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Video Game / Gotham Knights (2022)

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"If you're watching this... I'm dead. This is a Code Black. This message was automatically triggered when I destroyed the cave and everything it contained. I know what's coming won't be easy. But then... Nothing we do is easy. I've prepared for it as best as I can. I know you have too. I'm sorry it's come to this. We both know it won't take long for Gotham's criminals to realize the Batman is gone. And you can't count on the GCPD. Haven't trusted us since Jim died. I'm leaving you the Belfry as a base of operations. Some of the technology is outdated, but it has the gear you need, and all of my files. You've always had my back when I needed you. I know you'll keep Gotham safe. Good luck. And goodbye."

Gotham Knights is a video game based on the Batman superhero franchise, developed by WB Games Montreal (Batman: Arkham Origins). It was released on October 21st, 2022 for the PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X|S, and Microsoft Windows.

The Batman is dead. In his apparent absence, the Dark Knight has entrusted the protection of Gotham City to what's left of the Batman Family; Nightwing, Batgirl, Robin, and Red Hood. Not only will they face off against the criminal underworld and Batman's Rogues Gallery, but also the enigmatic "Court of Owls", who serve as the central antagonists.

Similar to the Action-Adventure-based Batman: Arkham Series by Rocksteady, Gotham Knights features the same emphasis on movement such as a Grappling-Hook Pistol for traversal, "freeflow" combat when fighting many enemies, stealth-based "predator" tactics and heavy use of gadgetry. However, Gotham Knights will allow players to enjoy the game via single-player or Co-Op Multiplayer.

A six issue prequel series called Batman Gotham Knights Gilded City was revealed at Comic-Con 2022.

See here for the premiere trailer and here for the gameplay trailer.

See here for the story trailer.

Not to be confused with the Animated Anthology Batman: Gotham Knight, the Comic Book Batman: Gotham Knights, or the 2023 show by The CW.

Gotham Knights contains examples of:

