Following what’s felt like an age of waiting and speculating, WB Games Montréal has finally pulled back the curtain on its long-awaited Batman game. We now know, of course, that the Caped Crusader will, in fact, be entirely absent from this latest chapter documenting the sordid history of Gotham City, with his strong desire for justice and a brighter future for the metropolis being passed down to a handful of successors.
Robin, Red Hood, Batgirl and Nightwing, all former students of Bruce Wayne’s alter ego, will be playable in Gotham Knights and fans will even be able to team up with a friend to take on the title’s mammoth-sized campaign. While clearly similar to Rocksteady’s Arkham trilogy in terms of gameplay and aesthetic, this is an all-new continuity, one where Batman has fallen and crime has won.
While we’ve yet to learn of the exact circumstances surrounding Wayne’s death, Gotham Knights creative director Patrick Redding explained during a panel at DC FanDome why the team chose to have the iconic hero be absent for this particular story.
We wanted to take away any certainty, any feeling of safety. So we could take a Gotham City where Bruce Wayne has been operating as Batman for, like, 15 years – with all that history, his whole network of allies – and then take him out of the picture. It really demands players figure out, ‘How would I step up, and how would I protect Gotham City?’
In other words, Batman’s death serves as the catalyst that spurs his students into action, all of which come together in a collective effort to snatch their home back from the clutches of evil. We’ve already seen, of course, that iconic villains such as Mr. Freeze will play an important role in this take on the universe, as will the mysterious Court of Owls, a group which, it’s worth mentioning. has been known to dabble in resurrection. Could this be a lead-in to a revival of Batman, or was he never truly dead in the first place?
Expect to learn more ahead of Gotham Knights‘ launch next year.