Gotham Knights is not set in the same universe as the Batman: Arkham games, but the title does feel like a successor to it in many ways. Batman is dead, Gotham City is in shambles, and players must pick up the pieces as Batgirl, Robin, Nightwing, or Red Hood.
Gotham Knights players must defend the citizens of Gotham City, solve crimes left and right, and somehow rise above their own grief regarding Batman’s death to defeat major villains, investigate the Court of Owls, and become Knights in their own right. Gotham Knights is an absolutely fun game with a lot of little moments that shine, but unfortunately, it is also a game that buckles under any degree of scrutiny.
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Gotham Knights’ core gameplay loop and depiction of Gotham City are its saving graces. It is a truly fun game, and for many players, it may be easy to overlook many of its shortcomings as a result. Players will be in the Belfry during the day when they can advance major story points, launch new investigations into certain villains, craft new suits and weapons, look at various challenges, and interact with the other team members. At night, players don the cowl as one of the four playable characters and enter a patrol of Gotham City. It’s here where they must stop random crimes, find and progress certain story beats, search for collectibles, and so on. When players have had their fill of crime for the night, they return to the Belfry, rinse, and repeat.
Why this works so well is it brings out the best of Gotham City. The city is beautiful, feels alive, and is constantly filled with activity. In some ways, Gotham City is a generic open world where players must complete a checklist of activities; however, it masks itself as something else entirely. Players will never be inundated by random activities on the map because the game paces them out well. Players will see major story developments on the map, but to…