Gotham Knights game review, Full action video game.

November 20, 2022

 

Gotham Knights review

GOTHAM KNIGHTS REVIEW. 

Foreign up to this point Gotham Knights appeared to have all the makings of the ambitious action-packed smash hit that it was clearly intended to be. 

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I mean who wouldn't want a new co-op centric take on rocksteady's spectacular Batman Arkham games that's built for the current console generation. 

But then as I played it for 30 hours it just kept hitting me with bad news underwhelming combat a weak predictable story puzzling progression design choices sub 30 frame rates I'm left wondering how it went so wrong. 

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A few good parts of it shine through in a few key areas like the impressive open world Gotham sandbox but its problems never let me enjoy the moment -to-moment ceime fighting nearly as much as bat family fans deserve just like Bruce Wayne Gotham Knights was born to a well-respected. 

And rich family in this case the four third-person action games in the Arkham series that's not to say that this is a sequels to those games in a lot of places it goes out of its way to break with Arkham cannon and chart its own vigilante-based course. 

But when you're stealthily grappling from ledge to ledge crawling through ventilation shafts and beating up groups of criminals in a rhythmic combat system it's impossible not to compare it to the vastly superior Arkham games one key difference is that. 

Here you get to play as your choice of the four mostly lovable heroes knighting batgirl red hood and robin but no matter who you play as you'll still zip around an open world Gotham delivering justice to all manner .of superstitious cowards and unraveling a troubling mystery in the iconic cities murky streets. 

That mystery revolves around the death of none other than the batman himself which serves as a solid kicking off point for a new generation of crime fighters to take the spotlight in the wake of the Dark knights demise Bruce Wayne's ragtag gang of current. 

And former sidekicks step into the fray to filll his formidable shoes and serves as strong premise to what ultimately turns out to be a lacklustre story full of foreseeable twist and unsurprising turns. 

I knew exactly who this masked character was when I first laid eyes on him and while I really like the court of owls as villains in the comics here the shadowy secrete society never manages to pose any kind of actual threat century ago. 

The punishment for this insult remains the same it's all followed up with an ending that's foreshadowed so frequently and unsubly that involuntarily cringed when they actually went through with it. 

Combat is sadly one of the worst parts about Gotham Knights and that's not a great thing to have to say about a game that's virtually all about combat. 

It's not the worst thing I've ever played but if you were hoping for a return to the smooth incredibly fine-tuned brawls of the Arkham series you're in for a rude awakening when you're smacked in the face with this underwhelming substitute. 

The oversimplification of combat is perhaps best exemplified by the complete absence of anything resembling the Arkham games counter system in a mission that still baffles me even after completing it.

At its best dishing out justices merely boring you just repeat the same attacks and wait for your special ability meter to charge up and enemy health bars to whittle down at its worst it's actively frustrating as you're hit by attacks that seem almost impossible to dodge. 

And don't feel like you have full control of your character it doesn't help that the oddly brief campaign is padded out with hours of busy work like repeated section. 

Where you have to wander around d Gotham interrogating a string of different criminal factions headed by everyone from Harley Quinn to Mr freeze to gather clues about the next story development and doing dull side quests to unlock table stakes features like fast travel in between all those chores. 

You'll also have to contend with the RPG elements that force you to grind and min max equipment before the next story mission can be tackled all of these things do little more than drag out a story that's rarely worth the squeeze and make the pacing even more of a drag than it already. 

Even if you are just running around Gotham aimlessly or tackling minor crimes though the city itself can at least be a highlight it may not get a lot right but WB games Montreal succeeds at capturing the fantasy of exploring a crime-ridden city as a caped crusader. 

And I lost hours of time just grapple hooking around and exploring the area doing so with a friend is also rewarding especially since there are no limitations for how far you can be from one another you can fight together or split up to search for clues to unlock the next main mission or tackle optional quests twice as fast as you'd be able to do on your own. 

Even If those generally just boil down to more repetitive punching when so much of Gotham Knights is dull it's fortunate that each of the four protagonists are likeable and well written and there are plenty of amusing quips to help you get through the letdown of plot. 

Sure Red Hood mostly just keeps talking about how he died that one time like the edge lord that he is. 

And Robin swings wildly between being deeply depressed by his mentor's death and making silly jokes, but it's still impressive that these b-listers and sidekicks manage to step up to the plate as much as they do. 

It's a cool touch how the cutscenes adapt to whoever you're playing as at that moment with custom dialogue and I love how many cool costume options are available for each of them that said glitches do occasionally cause otherwise touching story moments to instantly transform onto comedies. 

Like this cut scene where Red hood's hoodie drawstrings tried to kill everyone Gotham City become Ground zero. 

Compounding the gameplay issues are th e RPG mechanics which only served to further muddy the waters with disorganised menus that have you grinding to unlock and craft better gear it just never Let me feel completely in control of my loadout. 

For example you might want to obtain weapons that apply a freezing status effect to your enemies but might not have the right items available at your current level to let you create that build trading with other players or targeting certain loot isn't an option. 

So you're forced to use whatever you've got lying around from random drops that was a constant frustration combat never gained enough complexity to become interesting but I can give it credit fr the diversity of options available to you in its four playable characters you can opt to be a DPS. 

Focused gun-toting maniac with red hood or a stealthy Tech hacking Egghead by playing batgirl steal thing around with Robin to take out enemies quietly is a markedly different experience from playing Nightwing who specialises in dancing around the map. 

And buffing allies and that means you can pick the character that best suits your play style and customise it to your liking momentum abilities which do things like let Robin become invisible or let Nightwing cast a healing bubble. 

Also help to break up the monotony at least a little bit to be clear I wouldn't call any of them good due to the failing of the combat system as a whole but at least they're different if you can conscript someone into joining you even after they've watched this review. 

Well Batman would have hated that playing with a friend is undoubtedly a better experience for one combat tends to go by much faster with someone else at your side and pulling off stunts like team attacks where two characters work together to execute a sweet finisher is one of the better things. 

Combat has to offer unfortunately many missions feel like they're balanced specifically for two crime fighters leaving anyone hoping to treat this as a solely single-player game and a little bit of  a lurch great. 

Gotham Knights also suffers from performance issues that range from amusing bugs to annoying hindrances the most grave of which is the frame rate on the Xbox series X, it was rare to see a stable 30FPS especially when our in the open world or during cut scenes. 

And God forbid I ride on my motorcycle for any amount of time beyond that my time in Gotham saw occasional crashes disconnects during multiplayer sessions and various bugs I wouldn't call it broken. 

But it certainly was not a smooth ride Gotham Knights is a consistently disappointing return to Batman's troubled city and a distinct step backwards from the past decade plus of Batman games even if running around Gotham and two-player co-op can be decent fun in each of the four playable crime fighters are well executed in their dialogue. 

And distinct moves too many of the fundamentals fall short for me to recommended it from the inconsistent frame rates to the weak story to one note combat that rarely feels good there was virtually always something going wrong to make sure I wasn't experiencing the triumphant return with my friends at my side I had envisioned.


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