Gotham Knights Could Fulfill Potential Of Arkham Knight's Best Moment

WB Games Montréal's Gotham Knights won't be released until 2022, but its very premise already confirms it will do something no other Batman game has. A spiritual successor to Rocksteady Studios' Batman: Arkham series, Gotham Knights kills off the Dark Knight - an event Batman: Arkham Knight teased but didn't commit to.

With Bruce Wayne having died prior to Gotham Knights' story, players instead take control of Batgirl (Barbara Gordon), Nightwing (Dick Grayson), Robin (Tim Drake) and Red Hood (Jason Todd) as they tackle a corrupt GCPD, the Court of Owls, and numerous supervillain threats emerging in Gotham. It could be just the change WB Montréal needs to get out of Rocksteady's shadow after Batman: Arkham Origins divided fans, especially since Batman dying is rare even in the comics. The last time Batman apparently perished (it was later revealed he survived, which could very well happen in Gotham Knights too) was in 2009, during Grant Morrison's critically lauded stint writing the character. This yielded fascinating results in Batman Reborn, a short-lived event that saw Gotham and the Bat Family adjust to a world without Bruce Wayne.

Related: New Gotham Knights Official Art Shows Batman's Legacy Lives On

Much like the comics, Rocksteady briefly toyed with the idea of Batman's death in Arkham Knight. The end of the third act of five sees the Caped Crusader placed in mortal peril, attempting to defuse a bomb Scarecrow placed in Ace Chemicals. Just as the blast is about to go off, the visage of the Joker appears, and the player's perspective switches to Commissioner Gordon's, leaving Batman's fate up in the air for a tantalizing amount of time.

While Batman shows up not too long afterwards, for a brief period, Arkham Knight's story genuinely feels like it could go anywhere. The idea of killing Batman that early, leaving the task of defeating Scarecrow and the Arkham Knight to his allies, is a truly exciting one. The game ultimately failed to let go of Batman, however, even though it could have made for a more unique experience.

Batman has had plenty of time to soak up the limelight in the gaming medium, and Gotham Knights could deliver on the promise of Arkham Knight's mid-game twist. Bruce's sidekicks have sustained their own comics and fan followings for years, so the opportunity to play as them is a welcome change. The Bat Family did get plenty of attention in Arkham Knight's DLC, but the stakes were markedly lower there than in the main story. Now, Gotham Knights could finally fulfill the potential of a Batman game without Batman.

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Gotham Knights is set to be released sometime in 2022.

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