  • Abandoned Hospital: At some point prior to the game, Arkham Asylum was abandoned and left a dilapidated ruin. When the Knights go there to find Talia and discover the first of the Man-Bats, nature's already in the midst of claiming the abandoned asylum.
  • Absurdly Spacious Sewer: After the first round of his boss fight, Clayface absorbs water from the Gotham Reservoir and turns into a tidal wave of muddy death. The player has to race the Batcycle through a giant sewer maze to get somewhere they can dry him out into something more manageable.
  • Action Prologue: The game begins with the final battle between Batman and Ra's al Ghul in the Batcave, and it ends with the two of them dying once the cave is destroyed by Bruce.
  • Adapted Out: Though the Kane family is featured and is still related to Bruce, his cousins are left out almost completely, perhaps most glaringly by not being in attendance at his funeral. Kate and Beth Kane are only mentioned in relation to a phone recording, and there's no indication that his other cousin Bette exists at all in this universe.
  • And Your Reward Is Clothes: A reward for opening chests or doing challenges can be new suits to use, new colorways of customise your suits with or unlocking transmogs to use one suits design while wearing a different one. Not a straight example, because making new costumes is how you upgrade your character's stats.
  • Arbitrary Skepticism: The heroes early on dismiss the Court of Owls as a mere conspiracy myth, yet have dealt with similar organizations like the League of Shadows, which also features prominently.
  • Back from the Dead / Back for the Dead: Bruce Wayne is revived using a Lazarus Pit at the end of the game by Talia, but is only around for a single boss fight and a few cutscenes before being Killed Off for Real.
  • Bad Guy Bar: The Regulators run Bar 8-Bit, with it's basement serving as a base of operations for them.
  • Bad Guys Do the Dirty Work: After Bruce's funeral, Jason suggests going to the GCPD Morgue and making sure Ra's doesn't come back again. When the Knights break into the GCPD Morgue for unrelated reasons, they find Talia doing just that.
  • Bait-and-Switch: The trailer begins with a newscaster discussing events very similar to the ending of Batman: Arkham Knight implying this game is a new entry in that series. Then not only do we see Barbara Gordon with working legs (which wouldn't be that surprising considering what happened in New 52), we're also told Jim Gordon is dead, and still later see Mr. Freeze is still a villain, establishing the game has no connection to the Arkham Series. Another trailer shows Penguin without the bottle jammed in his eye, further confirming that while this may be a Spiritual Successor to the Arkham games, it takes place in an Alternate Universe and is not a sequel.
  • Because You Were Nice to Me: GCPD officers in trouble who are helped out by the Knights will quietly ignore Commissioner Kane's standing orders to arrest them.
  • Bittersweet Ending: The Lazarus Pit under Gotham is destroyed, the League of Shadows and the Court of Owls are both driven underground, and their destructive war over Gotham is prevented. However, Talia’s assassination of Jacob Kane means the Knights have lost their only chance to expose the Court to the world at large, both groups are still active and will likely come back, and Talia escaped, though there is nothing left for her in Gotham. And the Knights had to experience Bruce dying a second time thanks to Talia, though at least he gets a proper So Proud of You send off this time around. The ending is ultimately a hopeful one, as the Knights resolve to always fight to keep Gotham safe.
    • Two of the case files end this way as well. Mr. Freeze by his own admission has nothing left to live for other than villainy, and though his plan to freeze Gotham was stopped, it’s practically a guarantee he will eventually break out and cause trouble again. And Clayface’s already-tenuous grasp on reality was snapped by knowledge of Batman’s death, and by the time he’s taken down he’s essentially devolved into a tragic, raving madman, with little hope of recovery.
  • Bland-Name Product: Belfry conversations and emails will reference made up websites, by what they're supposed to be is easy to recognise: Buzzfeed becomes Blastfeed, YouTube becomes ViewTube, amongst others.
    • You'll also see a lot of Sundollar Coffee shops driving around town.
  • Blow You Away: Nightwing generates a whirlwind during one his attacks in the first trailer.
  • Bottomless Pits: The last level in caverns under the city is absolutely filthy with them, and requires some split-second grappling to avoid instant death falls.
  • Brats with Slingshots: Robin is the youngest member of the Batman family and uses a slingshot that can apply status effects in the gameplay trailer.
  • Brawn Hilda: The miniboss for the Mob faction are Godmothers, amazonian women who wield cane swords.
  • Break Out the Museum Piece: Downplayed going by the reveal trailer. The Belfry is the team's hideout, what with the Batcave being destroyed. By Batman's recorded admission, its available tech is outdated compared to what was in the Cave, but it still has considerable resources to draw upon.
  • Canon Foreigner: Leslie Thompkins daughter Jada was created for this game, as were the five members of The Watch, civilian informats for the Batman family.
  • Central Theme: The next generation taking over: Batman, Jim Gordon and Ra's al Ghul are dead, and their successors have to step up and take their place. Dick gets an email from Haly's son, who's taken over the circus, and frequent Batman ally Leslie Thompkins has been replaced by her daughter.
  • Chainsaw-Grip BFG: Mr. Freeze is seen wielding his freeze ray in this way during a gameplay demo.
  • Changing of the Guard: Batman dies, and the heroes he mentored step up to fill the void he left.
  • Chekhov's Gun: During the Action Prologue, the Batwing is shown falling down the chasm when the Batcave is destroyed. Its wreckage is found when the others discover the Lazarus Pit down below and is used to destroy it.
  • Clock Tower: The Knights operate out of the Belfry, which was Barbara's old base when she operated as Oracle full time. The massive clock face can be seen just behind the computers.
  • Color-Coded Characters: Downplayed; while the team's respective outfits are unique, each of them has a distinct glow associated with their tools - Nightwing has blue electricity arcing from his escrima sticks, Batgirl has yellow lights on her tonfas/nunchaku, Robin has green lights on the end of his staff, and Red Hood has scarlet tracer rounds. This is emphasized by their logos in the background glowing in their respective colors.
