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Gotham Knights Review

Gotham Knights Review

From developer WB Games Montreal and publisher Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment comes the much-talked-about Gotham Knights. The game has been receiving a lot of attention lately via angry Twitter posts — the cause of the controversy is centred around the lack of performance mode on console versions, limiting the game to 30FPS. News of this performance lock came by way of the games Executive Producer Fleur Marty on the official Gotham Knights discord. The matter was quickly exacerbated by Lee Devonald, a Character Technical Artist at Rocksteady. Rocksteady Studios is the developer behind the Batman Arkham games and is not involved in the creation of Gotham Knights. Mr Devonald poured gasoline on the fire by suggesting that the reason for the 30FPS lock is due to the Xbox Series S being unable to keep up with the PlayStation 5, and it's big brother, the Xbox Series X.


Executive Producer Fleur Marty's announcement.

Despite this controversy, we at GameGrin have managed to acquire a pre-launch game code for the PC version of Gotham Knights.

In Gotham Knights, you can take on the role of four members of the Batman family: Barbara Gordon (Batgirl), Dick Grayson (Nightwing), Jason Todd (The Red Hood), and Tim Drake (Robin); each character has different abilities, strengths, and weaknesses. When the game begins, you are faced with a long cinematic in which you watch the death of Batman. Let's just say he does not go down without a fight, and the villain from The Rogues Gallery that brings about his death is, in my opinion, the right choice. Once it's all over, the four protagonists gather around Bruce's grave to discuss what they should do next, and how they can follow the mission that they have been left with. At this point, you are given the ability to choose your character. This does not matter much, as throughout the game, you have the ability to switch to any of the other characters by visiting your headquarters inside the Belfry Tower and walking up to the podiums that house each character's suit. For the majority of my time with Gotham Knights, I chose to play as Batgirl. Her playstyle reminded me most of Batman from the Arkham series of games. The ability to interact with electronic devices, such as cameras, really came in handy when trying to sneak around.

The personalities of each character are also quite different. Dick Grayson (Nightwing) might behave most like Batman, but I found him to be quite bland when compared to the others. Tim Drake (Robin) is the timid one of the group; you can tell he is not sure of himself — especially after the death of his mentor. Barbara Gordon (Batgirl) is both brainy and throws some sass around, which is another reason I chose her. Finally, Jason Todd (The Red Hood) is the person who leaps into danger without thinking first; his personality puts him at odds with the others.


Character Selection at the Belfrey Tower

Gotham Knights felt a bit restrictive at first. This was mostly because I was immediately forced to do a mission that took me inside of a lab at Gotham University, after which I had to do some sneaky investigating inside of Gotham PD. However, once I was able to free-roam the open world of Gotham City, I started to really enjoy myself — grappling to rooftops and patrolling the city was a pretty smooth affair! Using a feature called AR (Augmented Reality), I was able to see vital information, such as where crimes were happening or which enemy had the knowledge I needed to interrogate.

One feature I really appreciated was the ability to customise and craft your gear. There are three categories for crafting, Suit, Melee, and Range. The meaning for each of these is pretty self-explanatory, though the melee and ranged weapons of each character varies. Aside from just crafting them, you'll also have the freedom to customise the colours and parts. The ability to unlock certain transmog appearances for your suit also exists in Gotham Knights. I mean, who wouldn't want to play as a shinobi (ninja) or pirate version of Nightwing? As you progress, your character will level up, unlocking new abilities for you to purchase on the abilities tree. Even if you prefer to only play one of the four characters, the others will level up along with you.

This concept allows players to play as different characters without needing to worry that one may be lower level than the others. Given that Gotham Knights has an online co-op feature, this notion of shared XP is essential when playing with others. You can’t have two Batgirls running around, so someone is going to have to play a different character from time to time. Although I was not able to experience co-op during my time playing — I did not feel the game was missing something without it; Gotham Knights is enjoyable enough when playing solo. In fact, for the first little while, co-op is unavailable to use — this is done to get the story ahead of you fleshed out.

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Character Loadout Screen

Let's talk about the technical side of things. For this review, I was using an RTX 2060 (6GB Vram) graphics card, an AMD Ryzen 5 3600X 6-Core Processor (3.8ghz), 32 gigabytes of DDR4 ram, and had installed the game on a one terabyte Samsung 980 PCIe 3.0 NVMe SSD. After playing around and testing various graphics settings in-game, I was able to achieve a 55-70 FPS experience. However, this required me to disable ray tracing and adjust both the crowd size for the population of Gotham City and its vehicles. The game textures — even on the highest setting — looked a bit blurry to me, and I found that the culprit was the FidelityFX Sharpening feature, which by default is switched on. After turning it off, the game looked as it should. Gotham Knights has been made using Unreal Engine 4, and I was not about to accept it looking worse than I was expecting. As with any AAA game these days, optimisation of game textures and features is something that needs to be done in the coming days by WB Games Montreal.

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I found playing Gotham Knights to be easier when using a controller, but there was some slight input lag. Switching over to the mouse and keyboard, that lag was gone, but I found playing it this way a bit cumbersome.

After putting in a few hours of playing, I can say that Gotham Knights was better than I expected. There are many gameplay features here that make you feel like the characters you are playing. It's not all about smashing gang members' faces in — sometimes you need to think more like a sneaky ninja or investigate a crime scene like a true detective.

8.50/10 8½

Gotham Knights (Reviewed on Windows)

This game is great, with minimal or no negatives.

While separate from the Batman Arkham games timeline, Gotham Knights proves there is room on the block for a second AAA Batman franchise in the gaming world. The only question is, who will you choose to play as?

This game was supplied by the publisher or relevant PR company for the purposes of review
Jase Taylor

Jase Taylor

Staff Writer

Explaining things thoroughly and also too much

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