Being inspired by someone is synonymous with having a reason to follow a path in life, to believe in an ideal and never give up on it, to build our identity around that special person. Usually, our everyday heroes (firemen, policemen, fathers, mothers, etc.) serve as this inspiration. Gotham Knights is built on this: a man leaves a legacy that must be continued in the hands of his “children”.
WB Montreal’s new game takes place in the Batman universe, but the great protector of Gotham City is no longer with us. Robin, Batgirl, Nightwing and Red Hood, his loyal apprentices, are tasked with taking on the burden of ridding the city of an evil that even Batman has been unable to solve.
Like Square Enix’s Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy, Gotham Knights can be appreciated. With a very rich story, the game is fun from start to finish. However, some technical problems can irritate the most demanding.
Open the Court of Owls
Gotham Knights’ strongest point is its narrative, which begins with an extended scene where we see Batman and Ra’s al Ghul, the leader of the League of Shadows, engage in a battle that ends with both of them dead. Unfortunately, Batgirl, Nightwing, Red Hood and Robin can’t save Bruce Wayne in time and now they have to take care of Gotham City.
While alive, Bruce investigated the urban myth, the Court of Owls, but was never able to prove its existence. According to legend, this cult group controls Gotham behind the scenes and is responsible for every unsolved crime in the city’s history. If something bad happens, it’s probably spelled out by the court. If there’s a systematic problem that doesn’t have a solution, it’s because it helps them.
Now, the students must continue their mission: find and destroy the court. Meanwhile, the League of Shadows is also present in Gotham, wanting to disrupt the heroes by causing a war in the city.
Robin, Batgirl, Little Red Riding Hood, and Nightwing start the game “lost” in the absence of their master, inspiration, and, why not, father figure. The heroes know that they must protect the city from evil, but without Bruce to lead them, this task is impossible. And this is where we see internal conflicts and maturation on their part.
Gotham Knights makes no mistake in building a tightly woven narrative that captivates from start to finish. Despite this, after a certain point the events become somewhat predictable. However, make no mistake: this does not mean that the story is bad, on the contrary: in fact, the player feels encouraged to play more to see if the narrative will live up to their expectations. A positive point for WB Montreal.
Also worth noting are the game’s good side stories featuring Harley Quinn, Mr. cold and clayey. They also keep fans engaged for a long time, though logically they don’t have the same impact as the main narrative.
Batgirl, Red Riding Hood, Nightwing or Robin?
At the beginning of the RPG, the player is faced with a difficult decision: which hero to choose for his journey? You can choose from Robin, Red Hood, Batgirl or Nightwing. By doing this, players will see the story from their perspective – including, as WB Montreal has already stated, it is necessary to repeat the adventure several times to check all of them.
The variety of gameplay of each character is another plus for Gotham Knights. Each of them has a different fighting style as well as abilities that distinguish them from each other. For example: Red Hood is an excellent shooter, Batgirl can hack cameras and turrets to disable them, Nightwing is agile and acrobatic, and Robin has stealth skills.
Fortunately, the player can switch which character they control from Steeple, the quartet’s base of operations. That way, if someone’s play style doesn’t suit you, just try to get into other Batman’s Apprentices.
Speaking of Steeple, here you can gear up to fight crime in Gotham City. At the base, it is possible to create costumes and weapons to increase the power of the characters, in addition to installing chips in this equipment to make them even stronger. In fact, it’s a good idea to think carefully about which weapons you’re going to craft, as each one has different attributes (crit chance, elemental damage, etc.).
After visiting the Steeple, the vigilantes head into the open world of Gotham. The city is quite large, divided into several regions, where the most diverse crimes are committed: robberies, kidnappings, secret negotiations and many others. It’s up to the player to take care of everything, advance the story and become a legend – even civilians comment on the street, if Robin and co. Is it known or not?
Moving around the map is one of the highlights of the game. That’s because there are several ways to cross the city: fast travel, BatMoto, ropes, or even skills. The use of ropes in buildings, by the way, is a bit reminiscent of the webs of Marvel’s Spider-Man, although not as fluid – when using it, the character moves in a straight line, without the ability to go left. right.
Finally, a good cooperative mode is worth noting, where two players come together to explore the open world, advance the story, and even help each other with some combat skills, which is fun for each other. All the action happens in real time, without lag – at least in the sessions we were able to participate in.
Gotham Knights still needs some polishing
The Achilles heel of Gotham Knights is, of course, its technical side. Although it presents beautiful graphics in relation to the environment, the game lacks both character design and its execution – the main problem.
The WB Montreal title sparked controversy last week when it was revealed that there is no performance mode, prioritizing frame rate. In fact, the title runs in 4K at 30 FPS, with no option to choose the famous 60 FPS.
Even the rationale of the Canadian studio tries to make sense: because there is co-op gameplay, in an open world and in real time, building a mode will be quite difficult. The problem with this is that even at 30 FPS there is a noticeable drop, especially when driving the BatMoto.
It is also not uncommon to find visual or audio errors in the footage – fortunately, subtitles allow the player to understand the character through noisy speech.
All these troubles are subject to correction in future patches. However, these are things that can distract and annoy even the most observant players.
Gotham Knights: Worth it?
Gotham Knights fulfills its purpose: it brings an intriguing story to the world of Batman that you can enjoy in both single player and multiplayer. Due to its scope, with a large open world and real-time co-op, the game is a really cool experience.
On the other hand, those who are used to playing games at 60 FPS will probably not be satisfied with the title, as there is not the same fluidity in combat at 30 FPS. Additionally, frame rate drops and bugs hold this product back.
Players must spend up to 20 hours of gameplay if they want to complete the main story – which includes the Court of Owls and the League of Shadows. This time can be extended if you also try secondary lines (Harlequin, Cara-de-Barro and Sr. Frio).