Bad news, folks. Batman's dead. Or at least, in Gotham Knights, the latest Batman universe game developed by WB Games Montreal, that's what we're meant to believe. But while Bruce Wayne might have been bat-murdered, you've got four other chiropteran vigilantes to make up for it. In Gotham Knights, you'll play as Batgirl, Nightwing, Red Hood, and Robin, an extended Bat Family trying to pick up Gotham's pieces after the loss of the caped crusader.
Developers WB Games Montreal were involved with Arkham Origins in 2013 and some parts of Arkham Knight in 2015. Though Gotham Knights is separate from the Arkham universe, it's a good sign that the game has such a solid pedigree behind it. As with any DC game, you can expect to meet some familiar and ominous antagonists, such as Mr. Freeze and the organized crime group, the Court of Owls.
Here is everything we know about Gotham Knights, including its release date, the game's story, and how to play co-op.
Gotham Knights release date
When is the Gotham Knights release date?
Gotham Knights will release on October 21, 2022. It was originally planned to launch in 2021, but in an update (opens in new tab) in March 2021, the developers announced that Gotham Knights had been delayed from its original launch window, saying that the game needed "more time to deliver the best possible experience for players."
For a time it was also expected four days later on October 25 but announced a slight more up in date during Gamescom opening night live in August.
Here's the new Gotham Knights trailer from Gamescom
Gotham Knights turned up to Gamescom in August to show off another story trailer and, for some reason, move up its release date by four days.
Gotham Knights trailers
Here are all the Gotham Knights trailers
The original reveal trailer for Gotham Knights (opens in new tab) sets up the backstory and the heroes you'll be able to play as during the game. Batman has blown up the Batcave and has entrusted the safety of the city to four of the other Bat Family members.
The second big story trailer (opens in new tab) for Gotham Knights is all about the big villain syndicate the Court of Owls. Despite what Nightwing initially says, they're clearly not just a myth. Introduced in a popular 2011 comic book storyline, the Court of Owls are the secret rulers of Gotham City. As this trailer shows, they also have well-armed assassins at their disposal.
This short Nightwing character trailer (opens in new tab) from Summer Games Fest 2022 gives an idea of how the original Bat-son's vibe will translate into gameplay. He's nimble. He's hopeful. He wants the best for the city that raised him, and he'll do however many acrobatic combat flips it takes. We also get a sense for how varied the aesthetic options are for each character, as Nightwing shuffles into different outfits throughout the trailer. Fans of the Dick Grayson ponytail: you're welcome.
The Robin character trailer (opens in new tab) highlighted Tim Drake, the young sidekick who earned his place at Batman's side after deducing both his secret identity and that of his predecessor Dick Grayson. He uses the Justice League's teleport technology to zap himself around the battlefield and fights with a staff. Barbara Gordon got a chance to shine in the Batgirl character trailer (opens in new tab), where she took on thugs with an electrified tonfa, zipline-kicks, and stun-batarangs.
Gotham Knights story and characters
What's the Gotham Knights story?
Gotham Knights kicks off with Bruce Wayne dying in an explosion. Prior to his demise, Batman had planned to leave Gotham in the hands of some other Bat Family members. The Bat Cave has been destroyed, by Bruce himself no less, and he's left the team the Belfry tower as a base of operations instead.
Robin, Red Hood, Batgirl, and Nightwing assemble to protect Gotham despite being on bad terms with the Gotham City Police Department after the death of former commissioner Jim Gordon.
Gotham's secret society, The Court of Owls, will play a role as well. By the looks of all those rows of frozen containers at the end of the reveal trailer, it seems there may be quite a number of their Talon assassins to contend with around the city.
Don't be fooled—Arkham Knight ends with what could be a setup for a similar storyline, but WB has confirmed that Gotham Knights is set in a different continuity. The Arkham mantle is being picked up by Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League (opens in new tab) instead.
Is Batman really dead? According to creative director Patrick Redding, yes, Batman is really dead. Well, we'll just see about that. What's more, according to Redding, the Joker won't appear in Gotham Knights, though Harley Quinn might, and there will be "exactly one" Riddler trophy.
