Gotham Knights had a lot of force built up from its trailers and teaser, but sadly the game just does not live up to that hype. It is actually a downgrade in so many departments, and the game becomes irritating as you progress through it. We will discuss each and every drawback that the game suffers from in our review.
WB Games Montréal, the developers behind this game, are also the same developers of Batman Arkham Origins. And although that title is not the most fondly remembered entry of the series, it still nailed a lot of the core gameplay mechanics that have come to define these games. So it’s very surprising to see the exact same studio develop a mediocre superhero game that is additionally exclusive to next-gen consoles.
Story And Setting
The story of this game actually follows the events that take place after the death of Batman. The setting is once again Gotham City but it is a downgraded world in every sense of the word. An open-world aesthetic that does not fit this city has been implemented in the game, and you don’t get the same dark and gothic feeling while exploring Gotham in this game as opposed to the Arkham titles.
However, the story is the major saving grace here, and the overall narrative does start off really strong and goes to a lot of interesting places. But the story is hindered by the bad gameplay design of the game, and we will discuss more of that in the gameplay section.
But without spoiling too much, the story is one of the few things that you should look forward to while playing Gotham Knights. It handles the four playable characters, that include Nightwing, Batgirl, Red Hood, and Robin, very well, and you get to explore a brand new perspective that we have never seen before.
The gameplay is anything but interesting here, and most players will find it to be a step back from the Arkham games. WB Games was only responsible for developing Arkham Origins, but even that title had a much smoother combat system than what Gotham Knights offers. The game is just filled with so much unnecessary content and gameplay mechanics.
There are four heroes that you separately need to level up in order to unlock even the most basic abilities that you need for traversal, and leveling up your character requires you to grind the same three types of missions over and over again. If it wasn’t for the four playable heroes that you can seamlessly switch between, the gameplay would’ve become even more stale and boring than it already is.
Restricting main missions behind certain levels forces you to grind in the open world for hours before you are strong enough to attempt certain missions. This not only breaks the story-telling aspect of the game, which is generally pretty good, but it also makes the gameplay feel irritating and hectic.
There is also a new crafting system in play here that you can use to craft weapons and other items. But this system feels forced and unnecessary for a superhero game. We didn’t need this in a game like this, but it’s still shoehorned in for some reason.
There is a huge list of things that you can craft and it makes the gameplay so confusing that most people will just ignore it altogether whenever possible. Locking fast travel behind the unnecessary analysis of surveillance bots is another great example of how the developers have just focused on quantity over quality.
The number of repetitive things in the gameplay is just over the board and the game makes sure that you suffer from its boring encounters over and over again. You want to progress through the story and live through the narrative of Gotham’s new heroes? Well, you’ll have to go grind the same missions in the open world before you can attempt this other campaign mission that you really want to play through.
The perks and weapons that you unlock for your heroes are just meaningless as well. They feel like a simple upgrade with better stats or rarity and there’s a whole bunch of them. There is nothing special about these weapons except for the fact that you are forced to grind for their better versions. The game could’ve been better off with either a small list of weapons for each hero or just simple upgrades that the player would unlock for a single weapon.
Additionally, the gameplay itself which includes hand-to-hand combat feels so clunky and slow. It just doesn’t suit a superhero game at all. It feels like there is some input delay in your controls but it is actually the gameplay itself that is extremely slow. Enemies have generic movesets as well and the higher-level mobs just feel like tanks with nothing but two moves. There are even certain enemies that are extremely broken and need to be balanced.
The game can be played in CO-OP with a friend and that actually makes this irritating experience somewhat more fun. And the endgame gets so unbalanced that it is actually recommended to play with a CO-OP partner if you want to avoid a lot of the repetition. The boss battles in the main missions are actually better and fun to play, but that is if the game lets you play them without grinding for hours.
Customization, which includes skins and armor sets, is something that the studio actually nailed in Gotham Knights. It is very well done and there are a bunch of skins that you can choose from not only for your hero but also for their vehicles. This whole system definitely deserves some praise as you can unlock the skins by playing the game itself and they are not locked behind a paywall.
Overall, that’s it for the gameplay. It is slow, clunky, and badly designed. The progression system is even worse and basic abilities are locked behind grinding repetitive missions in the open world. The only saving grace here is the customizations and the ability to seamlessly switch between the four playable heroes.
Visuals And Performance
Visually, the game looks good for a next-gen-only title but it is definitely not the best-looking game out there. As we mentioned before, the aesthetic that the developers chose for this version of Gotham City just doesn’t fit the narrative and the setting of such a game.
If you thought that the gameplay was the lowest point of this game, then surprise! Gotham Knights actually manages to reach a new low with its performance. The game is locked to 4k 30FPS on next-gen consoles and there is no performance mode that is available currently at all.
Where bigger superhero games such as Marvel’s Spider-Man Miles Morales manage to reach even 120FPS on the PS5, Gotham Knights fails to maintain even 30 and charges 10 dollars more on next-gen consoles than its Steam version on PC. The developers didn’t even bother to put a performance mode in the game for some reason which made many people cancel their pre-orders as well. The next-gen consoles are more than capable of running the game at 1080p, 60 FPS, or even 1440p, 60 FPS but the developers did not feel like that was a priority.
The performance issues are even more visible while playing on a PC. Even on high-tier RTX builds, the game suffers from continuous frame-rate drops in the open world. That makes the already slow and clunky gameplay even more of a chore to push through. Gotham Knights feel like an unfinished game with poor optimization on PC and no performance modes on consoles.
Gotham Knights is an unfinished superhero game with major problems in both gameplay and performance. There are so many little things that hinder the quality of this game, that it is just not worth playing in its current state as the performance issues further heighten the cons of its gameplay.
The story is interesting but hindered by the irritating gameplay mechanics. This game had a lot of hype but it didn’t even live up to being an average title.
This concludes our Gotham Knights review. We explained each and every aspect of the game and entailed all of the issues that hinder the gameplay experience. While you’re here, consider checking out some of our other articles.
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Gotham Knights Review
- Story And Setting
- Visuals And Performance
Gotham Knights is an unfinished superhero game with major problems in both gameplay and performance.
- Interesting Narrative.
- A Huge Catalogue of Customizations.
- Four Playable Heroes.
- Slow And Clunky Gameplay.
- Bad Progression System.
- Generic And Repetitive Missions.
- Input Delay.
- Major Performance Issues.
- Unnecessary Gameplay Mechanics.