After months of leaks, rumors, and deliberate teases from Warner Bros. Montreal, Gotham Knights was officially revealed at DC Fandome in August. And what a reveal it was, with a full-length cinematic trailer setting up a seven-plus minute gameplay trailer showing off Batgirl's slick moves.
Since that big reveal, we've learned a few other key details about gameplay, story, characters, and abilities. What was only speculation and rumors a few weeks ago is a now a fairly full picture of what to expect from Gotham Knights. Read on for a rundown of everything we know.
First, watch the first Gotham Knights trailer below:
Gotham Knights release date is set for next year
Warner Bros. was kind enough to provide a release window for Gotham Knights, and it's encouragingly soon. Barring any potential delays due to the pandemic, we're geared up to "step into the knight" sometime in 2021.
Although it feels like it's been years since we started hearing rumors about a new Warner Bros. Batman game, it's only just been officially revealed, so a release date as early as next year is a positive sign that development is well underway, if not nearing completion. The gameplay footage we got at DC Fandome was from a pre-alpha build, and even so, it looked pretty dang good. We can only imagine what the finished product looks like when we (*crosses fingers*) get to play it next year.
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 Joker team up with Batgirl at a few points for some co-op gameplay.
That said, it's pretty much confirmed that you'll also play as Nightwind and Red Hood. Although we don't have any actual footage to prove that, Warner Bros' pitch for the game suggests as much.
Watch the first Gotham Knights gameplay walkthrough below:
"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.
Thanks to the insights from our friends at Newsarama, we know 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), Batwing, and Azrael. Gotham Knights was never the name of a comic, but it's clear Warner Bros. was loosely inspired by this team-up for their next Batman game.
"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."
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.
There's drop-in Gotham Knights co-op
Combat in Gotham Knights is a clear evolution of the Arkham Series' punchy, fluid battling, but there's also the welcome addition of easy, drop-in co-op. 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 seamless, with a "ROBIN joined the session" message popping up as another player enters without interruption the action or story. Co-op is limited to just two players at a time, despite the fact that given the number of playable characters, it would seem the obvious choice to make four-player co-op an option.
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.