The four characters start out more or less fully adept at what the development team informally calls “Batman stuff,” with unique skill trees that allow them to transform into different types of guards as you progress. Speaking to us as part of IGN First’s coverage of our month on Gotham Knights, Creative Director Patrick Redding explained the thought process:
“It was very important to us that these heroes, our knights… are really great early in the game. It’s not a job of them being ineffective as crime fighters, quite the opposite. They are all graduates of the Batman Crime Fighting School.
“So when they start out, they’re at their most extreme, meaning they have a lot of these basic tools to fight and steal, move around the world and use their struggle. And then it’s really over the course of the game that they veer completely out of their own taste of what a knight should be like. Darkness in Gotham City.”
You can see how this manifests in our first 16 minutes of Gotham Knights footage, where Batgirl actually moves and fights like Batman while researching a mystery at Gotham University – and easily take down the goons from Gotham’s Freaks gang in the process.
“We didn’t want to do a creepy RPG where we send you into the woods to kill six slugs and come back with your wand,” explains game director Jeff Elinor. “These are after all very interesting people who have been trained by Batman and others. They are very smart. They are very capable. But they still have this challenge of rising to the level of, ‘What does it take to protect Gotham City now that Batman is gone?'” There RPG progresses, but they don’t start from scratch with any stretch. They’re already rocking by the time you take the console.”
This is not to say that the game will be difficult, but it is about managing the balance of people that these superheroes should find easy to eliminate, against the bigger threats:
“We don’t want you to go through that moment when a bad guy will run into you in an alley with a baseball bat,” Eleanor continues. “However, there are some little bosses in the game who are decently strong, and you have to pay attention a little bit at first.”
Gotham Knights – Tutorial section screenshots
Gotham Knights will be released for PC, Xbox Series X/S, and PS5 on October 25. And before that, we’ll have the whole month of August to show you new gameplay, in-depth information, and more as part of IGN First.