Gotham Knights is out right now. Depending on who you talk to, it’s either a mess of a game or something rather delightful. As in all things, it’s up to you to see how you feel about it. Regardless of the quality, the title has been touted for a while now because of its focus on the Bat-Family instead of the Dark Knight himself. Nightwing, Batgirl, Red Hood, and Robin are the four characters you’ll play as. Plus, you’ll have support and help from Alfred and Renee Montoya. This change-up is very different from what previous Batman games were like. But as the team noted, that was by design, and their ideas for this came very early into development.
Geoff Ellenor & Patrick Redding are the directors of Gotham Knights. In a new interview, they talked about the origins of the game. Plus how it came to be about the Bat-Family. They noted that very early on, in the “whiteboard phase,” they came up with the idea of not playing just with one character but with many. Plus, they wanted it so the player didn’t have to play alone but with others. So that’s when they started looking into the extended family of Batman to see what they could pull.
Once they worked out the basic idea, they realized it would be better for them if Batman was gone and stayed that way. But, as the team said previously, they didn’t want him to “swoop in and save the day” at the end because that would ruin the journey for the four. So, having him dead was a must, and it set the tone for what was to come:
“Growth and the Bat-family was kind of a important theme that we settled in on, and how everyone processes the loss of their mentor is different. How they decide to evolve themselves and step out and take on Gotham’s challenges is different.”
That’s very true. In the comics, Nightwing, Batgirl, Red Hood, and Robin have different visions of being a hero. Plus, they have different methods by which they get the job done. So that was another focus of this game. To not just have the Bat-Family in full effect but showcase how each of them acted differently in combat and personality.
If you’re curious as to why the other members of the family didn’t come into play, like Damian Wayne, Cassandra Cain, or Stephanie Brown did, it’s because of the “familiarity” that these four have with one another. Plus, the fanbase knows these as the “core four children of the bat.” They’ve been around the longest, have the most lore and history, and fans can latch onto them easier than some of the others.
“There’s no question that, if you’re talking about characters that have the greatest chance of being recognized by people who have encountered them in other media, it’s going to be these four.”
Gotham Knights is available now on console and PC.