There’s no doubt that the management of licenses for DC characters at Warner Bros. has been a chaotic moment: beyond the spectacular messes on the cinematic level, the situation isn’t as exciting even on the video game front. In fact, it’s been more than seven years since the amazing Batman: Arkham Knight was released, and the Dark Knight, a character still known to everyone today and often selling for just the name alone, is sensationally absent on PC and console.
There’s more: Instead of continuing the Arkhamverse “prequel” timeline that started with the excellent Arkham Origins, World Bank Games Montreal They thought it was a good idea to create a separate narrative universe, so there’s a different but common element to what we’ll find in Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League: here too, Batman is dead and his disciples. To take on the burden of protecting Gotham.
But let’s put aside for a moment our confusions about this narrative approach, because I tried Gotham Knights For a few hours, we had a pretty clear idea of what this new action RPG has to offer to many fans of DC heroes.
We just mentioned: The beginning of Gotham Knights is represented by: Batman’s death, possibly in the hands of the deadly Claws of the Court of Owls. However, before he disappears from the scene, Bruce Wayne has time to send a message to his students, and now that he’s gone, he officially equips them in the role of guardians of the city.
night owl (Dick Grayson, first Robin), Rubric (Jason Todd, Robin the second), robin (Batman’s last sidekick Tim Drake) e bat girl (Barbara Gordon, very fit here and not in a wheelchair) can’t help but accept the quest and therefore decide to work together, using Gotham Bell Tower as her headquarters.
newly formed Gotham Knights team He first aims to find out what really happened to Batman, but to succeed in the venture, the four protagonists will need to follow different tracks and face some of the best-known and most dangerous villains in the DC universe, namely Harley Quinn, Mr. Clayface, Penguin and finally the aforementioned Court of Owls.
During our rehearsal, we devoted ourselves to some tasks related to the narrative core of the story. Harley QuinnBeginning with his initial assignments and investigations into a series of heinous murders, he then begins to confront the notorious criminal who wants to take advantage of Batman’s absence to launch his own attack on Gotham.
Let’s start by saying that those expecting an experience that is closely tied to the Batman: Arkham saga will not be disappointed. Actually, the developers Gameplay It’s an all-action RPG, so with the numerical representation of the damage dealt in each hit and a versatile upgrade system and customization based on unlockable objects, the free flow is always there to cheer up our fist fights.
let’s talk about battle system that has changed the face of the action genre over the years, and unsurprisingly Insomniac Games wanted to fit it into the exciting Marvel’s Spider-Man. In the case of Gotham Knights, however, the tolerances are the same as those of the Rocksteady games, so the beating doesn’t stop if an opponent is an extra meter away: our character automatically fires and hits him anyway.
During testing, we appreciated the performance of slams, with the inevitable emphasis on slow-motion shooting to end the skirmish, but felt the lack of counterattacks that could be incorporated into the heroes’ repertoire with the right enhancement. As far as we know, it’s unlocked. very good instead SkillsActing as a characterizing feature for each of the playable characters, it allows you to build structures with a different approach and deliver attacks that are as spectacular as they are effective, perhaps with the ability to change the fate of a fight that goes bad.
Stages hidden It’s integrated into the game as it’s possible to move silently and catch from behind to knock out opponents discreetly or dramatically, but it’s not yet clear what can and can’t be done from the hatches: both Batman: Arkham and Marvel’s Spider-Man from start to finish and very much. a mechanic he exploits in a fun way, so it would be a shame to deprive yourself of him.
to deepen investigation aspectsIt relies on Detective Mode to find and analyze pieces as well as solve some puzzles.
Obviously, the Gotham Knights experience isn’t limited to combat, which is also the core of the product. Adjustment open the world presenting the entire city of Gotham in a freely exploreable version divided into different zones and filled with free-roaming criminals that we can interact with at any time as we travel on the Batcycle, as always, we move from a barn to ‘more’. we use extra maneuvers for movement with hook or on the map.
Nightwing, for example, can instantly remember his glider, while the Red Hood “jumps” over energy barriers from his mystical past: vehicles that allow you to move but rather slowly, even over long distances. In short, if you need to get to the other side of the city, it is better to rely on the motorcycle or the fast movements that open after completing certain activities.
Speaking of quick moves, reaching the Bell Tower at any time in the campaign will give us the opportunity to interact with what’s left of Batman’s equipment and use it to discover new possible upgrades: The Dark Knight discovers that their lost mentor can still teach them something. We will also have the opportunity at the headquarters. change character freely and try our hand at some tutorials needed to learn certain moves.
We mainly used Batgirl and Nightwing during our testing, appreciating the balance of the two heroes in dealing with all kinds of situations and their special abilities. Red Hood and Robin seemed to us to be more focused on action and stealth, respectively, instead, but during the review phase we hope to be able to further explore these aspects and find out if the protagonists are really well differentiated.
Gotham Knights looks promising and potential To involve all fans of DC heroes in an amazing new adventure. True, all the intricacies of the case remain for the choice to have two different video game universes under the same publisher, both without Batman, but Nightwing, Batgirl, Robin and the Red Hood have all the credentials to succeed and create their own world. let’s imagine. Its own space.
The open world, which is the basis of the game, with random events on the streets (e.g. chases and robberies) are quite challenging missions that we can decide whether to try our hand and likewise enrich a list of secondary missions, even missions that promise to be quite important. Of course, even the actual validity of the scenario will be checked more calmly, and not all solutions for moving on the map look exciting.
So there’s a huge section of gameplay that we haven’t had the opportunity to fully explore, but what we’ve been able to experience about the combat system works very well and also bodes well in terms of all the features that the moment lacks. and yet they can find their own space.
artistically very interesting, Gotham Knights has a remarkable technical sector and the version we tried is already italian dubbingThis can undoubtedly count on a cast of very good players, but the tone of some of the dialogues sometimes surprises us: perhaps this is the usual problem of blind interpretation, but even here there will be a way to go deep.
Gotham Knights may be the link many Batman: Arkham fans have been waiting for, but the game deliberately uses his death as an incentive for the evolution of the various Nightwings, without being the most valuable and fascinating character in DC house. , Batgirl, Red Hood and Robin. Our test was very pleasant, the combat system is solid, and the game has tremendous potential, both technically, structurally and artistically: will it be able to express it fully?
- Robust and fun free-flowing combat system
- Traditional open world but apparently intense and interesting
- Technically perfect, well dubbed in Italian
- Gotham Knights isn’t Batman, there’s little to do
- Some mechanics still to be confirmed
- Management is not surprising for now