Gotham Knights Review (Xbox Series X)

Gotham will get cleaned up four times faster with the BatFam here.

Released: October 21, 2022
Available on: Xbox Series/Steam/PS5
Genre: Action Adventure
Developer: Warner Bros. Games Montréal, QLOC
Publisher: Warner Bros. Games

Honestly, I’m not that big on Marvel or DC. I suppose you can say I’m not big on superhero comics in general, though I wouldn’t know where to start anyway. That isn’t to say I’m totally clueless as I know the general strokes through occasional curious wiki reading, by just hearing about it, and through tv shows and movies. In terms of Batman games, I’m pretty new. I do actually have Arkham Asylum that I got because the cover was cool and Batman (luckily it was the first game, good job younger me), but I didn’t play much of it. I think I got overwhelmed by the Riddler trophies. It probably seems weird that I decided to play Gotham Knights with this context, but I thought it looked like it would be enjoyable.

As we all know, Batman dies. The game opens up with Batman being ambushed by Ra’s al Ghul. The fight that followed seemed to have Batman sense that he couldn’t possibly win, so instead of retreating and regrouping, he decides to take both himself as Ra’s out. Destroying the Batcave with both of them in it, but not before sending out a signal to his Bat Family (or BatFam as I call them). The BatFam gets there too late, but Batgirl, Red Hood, Nightwing, and Robin decides to stay to protect Gotham as crime has predictably risen with the rumor of Batman’s death and follow up on what Batman was investigating before he died.

After getting the book Batman commissioned from Harley and establishing Batman’s contacts for themselves, the BatFam takes over protecting Gotham. However, it’s not all as it seems. Talia and the League of Shadows may not be trying to take Gotham for themselves, but it seems that there is a secret society that supposedly rules Gotham from the shadows. It’s up to you to not only keep Gotham safe, but to finish the investigation Bruce started.

Ending Spoilers, but non-spoiler tldr: The best twist Gotham Knights could have had was to not have a twist (or a different twist).
I’ve been thinking about Gotham Knight’s ending and I’m teetering on it being disappointing. I was actually fine with the Court of Owls being the big bad of this game. The League of Shadows, and Talia by extension, pretty much disappear for most of the game and I honestly forgot about them. I didn’t know about the Court of Owls before, but it really felt like it would be a great slow burn. Especially considering it was seemingly building up to you only taking care of the scapegoat instead of the actual leader. But then they’re pushed aside for the League to be in the last two case files…and then randomly brought back again to do nothing but sit there as you fight the last boss. Making the last couple hours of the main story feel rushed. And then both villains pretty much walk away and then your chosen character goes on a speech about how they’re the only ones watching over Gotham (umm what about the other three?).

I also didn’t like the twist that was made at the end. Everyone was expecting Batman to still be alive or resurrected just purely on the assumption that Gotham Knights wouldn’t commit to it. And while they technically did, the ending just felt…silly having him do the same thing again. And it wasn’t as impactful as it was in the beginning.

The best twist that they could have done was to not do the twist. Sure some would complain, but imagine the surprise that Batman wasn’t brought back.

Is it obvious that I love Harley?

Alongside the main story, there are also villain side stories you can do, and honestly you really should do. There are sadly only three, but they are really good. There’s Harley, Mr. Freeze, and Clayface for you to face. Though, Clayface has the quickest case file and his boss fight is the most annoying fight in the whole game. I found Harley’s to be the best (though I may be a bit bias as I love Harley in general, but especially love how she’s portrayed here), Mr. Freeze is a close second, and then finally Clayface as last. I do wish we had more villain case files as well, but I’ll take the three we have considering that they’re all well written.

During the day, the BatFam will be hanging out at the Belfry, where your operations are now at with the Batcave destroyed, and the night is where you’ll do all of your crime fighting. When you’re not doing the main story, going out will let you drive around Gotham and fighting against the various enemy factions. You can see spontaneous crimes being committed around you when you activate AR (or on the map) and defeating them will give a chance for some materials, gear blueprints, and clues for premeditated crimes. And if you want even more clues, you can even grab and interrogate them. The clues will pile up and it’ll generate premeditated crimes for the next night, which will reward you more for successfully preventing them.

If you want or need to return to the Belfry, this will end the night; which may or may not be something you want to do as premeditated crimes won’t carry on to the next night. But, if you want to switch characters, want to craft something and immediately equip something, or you’re out of health packs and don’t want to risk dying before you can replenish it (through fighting the big enemies or finding an ambulance), or just ready to continue the story, you’ll find yourself back at the Belfry.

I highly recommend checking out your blueprints and gear you picked up before leaving the Belfry to see if you picked up anything more powerful (and make sure to unequip modchips as well before comparing) and equip it. Not to mention check out enemy weakness if you know the faction you’ll be going against as it can make it absolutely miserable if you have an element that an enemy resists. For example, I was barely doing any damage against Mr. Freeze, only to realize I had a weapon that applies freeze and had to hastily change to a weapon that dealt fire mid-battle.

Combat is pretty simple, with some needed time to get used to it and master it. It builds on doing combos, as you have a regular and heavy attack for both your melee and ranged attacks. The game also tries to encourage you to not spam attacks through the inclusion of Timed Strikes, which in itself encourages you to learn your attack animations so you can press the attack button right before your current attack connects. You can also dodge, as enemies will choreograph their attacks, which also opens up to encouraging you to master perfect evading and perfect attacks (evading at the last minute and immediately attacking). Each attack and dodge will generate momentum so you can use your momentum abilities to give you a buff or to do some big damage. I will also say that some enemies will have you approach them differently, like needing to do a heavy melee attack to break through a shield, but the enemy factions tied to the main story turned out to be so annoying to deal with as one has a tendency to disappear and reappear (and the only way to prevent that is to apply an elemental effect on them); and the other having evade flurry so you have to do a heavy ranged attack to be able to get hits in (and it can be annoying when you’re battling a group of them).