Which characters appear in Gotham Knights?
Gotham Knights features four members of the Bat Family who've been tapped to keep Gotham safe without big guy Bruce himself. Gotham Knights definitely isn't an origin story, featuring several of the vigilante crew pretty far into their character development after a couple name changes.
One of the most interesting new details about the heroes is that they level up while you're not playing them (opens in new tab). During GamesRadar (opens in new tab)'s interview with Gotham Knights' creative director Patrick Redding and executive producer Fleur Marty, it was confirmed that all four characters share their story progression. This means that it should be easy to switch between characters without it feeling like you're at a disadvantage when you don't pick your favourite.
Robin - Tim Drake
The Robin of this Gotham story is Tim Drake, the third inheritor of the Robin moniker. Drake is the young one of the group, but also the smartest and a master sleuth.
As of Gotham Knights, Tim is "an expert fighter armed with his collapsible quarterstaff and skilled in the art of stealth, Tim also possesses a background in combined psychological warfare and behavioral sciences, all of which sets the stage for him to accomplish any mission."
The reveal trailer shows him in action with his preferred staff. You can also catch a couple possible costumes for Robin between the reveal trailer and gameplay breakdown below.
Batgirl - Barbara Gordon
Batgirl aka Oracle aka Batgirl again, Barbara Gordon is another member of the Knights. She's the daughter of deceased GCPD commissioner Jim Gordon and a tech wiz with martial arts chops.
WB says that in Gotham Knights she's "highly trained in a variety of fighting styles, such as kickboxing, capoeira, and jiu-jitsu. Her signature weapon is the tonfa. Barbara also displays great skill when it comes to hacking or coding in computers and technological systems to dig for information."
You can spot a wheelchair in the foreground of Batgirl's hideout in the reveal trailer, marking the game as taking place after her tenure as Oracle during which she was paralyzed. She's now recovered and returned to her Batgirl name alongside the veritable flock of Robins.
Nightwing - Dick Grayson
Original Robin Dick Grayson, now Nightwing, is the acrobatics master of the group known for fighting with his two escrima sticks.
Gotham Knights calls him "a natural leader, an optimist, and the most charismatic of the Batman Family. He grew up in an unorthodox but loving circus family, so he values close personal bonds."
Dick and Barbara have a romantic history that would be neat for WB to tap into a bit while throwing them together on the Knights crew.
Red Hood - Jason Todd
Robin number two, Jason Todd, joins the group under his later name Red Hood. He's got a pretty complicated relationship with the Batman Family, especially his Robin successor Tim. His death, resurrection, and a lot of resulting personality changes put him at odds with Bruce and co. for a time. By the time of this story, he's fully reconciled with the Bat gang, WB sas, though that history could potentially be another source of conflict.
As for his other skills, Gotham Knights says "Jason has trained to reach the peak of human strength, and he’s proficient in multiple combat techniques with all manner of weapons—both traditional and high-tech. After reconciling with the Batman Family, he has embraced Batman’s non-lethal combat methods." Nevermind those dual pistols. They're definitely not deadly, we hope.
Gotham Knights gameplay details
What's the gameplay in Gotham Knights like?
The first gameplay walkthrough released alongside the reveal trailer shows a pretty good slice of Gotham Knights combat. You can spot a bit of stealth, some of Batgirl's moves, traversal around the level, and a boss fight with Mr. Freeze.
These 'Villain Encounters' will change depending on what level you are. Boss fights won't just have increased health totals and other stats. The kinds of moves they use during fights will change to match your character's level as well. There's loot to collect, with a few different equipment slots to modify your stats. You'll still be able to choose the visuals for your character's gear setup.
You can take on Gotham Knights entirely as a singleplayer game or two player co-op. WB also says that Gotham is totally open-world, without enemies of higher levels blocking your exploration.
A second gameplay demo from May 2022 jumps between Nightwing and Red Hood gameplay, showing how differently each character can play. Nightwing’s fighting style leans more towards acrobatic melee brawls, while Red Hood has a more gun-oriented combat philosophy. Also, Red Hood has infinite double jumps after being resurrected by a cult of wizard assassins, which apparently lets him manipulate “soul energy.” Sure!
