Gotham Knights Review: Not Batman? No problem Arkham fans

Gotham Knights Review

Is it worth getting Gotham Knights? Find out in our Gotham Knights review. (Image: WB GAMES)

Fans of Rocksteady’s Arkham games will love Gotham Knights

what we love

  • pictures are great
  • full of things to do
  • Compelling side quests
  • funny combat

what we don’t do

  • Occasional frame rate slowdown
  • Problems with character progression

It’s not technically an Arkham game, but Gotham Knights shares a lot of DNA with Rocksteady’s brilliant Batman games.

And if you’ve been itching to return to Gotham ever since Arkham Knight ended, then the latest from WB Games is well worth your time.

Gotham Knights is a beautiful game, featuring a vibrant, neon-filled Gotham that begs to be explored.

And you’ll have plenty of reasons to hang around this new version of Gotham, as it’s chock-full of things to do.

In addition to the compelling and well-written main campaign, there are a wide variety of side quests that go beyond what you’d expect.

Some focus on combat, others on detective work, while other meatier quest lines feature iconic Batman villains.

If you’ve played Arkham games before, one of the big differences you’ll notice in Gotham Knights is how combat is played.

Fights aren’t as fast and free as games like Arkham Knight, where evading enemy attacks is more crucial than ever thanks to a new mechanic known as Momentum that helps deliver powerful attacks and final blows.

This new fighting system may take some getting used to for fans of the Arkham series, but it’s rewarding in its own right.

While Gotham Knights has a lot to like, there are a few drawbacks, including occasional frame rate drops, as well as an annoying leveling issue that could deter players from switching characters mid-campaign.

However, these issues aren’t enough to dampen Gotham Knights, which is an essential purchase for any fan of previous Batman games.

Gotham Knights Review

Batman is dead, with Gotham at risk of being overrun with crime now that the Caped Crusader is gone.

It’s up to those to whom Bruce Wayne has entrusted his legacy – Nightwing, Robin, Batgirl and the Red Hood – to keep Gotham safe, while they investigate what led to The Dark Knight’s untimely death.

Until now, a Batman game without Batman hasn’t been heard of, with the Caped Crusader typically front and center of all the action.

But he was quickly killed off in Gotham Knights, with players only getting a short amount of time before having to step into the shoes of one of his protégés.

It’s a bold storytelling and design decision, but luckily the future is in good hands.

gotham knights

Gotham Knights begins with the death of Batman (Image: WB GAMES)

WB Games has done a great job of making each character in Gotham Knights feel distinct, with different heroes to suit different styles of play.

Batgirl is fast, agile, and great at evading attacks, Robin is great for players who prefer a stealthy approach, Red Hood is all about brute force, while Nightwing is a good all-rounder.

Depending on your preferred play style, you can develop your character the way you want, thanks to skill trees that unlock different abilities.

One great thing about the way this RPG-style system works in Gotham Knights is XP and AP points, which are required to level up and unlock new abilities, which carry over between characters throughout the game.

Which makes it easier to switch from one character to another in the middle of a campaign and have equivalent power.

gotham knights

You can choose between four characters in Gotham Knights (Image: WB GAMES)

However, there is a downside to this, and it is related to the new Momentum system.

Brand new to Gotham Knights, this mechanic causes a meter to build up at the bottom of the screen as you evade and launch attacks during fights.

Once the meter is full, you’ll be able to unleash a special attack that can be used to break the defense of more powerful enemies or act as a finisher.

The problem is that any progress you make unlocking a Momentum ability with one character, which can be done through story progression or specific challenges, doesn’t carry over to other characters you switch to.

Which can leave you at a disadvantage and having to do a bit of legwork to bring any character you switch to up to speed.

Considering how many fights you’ll be doing in Gotham Knights, this could make players stick to one main character and put off trying others.

And that’s a shame, since in so many other ways, Gotham Knights removes the barriers that might deter people from playing as different characters.

As with previous Arkham games, a large part of Gotham Knights will be spent using your fists to get your message across to the city’s seedy underworld.

But while Gotham Knights shares a lot of DNA with the Rocksteady titles, the fights feel markedly different.

The importance of evading attacks, coupled with the need to level up your character to unlock more powerful abilities, can make fights feel slower in Gotham Knights than in the Arkham games.

It’s a big change from the parry and counter system seen in the Arkham games, and coupled with the Momentum moves, it offers something very different.

But while it may take players a while to get used to it, it’s rewarding in its own right.

gotham knights

Gotham Knights comes out on October 21 on PS5, Xbox Series X/S and PC (Image: WB GAMES)

It’s a good thing that the combat system is so much fun, as you’ll have countless opportunities to use it.

Gotham Knights does a great job of portraying a crime-ridden city that players must eradicate.

In addition to the main campaign, there are a host of side quests on offer that may be more varied and in-depth than you’d expect.

You’ll find side quests focused on combat and detectives, along with additional ongoing quest lines that focus on iconic villains like Mr Freeze and Harley Quinn.

And while many side quests take place on the streets of the vast open world in Gotham Knights, many others will take players to a variety of detailed interior locations.

All of this helps keep things fresh and gives players plenty of reasons to spend time on side quests, in addition to the well-written and well-acted compelling main campaign.

All of these missions are tied together by a new version of Gotham that is a sight to behold.

While Gotham in Arkham Knight was a murky and haunting place that Christopher Nolan would be proud of, the world of Gotham Knights is much more vibrant and colorful.

It’s a neon-drenched city that feels like a mashup of Joel Schumacher’s Batman movies tempered by the darker tone of Zack Synder’s movies.

The art direction is a great fusion of worlds, brought to life by gorgeous next-gen visuals on the latest consoles.

However, the performance of Gotham Knights is hampered by some frame rate issues with noticeable drops that can occur at times.

Gotham Knights Review: Final Verdict

While Gotham Knights isn’t officially tied to Rocksteady’s Arkham series, it does share a lot of DNA with it.

And fans of games like Arkham Knight will find plenty to love in WB Games’ latest offering.

Presentation-wise, Gotham Knights is magnificent: it boasts a brilliantly realized Gotham that is a joy to explore.

And if you’re looking for a meaty game to dive into for dozens of hours of the wide variety of side quests, challenges, and more, they’ll keep you pretty busy.

Presentation-wise, Gotham Knights is beautiful.

However, there are some drawbacks, including frame rate issues that can appear.

While some people in love with the combat system in Arkham games may find Gotham Knights’ fights difficult to grasp at first.

But if none of this sounds like a problem, then a trip back to Gotham City is worth it.

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