"There is an RPG progression, but they're not starting from zero by any stretch. They're already pretty rocking by the time you take the controller.," says creative director Patrick Redding.
Gotham Knights will see players stepping into the shows of multiple members of the Bat-family, as they look to protect Gotham in the wake of their mentor’s supposed death, and while its brawler-style combat and traversal mechanics do have plenty in common with the Arkham games, Gotham Knights will be a separate experience in a number of key ways.
One of the biggest things set it apart, of course, is that it’s going to be a full-fledged action RPG, with progression, skill unlocks, better gear, and more to keep track of. But what exactly does that mean for how progression itself will be paced in the game? For instance, will players be starting out as these supposed heroes but not have many interesting abilities simply because they’re under-leveled characters?
Apparently, you need not worry about that. Speaking recently with IGN, Gotham Knights’ creative director Patrick Redding gave assurances that though Gotham Knights is an RPG, players won’t start out as weak characters, and the headlining superheroes will already be “very capable” as the game kicks off.
“It was very important for us that these heroes, our Knights are… They’re already awesome at the start of the game,” Redding said. “It’s not a function of them being ineffective as crime fighters, quite the opposite. They are all effectively graduates of the Batman School of Crime Fighting.
“So when they start, they are at their most similar, in the sense that they have a lot of these basic tools of combat and stealth, and moving around in the world and using their grapple. And then it’s really over the course of the game that they fully diverge into their own flavor of what a Dark Knight of Gotham City should be.”
“We didn’t want to do a dungeon crawler RPG where we send you into the forest to kill six slugs and return with your stick,” Redding added. “These are ultimately very interesting people who have been trained by Batman and by others. They’re very intelligent. They’re 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 is an RPG progression, but they’re not starting from zero by any stretch. They’re already pretty rocking by the time you take the controller.
“We don’t want you to have that moment where one bad guy in an alley with a baseball bat is going to give you a hard time. That said, there are some mini-bosses in the game that are decently strong, and you have to pay attention a little bit in the beginning.”
Given current trends in the games industry where big open world action RPGs are concerned, there’s a few concerns that most of us inherently have about most games, though developer WB Games Montreal has been attempting to clear a lot of these up for Gotham Knights pretty much since the day the game was announced. We know, for instance, that the game won’t have any level gating, will automatically level up the characters you’re not playing as, and will not have any microtransactions.
Recently, we also got a look at the opening 16 minutes of the game. Check that out through here.
Gotham Knights launches on October 25 for PS5, Xbox Series X/S, and PC.