Batman: Arkham Games You Must Play Before Gotham Knights


Gotham Knights may not be a continuation of the Batman: Arkham series, but it nevertheless lives in its shadow. The legacy of Rocksteady Studios’ games has set high expectations for all future Batman titles. This is especially true for Gotham Knights since its developer – WB Games Montréal – is responsible for one of the Batman: Arkham installments, Origins. But while pitting the two Batman works as competitors can be interesting, one can learn much more by revisiting the Batman: Arkham games and seeing how they influence and recontextualize Gotham Knights.


[Warning: This article contains spoilers for the Batman: Arkham series.]

Beyond the surface level, the influence Batman: Arkham has on Gotham Knights is unclear. Gotham Knights will take place in a Gotham in which both Batman and Commissioner Gordon are dead, meaning two of the central figures in Rocksteady’s series are absent. What’s more, WB Games Montréal is placing four playable DC heroes in Gotham Knights – Robin, Nightwing, Batgirl, and Red Hood. The way players use each of these Bat Family members affects how Gotham Knights‘ story will be told, which strays away from the Batman: Arkham series’ linear story approach. Thus, Gotham Knights seems to have a lot to offer that cannot be found in the Batman: Arkham series.

Related: Batman: Arkham City Chose Arkham Asylum’s Most Boring Ending

However, when looking more closely at what has been officially revealed about Gotham Knights‘ story and gameplay, it seems as if the events of the Arkhamverse have had an influence. Between the deaths of important Batman figures and the combat styles, Gotham Knights owes a lot to the Batman: Arkham games. However, there are two installments of the series in particular that would be the best to play prior to the upcoming Bat Family game’s release.

Batman: Arkham Knight & Gotham Knights Share Important Characters, Story Elements, and Settings

Though Batman: Arkham Knight saw the temporary end to the Arkhamverse, it is a helpful place to start for those unfamiliar with the Bat Family and their enemies. Gotham Knights‘ villain list is going to feature major players from Batman’s rogues gallery, such as Penguin, Mr. Freeze, and Harley Quinn. Arkham Knight provides a great introduction to each of these characters, as the game gives insight into Mr. Freeze’s tragic backstory, Penguin’s affiliation with arms trades, and Harley’s sinister ways. Additionally, players can learn plenty about Harley from Arkham Knight since they can play as her in the Harley Quinn Story Pack DLC. Players can similarly learn about and play as members of the Bat Family. Arkham Knight introduces Red Hood, Batgirl, and their connection to The World’s Greatest Detective for those unfamiliar with them. The Red Hood is an antagonist in Arkham Knight and can be used in the Red Hood Story Pack DLC, and Arkham Knight‘s Batgirl DLC, made by Gotham Knights developer, helps players understand not only who Batgirl is but Barbara Gordon too.

Arkham Knight should be played prior to Gotham Knights because of its story, as well. Batman perishes (or at least seems to) at the end of Arkham Knight, which mirrors the rising action of Gotham Knights‘ plot. Furthermore, Arkham Knight is centered around the power vacuum that forms in Gotham’s criminal underworld after the death of the Joker in Arkham City. A similar power vacuum seems to form in the Gotham of Gotham Knights as a consequence of the Bat’s death, but his missing presence is also felt by the forces of good. Four heroes are necessary to take up the mantle of the World’s Greatest Detective after Batman’s death at the beginning of Gotham Knights. It will thus be interesting to see how they have acted in a post-Batman Gotham in the past similar to how Nightwing and Red Hood keep Gotham safe in the GCPD Lockdown and Red Hood Story Pack DLCs.

But perhaps the most important reason to play Arkham Knight prior to Gotham Knights is the open world Gotham. Arkham Knight‘s Gotham looks similar to the moody, neon-lit style seen in Gotham Knights. Getting to compare WB Games Montréal’s and Rocksteady’s takes on Gotham will help players better appreciate – or depreciate – Gotham Knights‘ map.

Batman: Arkham Origins Contextualizes Gotham Knights’ Villains & Shares A Developer

Batman: Arkham Origins was developed by WB Games Montréal, the same company that is creating Gotham Knights. Playing Arkham Origins can thus give insight into how the developer is making its own distinct Bat Family game. For instance, players can see how Gotham Knights is differentiating its combat system from Batman: Arkham‘s freeflow style by first playing the Arkham game. Furthermore, Arkham Origins can be analyzed for the different story and aesthetic decisions it makes in comparison to the Rocksteady games. Arkham Origins took many characters like Bane and Joker into directions that varied from Rocksteady’s vision, so this could give hints to how WB Games Montréal will use its characters in Gotham Knights.

Related: Gotham Knights’ Batcycles Just Got A Whole Lot Cooler

Several of the villains in Gotham Knights are explored in interesting ways in Arkham Origins. Penguin’s meteoric rise to the top (or at least near it) in Gotham’s crime world occurs in Arkham Origins when he comes to the city to undermine Black Mask’s legitimacy. Mr. Freeze is also shown in an interesting, tragic light in Arkham OriginsCold, Cold Heart DLC, which explores his first encounter with Batman while working with Penguin. Much of the story of Gotham Knights remains a mystery prior to release, so seeing Mr. Freeze and Penguin – two very different characters – collaborate with one another can help players keep their minds open about where Gotham Knights may go with its story.

Finally, players should make sure to experience Arkham Origins before Gotham Knights in order to see how WB Game Montréal has designed hero combat before. In Arkham: OriginsBlackgate DLC, players get the opportunity to play as Nightwing and Deathstroke. Many criticized how Deathstroke was implemented in Arkham: Origins because, despite having guns and a sword, he fought exactly like Robin did in the game’s multiplayer mode. Even though this was an issue for the Batman: Arkham prequel, it gives fans the opportunity to see how WB Games Montréal has designed Robin and Nightwing to fight against NPC villains like they will in Gotham Knights.

Next: Gotham Knights Has Made The Weirdest Co-Op Choice


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