Gotham Knights, the new open-world game from Arkham Origins developer Warner Bros. Montreal, set to release in October, has a very different take on Batman’s Gotham City, offering a more storied and historic version of the crime-ridden metropolis than Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy, or the Matt Reeves and Robert Pattinson-helmed The Batman.
Gotham Knights’ Gotham City is split into five boroughs. Each borough is reigned over by one of the city’s historic, founding families, which include the industrious Cobblepots, of latter-day Penguin fame, and the sinister, manipulative Arkhams. Warner Bros. Montreal intends to share a subtle environmental story about the history of Montreal.
Some areas will be urbanized while others will keep their original architecture from the 18th and 19th centuries. Others will either have fallen into disrepair or will be modernised. The Gotham Knights tells the tale of Gotham’s eponymous city, dating back more than 400 years. It also links to the mysterious Court of Owls (like the Illuminati), which seems to control Gotham from the shadows.
It’s an interesting contrast to the previous versions of Batman’s stalking ground that we’ve seen in games and movies. Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy presents a thoroughly modern, sleek conurbation, whereas the Matt Reeves-directed and Robert Pattinson-fronted The Batman makes Gotham look more decrepit and ancient, a semi impoverished former rust belt crossed with a steam-and-coal-driven Victorian London. Gotham Knights has a lot of these elements, but it also offers something new.
Warner Bros. Montreal claims it wants to give the impression of a city that has changed over time, and not only an open-world environment.
“We started to think about what were the major events in history that the [Court of Owls] would have reacted to,” Gotham Knights’ creative director, Patrick Redding, tells IGN. “All of these ideas become part of the conversation, and allow us to build layers of accreted history.”
“We made a very big Gotham City,” adds lead level design director, Kristofor McMahan. “But what’s unique to Gotham Knights is the density. They were there with their families. They constructed impressive structures in their localities. Then, we built around them. There are a lot of areas that are kind of stuck in time.”
Check out our guide to Gotham Knights’ release date, gameplay, story, and more. While you’re waiting for Gotham’s next chapter, you should also take a look at some of the best sandbox games, and best superhero games, which naturally include Arkham Knight.
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