's approach here. For instance, WB Games Montreal looked at the comic book "shape language" of Robin, Bat Girl, Red Hood, and Nightwing to frame their silhouettes and to bring personality to their movements. This was especially important since players can experience the same story moments while playing as different heroes, meaning subtle differences in their actions would need to stand out.
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Much of the trailer focuses on how these heroes behave outside of missions, back home at the Belfry Tower's base of operations. Narrative director Ann Lemay describes the theme of the story as "found family." The Gotham Knights are brought together through their shared responsibility and grief after Batman's death, but they don't mesh well immediately.
"They're at odds with each other. They're fighting, they're not a cohesive group," says cinematic director Wilson Mui. "They've never had the chance to work together because they've all been working fairly independently with the exception of Robin. As you progress through the entire game, you're gonna see this gradually change."
Multiple devs hammer home the point that hanging out at the Belfry is core to Gotham Knights' gameplay loop and overall story, largely as a way to humanize its heroes. Alfred, Batman's former confidant and partner, is now a major figure at the Belfry as well, acting as a rock for the Gotham Knights and "the glue of the Batman family." These interactions alone apparently comprise dozens of cinematics, to say nothing of scenes out in missions and the open world.
Gotham Knights is now launching on October 21, four days ahead of its previous post-delay release date.
Last month, we spoke to WB Games Montreal about how Batman's absence brings out the best in its heroes.