Gotham Knights dazzled in its DC FanDome debut, with fans buzzing about the game on social media after WB Montreal dropped the first footage and details. One of those details involved its connection to Rocksteady's Arkham games, which WB Montreal previously worked in courtesy of their prequel Arkham Origins. They would later explain that the game is its own entirely new universe, and the Arkham-verse would only be continued in Rocksteady's Suicide Squad: Kill The Justice League. ComicBook.com recently had the chance to speak to Gotham Knights Creative Director Patrick Redding about the decision to not link to the Arkham universe that came before, and the team saw it as an opportunity to not only deliver a fresh take on the world, but also the cast of playable characters.
"Right. Well, I think it was an opportunity, in a way," Redding said. "The Arkham series is amazing, and it really stands as this amazing opus that people love, and it's a fantastic interpretation of the Batman lore. I think for us, we saw an opportunity, we were granted an opportunity, honestly, to start something new and take a fresh look at, not just the Batman universe, but the full range and scope of characters and heroes that have been part of that for so many decades, and then think about what kinds of challenges and threats we could unleash on the player if we were willing to change up one, two, or three key elements, including, as it happens, the protagonists."
"So that actually triggered the entire conversation for us, and we were given that chance, so we came to the table with this idea of, well look, all of these amazing heroes, even just looking at the core of the original members of the Batman family, you have characters that while they share some of that DNA of crime-fighting, they have really evolved in different directions," Redding said. "They have a different style about them, and that style could map to player style, and if we use that as a starting point, even though they're already cool characters and they're aspirational, there's a lot of room for growth, right?"
"You can imagine that in that pressure cooker scenario of Gotham City's in trouble because it's lost its protector, how would a Batgirl evolve into her ultimate Dark Knight manifestation? As we looked at all four of them, we saw that they're all moving in really different directions, and that becomes a source of intrigue, and a source of growth, and a source of goal setting and strategy on the part of the players, in a way that we felt was just too exciting to ignore, so that was why we went that way," Redding said.
Some will be disappointed that the game is not set in the Arkham-verse, but there will be just as many who are excited for the fresh take on the characters and world, which opens up a host of cool possibilities.
Gotham Knights is set to hit consoles in 2021.
Are you happy that Gotham Knights is its own thing? Let us know in the comments or talk all things Gotham Knights with me on Twitter @MattAguilarCB!