Of Gotham Knights Since it is an open world action RPG where you level up by beating criminals who commit crimes, you would imagine that everyone is fair game. If you destroy this man or pound that girl, there is an expectation that their bodies would explode in a cascade of brightly colored experience points. After all, games have conditioned us to think this way. But that doesn’t always work Gotham Knights. In particular, the cops don’t give you anything for kicking their ass, no matter how fast your button mash.
Gotham Knights is the new superhero game from WB Games Montréal, the team behind the now cult favorite Batman: Arkham Origins. Just launched on October 21 for current-gen consoles and PC at mediocre reviews, the game puts you in control of the Bat family – Barbara “Batgirl” Gordon, Dick “Nightwing” Grayson, Jason “Red Hood” Todd, and Tim “Robin” Drake – after daddy eclipses Batty. With Batman’s protective hood ripped from the skies of Gotham, it’s up to the newcomers to establish themselves as the new guard who will watch over the dusky and misty city streets. They do this by stopping crimes and beating criminals night after night, to nausea. And that, of course, means you’ll be in regular contact with the Gotham City Police Department.
However, like Gotham Knights reminds you about 30 minutes later, you must avoid the police at all costs. No, it’s not because I’m leading the police’s defense. And no, it’s not because I can’t bear to see an officer get slapped in the face every now and then. The game makes its (rather silly) rationale clear: Agents don’t drop anything when defeated. “Defeating GCPD officers will not earn you XP or Salvage,” notes one of the game’s loading screens. “Choose your battles carefully.” No experience points, no tools, no blueprints, nothing.
So really, you’re just expending energy for no reason at all. I mean, I think the incompetent GCPD can provide some solid punching bags to blow off some steam or practice some moves, but don’t expect to make any money from it either. That said, during my playing time I’ve noticed that it was sometimes hard to avoid arguing with them, especially when they were fighting the “bad guys” too. In addition, the game has moments when you have to squabble with the police; you are forced, but you are still not rewarded for it. Talk about an almost Sisyphusian-esque riddle.
That’s not to say it’s not a good time to knock down the police every now and then. As we have seen lately, like with the Uvalde shootingcops aren’t very good at their jobs. They would rather check their phone in the middle of a crisis than deal with the crisis. So in the end it’s nice that Gotham Knights gives us a safe way to hand out the lashings the police deserve for their incompetence. All this, of course, in the context of a video game. Express your frustrations with real cops at the ballot box.
Gotham Knights has just been released, and WB Games Montreal is already planning additional content. Launched for free on November 29 Heroic Attack is the first DLC to add a four-player co-op mode where you have to climb a 30-storey building and wipe out each floor filled with increasingly difficult criminals until you reach the top.