Enemies are targeted though auto-aiming, akin to the Arkham games, which sometimes it works against you. Especially for ranged attacks as it can easily cause you to aim at nothing or at the wrong enemy (there is a button for you to aim, but it can be clunky in mid-battle like using the AR in mid-battle is).

Basically, the combat is like the little brother of the Arkham games. It has the same base and took steps to be different, but it’s not quite there yet.

There is stealth here as well, which it’s alright. As long as you’re out of sight, or get out of sight quick enough, you can sneak up on enemies and either ambush them or do a silent takedown. Unless a bonus objective is to do ambushes, there’s no real incentive to do them and it’s best to just do silent takedowns. Stealth isn’t the focus here, so the stealth is fine for what it is here.

When you level up, you will be able to spend ability points to get more abilities for you to use. You will need to earn your Knighthood skill tree though, as well as earn momentum abilities. Though, you will earn most of the momentum abilities and even Knighthood by just playing.

However, I will say that you really get the feeling that the game was meant to be played in co-op once you get out of the Case File 1 and go into 2. The enemies did feel spongey and the game really likes to spam enemies sometimes. It’s pretty annoying with how many enemies with guns will show up at the same time, not to mention the Drone Masters that can bring out two drones that spam attacks. And oh boy when you get two of the big enemies, which is especially annoying in one of Harley’s case files.

I played as Batgirl through the whole story. This is mainly because I love Batgirl the most, specifically Barbara Gordan Batgirl, and good thing that I loved how she played. Considering that people say that she plays the most like Batman…yeah that makes sense. Not to mention her abilities are so good. Like she gets a drone, you can have her heal when defeating enemies, she can do a mob boss slam on the ground, and she can summon bats?! Not to mention that you can have her invisible to electronic security, which makes story events where you need to be sneaky around security cameras and sensors very funny as you can just casually walk past.

I did end up trying out the others to see how they controlled for a bit and I think they all play differently. Each of them have their own pros and cons and I did feel that they had different playstyles that they lean more towards. However, I felt discouraged from switching characters considering that you only get gear and blueprints for the character you’re currently playing as and you’ll have to be underpowered until better gear and blueprints drop for you.

I have to admit I was a bit worried about grinding for the main story, but I didn’t have to as I leveled up organically with the story. You will need to grind if you want to do everything, like the Showdowns which have you go against a more powerful version of each boss or the 30 floor arena horde battle mode Heroic Assault, but for the main story and villain side stories you don’t have to. Aside from one material that’s supposed to be hard to come by, you won’t have any problem with not having enough materials or having to grind for them as the game clearly tells you how to get each. Not to mention the Contact quests which are endless and you can do over and over again if you need the rewards from them.

There are some other things you can do if you want to. You can do time trials for both whatever your travel ability is (so for me, it was Batgirl’s glide) and for the Batcycle. The travel ability time trails can be especially annoying until you realize an aspect of the ability, like being able to angle yourself up while gliding. Collectible wise, you can search for Batarangs, seek out Gotham Landmarks, look for and scan street art, look for Talon caches, and look for Historia Strigdae. These require you to explore Gotham as it won’t pinpoint any of these to you on the map (with the exception of the first Historia Strigdae). The Historia Strigdae though is the most annoying to find, and it doesn’t help the tutorial for it is bad, as you have to find two markings and it’ll be somewhere in that vicinity. There are also Villain Showdowns where you, and others, can go up against more powerful versions of the villains in their respective boss fights. Unless you’re going in with the best gear in the game, these can be pretty tough. And then there’s Heroic Assault which you pretty much should do with 2-3 other people as it’s like an arena horde mode. There are 30 floors and each floor will have you do a couple rooms where you have to defeat all of the enemies. Heroic Assault is okay, but it’s pretty bland and it can be a pain when matchmaking with randoms. It’s cool that Starro is the villain in Heroic Assault, but it has no impact.

There is a new game+ for you to do so you can go through the story again, while also having the world scale to you (hopefully) being level 30 and raising the level cap by 10. Just remember to at least unlock Knighthood for everyone and get everyone’s momentum abilities. Personally, while there are some things I want to play through again, I found some aspects of the game too annoying to go through them again so I didn’t end up doing NG+.

The one performance issue I ran into though is when the game would randomly have massive frame drops and the only way to get it back to normal is to either get out of the area or defeat most of the enemies. This happened around four times for me and only killed me once. I’m not sure what causes this, but I’ve heard it’s probably because of the physics. I’m not sure if it is because of that, but it would make sense as the first time it happened I was only riding the Batcycle and I noticed Batgirl’s cape not acting like it sound a few times like being limp while riding around and being in the wrong place during a cutscene (funnily enough, Batgirl’s cape was in the front during Freeze’s cutscene before his last boss fight).


Honestly, despite the annoyances that I ended up having towards Gotham Knights, I don’t regret playing the game. I enjoyed it enough to keep playing and I was interested in the story enough that I wanted to know what happened next. Sure, this may be partly because I didn’t play any of the Arkham games, so I don’t know how it’s like on the other side, but I still think Gotham Knights is a good game. Do I think It’s worth the full price? No. But it is worth picking this up on a discount.


♡ ♡ ♡ A witch that goes for anything that peaks her interest no matter the genre. Currently obsessed with the Persona series and trying to make a dent in my backlog. ♡ ♡ ♡

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