Suit up and step into the knight. Gotham Knights is a brand-new open world, third-person action RPG featuring the Batman Family as players step into the roles of Batgirl, Nightwing, Red Hood and Robin, a new guard of trained DC Super Heroes who must rise up as the protectors of Gotham City in the wake of Batman’s death. Gotham will always need its heroes. Suit up for an all-new adventure on October 21st on PS5, Xbox Series X|S and PC.
Gotham Knights is not only distancing itself from the Arkham franchise in an effort to create its own beast, but it’s placing in the rear shed its titular superhero that has shouldered the series up until this point.
Batman might be dead, but Gotham has several other tantalising lures that fans are sure to lap up. The city itself is a hotbed of grit and crime that serves as a breeding ground for the exact kinds of filth that Bruce Wayne would usually while away the hours putting behind bars. With his death, Batman’s mantle of Gotham’s watchful vanguard passed to his surrogate family in the Gotham Knights, or the ‘Bat Family’.
Though we’re extremely fascinated to see if Gotham Knights can achieve the unthinkable in crafting a must-play Batman game without Batman himself, at least there’s a lot of variety and personality in the motley crew we’re left to deal with in his absence.
As mentioned this isn’t an Arkham game, it’s an ability-driven action game and we’re spoiled for choice when it comes to the four playable heroes on offer. So here’s a rundown of who the Gotham Knights are, and what they’re bringing to the table in this co-op journey into the city’s dark heart.
Nightwing, who began his crime-fighting life as Batman’s first protege Robin after the untimely death of his circus-troupe family, is considered to be the leader of the Gotham Knights.
He’s very nimble and his fighting style is forged out of his acrobatic proficiencies which is no surprise given his upbringing as a trapeze artist.
Nightwing’s proficiencies include his gifted acrobatics, rapid combos, and escrima sticks.
Real Name: Dick Grayson
First Appearance: Tales of the Teen Titans #44 (July 1984)
Essential Reading: Back to Bludhaven (2017), Nightwing: Year One (2005), Better Than Batman (2017), The Boys (1998).
Raptor – This particular skill tree appears to be more geared at enhancing attacks from the air and buffing the critical damage that these moves are capable of. It definitely looks like a lot of fun to trampoline off of an enemy’s head.
Acrobat – Not only does this tree serve to better Nightwing’s aerial attack damage, but its big focus is also evasion and building momentum, it goes as far as gifting an extra momentum bar as part of the second tier. Some of the abilities here turn Nightwing into a chain-evading machine as he literally backflips to safety.
Pack Leader – Being the leader of the Gotham Knights has its perks, although in this instance they sound most useful in co-op as Dick’s leadership not only buffs his own abilities, it serves to enhance his team-mate as well.
I’m glad they’re sticking by the canon that this particular Batgirl has experienced the hardships of The Killing Joke, rehabilitated, and emerged from the other side strengthened by Oracle. It truly makes this Batgirl a wrecking machine and my likely main frontrunner.
For those lacking the temperament to be the shadows, be a hammer and with her predisposition to let her fists do the talking, Barbara is a fine choice for anybody looking for a fast and loud approach.
For people wanting to emulate the experience of being Batman, Babs will get you there.
Batgirl’s proficiencies include expert hacking, she’s tough as nails, and she’s a single-targeted, DPS-dealing bruiser.
Real Name: Barbara Gordon
First Appearance: Detective Comics #359 “The Million Dollar Debut of Batgirl” (1967)
Essential Reading: On Wings, Oracle: Year One (1996), Batgirl of Burnside (2014)
Justice – This tree’s primary focus is to buff Batgirl’s beatdown abilities, even going so far as to make it impossible to interrupt for bursts. This really turns her into an unstoppable slugger and your best bet for breaking through the toughest enemy shields.
Grit – If your hope is to become a veritable tank and absorb near-endless damage, then this particular tree is one you’ll want to look out for. There are HP and defensive buffs on offer here, as well as a Second Wind ability that’ll let Barbara pick herself up off of the canvas when fallen.