We then get a glimpse of crafting and gear management, complete with power scores and green arrows. We’re shown the return of using AR bat-vision to investigate crimescenes, which Nightwing uses to look at some blood and confirm that yes, it’s blood.
How big is Gotham in Gotham Knights?
By the looks of things, Batman's home turf as imagined in Gotham Knights is going to be pretty expansive. As the playable Bat-family glides, grapples, and bat-cycles their way across the city in released gameplay footage, Gotham seems like a genuine sprawl.
In an interview with Game Informer, Gotham Knights executive producer Fleur Marty claimed that the game features "the biggest version of Gotham that has been represented in video games. The most important thing for us is its density and verticality. It has a lot of layers."
What kind of costume options will Gotham Knights have?
According to executive producer Fleur Marty, each character in Gotham Knights will have 11 different "suit styles" available for their craftable gear. The style for your currently-equipped gear determines its overall silhouette. For example, the "Year One" suit style shown in a Nightwing gameplay overview has a "throwback to my first solo vigilante days" vibe, while his "Shinobi" style imagines a Dick Grayson who's an otaku without any tasteful restraint.
In addition to your suit's style, you can also customize it further with a "colorway," or equippable palette that'll recolor specific portions of your suit. Think Destiny armor shader, but for brooding superhero orphans.
How does co-op work?
It sounds like Gotham Knights will offer a decent amount of freedom in co-op. During the gameplay reveal, we spotted Robin dropping into Batgirl's session seamlessly. In fact, Gotham has been specifically designed to accommodate a duo, so its likely best experienced with a buddy by your side. That said, WB Games has said that you won't be attached at the hip to your co-op partner either. You're free to explore around a bit, even while in your friend's session.
You can also play as the same hero as a friend. WB say that you're free to drop in as Batgirl while a friend is already playing her and that the skills available for each hero will let you both player her a bit differently. There's no level-gating in Gotham Knights, so you should be able to play along with a pal without worrying about their level too much either.
So what's the Belfry?
According to the comics, The Belfry is a hideout built by the game's current Robin, Tim Drake. It was built in the bones of the old Wayne Tower with a ton of law enforcement monitoring tech.
In Batman's farewell message during the Gotham Knights reveal trailer, he says "some of the technology is outdated but it has the gear you need and all of my files."
Functionally speaking, WB Games said that this is where players will return during the day to manage gear and hang out costume-free. "The Belfry is super-central to our game because it's your base of operations," WB tells IGN (opens in new tab). "You get to go back there, analyze all the clues that you've picked up during your previous night, have a little chat with Alfred, craft your gear, and really prepare yourself for the next night of crime fighting. So yeah, daytime is Belfry, and then at night you're roaming the streets, fighting criminals and unraveling the mystery."
Is Gotham Knights a live service game?
Nope, sounds like Gotham Knights is focused on its campaign and co-op experience rather than endless content. "This is very much not designed as a game-as-service (opens in new tab)," producer Fleur Marty told IGN (opens in new tab). "There is an ability tree, which is different for each of the characters, and then there's gear that you craft—and so choices that you're going to be making—but that does not mean that this is a game-as-service."
Other Gotham Knights info
What does the Warner Media split mean for Gotham Knights?
The short answer is that we don't know yet. In May 2021, AT&T announced that it will spin off WarnerMedia and merge it with Discovery in a $43 billion deal. From what we know so far, part of Warner Bros Interactive Entertainment, but not all of it, will be sold off. Gotham Knights developers WB Games Montreal fall under that umbrella of course. Some studios under WBIE will stay with AT&T while others will head to the new company.
Can I also watch Gotham Knights?
Funny you should ask, because CW has a pilot spinning up for a Gotham Knights TV show. Though it's not related to the game directly, it's based on the same story and is in the middle of casting now. Between this coming up and The Batman recently released, there's plenty of bat-goodness to tide you over for now.