Oracle – This more tech-focused skill line showcases Barbara’s eye-in-the-sky, hack-savvy alter-ego Oracle. Branches of this tree grant Batgirl the ability to obscure herself from unfriendly surveillance systems, as well as hack and overcharge enemy weapons and render them inert.
Despite being the third individual to assume the mantle of Robin, Tim Drake’s martial arts skill and genius-intellect make him perhaps the most logical and worthy foil to Bruce Wayne’s vigilante alter ego, the Batman.
Tim is also the youngest of the Gotham Knights, but he’s also whip-smart and a big believer in Batman’s crusade of safeguarding Gotham.
Robin’s proficiencies include his stealth specialty, being a tactical genius, as well as his prodigal bo staff adeptness.
Real Name: Tim Drake
First Appearance: Batman #436 (as Tim Drake) (August 1989)
Essential Reading: Identity Crisis (1990), Red Robin: The Grail (2010), A Lonely Place of Dying (1990)
Slugger – Although it sounds like a brutish tree, its more functional buffs that work in with Robin’s playstyle enhance his decoy with elemental effects. Whether it’s area-of-effect damage on baddies foolish enough to attack said decoy or tick damage from the leftover residue, these are abilities meant to sting.
Shadow – As the name suggests, this tree is all about stealth. In keeping with being a silent assassin of sorts, Robin’s able to become harder to detect and even inflict more damage when undetected. So even if your first attack alerts the horde, it’ll be a good one.
Tinkering – This one is all about Robin’s ability to inflict and deflect elemental damage. One of the highlights here is sure to be the sticky pellets that can adhere to surfaces and act as mines, or even straight onto enemies for more direct damage—these can also be buffed dramatically via this tree.
With undoubtedly the most widely known origin story of all of the Gotham Knights, Red Hood’s violent beginnings determine his character in a number of ways.
He’s got a temper and, although he’s accepted Batman’s non-lethal ideologies, uses his hulking frame to impose himself on Gotham’s corrupt. Expect fireworks if Red Hood happens across Talia al Ghul—she is responsible, after all, for his cursed reanimation via the Lazarus Pit.
He might break Batman’s one rule and:
Red Hood’s proficiencies include his brute strength, his powerhouse brawling ability, and his deadeye marksmanship.
Real Name: Jason Todd
First Appearance: Batman: Under the Hood (as Red Hood) (February 2005)
Essential Reading: Task Force Z (2021), A Death in the Family (1988), Teen Titans: Life and Death (2006)
Marksman – Although Red Hood’s firearms are non-lethal in keeping with Batman’s pro-life ideology, this particular skill tree certainly buffs the aiming distance and the chance for critical hits at range.
Brawler – Guns aside, Red Hood has no qualms with getting up close and personal and that’s what this tree is all about. It grants him the ability to perform grabs on larger foes, the ability to grab enemies sooner in a fray, and even the ability to attach concussion mines to them. The most overpowered ability, however, is one that drops another six mines after the detonation of the first, which is going to be spectacular for crowd control.
Vengeance – Half of this tree is devoted to Red Hood dealing bonus damage to particular factions, which appears pretty straightforward. There’s another that rewards laser-focus with increased damage when focusing on a lone target, and another two with award either a short burst of unlimited rounds or double rounds after using Red Hood’s two-fisted reload ability.
Even with all of those abilities to unlock, it doesn’t stop there as each of the four leads has a Knighthood skill tree. It’s first unlocked by a unique set of challenges that’ll put the heroes back to the wall and force a moment of realisation that they must become the night.
The highlight of these Knighthood skill sets is sure to be the unique traversal abilities that’ll let Batgirl spread her wings and glide through Gotham, and even see Robin utilise the Justice League satellite to literally teleport.
Whichever style you prefer, whoever’s cowl you dream to don, and whatever your plan to push back against the night, Gotham Knights is shaping up to deliver the most options of any superhero game yet.