  • Consulting a Convicted Killer: Implied. It is revealed that, prior to Batman's death at the beginning of the game, he had contacted Harley Quinn while she was locked up at Blackgate to ask for help with one of his investigations. The player must then pay a visit to her cell in order to collect her intel, uncovering evidence of a centuries-long conspiracy where multiple violent criminals were released early from Blackgate after witnesses to their crimes were mysteriously murdered.
  • Cool Bike: With the Batmobile destroyed with the Batcave, the Knights get around Gotham on the Batcycle instead.
  • Damn You, Muscle Memory!: Veterans of the Arkham series are likely to make a lot of mistakes due to the game having a different combat engine that doesn't have counters, stuns, gadgets or special combo moves.
  • Dead Man Writing: The narration in the first trailer is Batman's message in the event of his death.
  • Death by Adaptation: Commissioner James Gordon apparently died prior to the events of the game as stated in the narration of the first trailer.
  • Death Trap: There is a tunnel beneath the Court of Owls that consists of an absurdly long sequence of whirring blades and flamethrowers, which they dump trespassers and those who failed them into.
  • Didn't Think This Through: Firefly tried to crash Commissioner Gordon's funeral, only to be quickly taken down without any involvement from the Batman family due to the fact that it was the funeral of a highly regarded police commissioner, and thus was attended by several hundred cops.
  • Dirty Cop: With Gordon dead, the GCPD has sank back into corruption. Corrupt Cop is its own enemy type, and you get rewards for beating them, unlike normal GCPD officers.
  • Dying Moment of Awesome: Batman gets to do this. Twice. The first time when he drops Wayne Manor and the Batcave on Ras in order to stop him, the second time when he rams the Batwing into the Lazarus Pit to destroy it.
  • Fire, Ice, Lightning: The three primary elemental effects are these three, though they don't get evenly distributed across the enemy factions, with the Regulators using both ice and electricity.
  • Flash Step: In the gameplay trailer with Batgirl, Robin has access to the Justice League Watchtower's teleportation systems. With limited range, he can quickly displace himself around an area.
  • Freeze Ray: Mr. Freeze uses a massive freeze gun to create a giant spire of ice in the gameplay trailer.
  • Friend on the Force: The first gameplay trailer has Officer Montoya informing Batgirl and Robin that a police chopper in the area has orders to fire on "Anything that moves", even if it's them.
  • From Stray to Pet: A stray cat makes it past all the Belfry security, so the Knights start buying food for it, and name it Cisco.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation: The game acts like the knight you're playing as did everything earlier in the game, such as Talia asking Robin why he was in the morgue even if you were playing as Nightwing in that segment.
  • Game Within a Game: Spy Hunter is playable on the upper floor of the Belfry.
  • Gayborhood: The corner of Grant Lane and Croydon Avenue features a street mural on the wall drawn specifically for Pride, and features several rainbow flags hanging from the windows.
  • Glowing Eyes of Doom: In the story trailer, several members of the Court of Owls have glowing eyes, making them all the more ominous and sinister.
  • Harmless Freezing: Characters hit by too many ice attacks will be frozen solid. It's easy enough to unfreeze by just mashing a button, but if you get hit by an attack while frozen that attack does much more damage than normal.
  • Heal Thyself: The Knights carry up to seven health packs with them, and just pressing the button to use them restores health at anytime.
  • Hijacked by Ganon: The game begins and ends with an al'Ghul causing havoc, Ra's in the opening fight and Talia in the final act. To make it even more clear, said final act begins with the League of Assassins stomping down on the Court of Owls.
  • It Always Rains at Funerals: Bruce Wayne's funeral takes place in a heavy downpour.
  • Ironic Nursery Rhyme: The end of the trailer has a Creepy Child reciting a poem about the Court of Owls, and how they punish anyone who violates their secrecy.
    • Lore that can be found in the game reveals that the Court wrote that rhyme themselves.
  • "Just Frame" Bonus: The Perfect Dodge, found at the beginning of each character's skill tree. When unlocked dodging just before an attack hits grants Momentum and allows you to follow up with a Perfect Attack.
  • Libation for the Dead: As Batgirl pays a visit to her dad's memorial, Renee shows up and pours a drink for her boss.
  • Lighter and Softer: The relationships between the Batman family members are much more positive compared to other adaptations, most notably with Bruce's relationship with Jason after his resurrection, which here ended with Jason going to therapy instead of Bruce cutting his throat with a batarang.
  • Man on Fire: Characters hit by too many fire attacks will be set on fire, causing them damage over time until the fire goes out.
  • Mind-Control Device: "Dr Q.'s" implants allow her to control the peole implanted with them.
  • Molotov Cocktail: The Freaks have mooks who toss molotov cocktails around like candy.
  • Mook Medic: The Freak's have "Juicers", who spray something in the face of defeated mooks that gets them back to their feet.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Batgirl has gained special notoriety for this, being notably even more curvaceous than usual and it’s pretty much unavoidable during Barbara’s gameplay and cutscenes that you’ll be starring at her thick buttocks in Sensual Spandex for ages. Also some Developer's Foresight as most of her capes are quite short, especially her default one.
  • Mythology Gag: Moved to its own section.
  • Neck Lift: Red Hood's Silent Takedowns and interrogations can feature him holding the mook up by their neck.
  • Never Found the Body: Averted at the end. Bruce is briefly revived by Talia at the end, sacrifices himself to destroy the Lazarus Pit with the Batwing. All four heroes, in their ending, reveal that they found Bruce and he's gone for good.
  • Noodle Incident: The Belfry conversations reference a ton of events purely to flesh out the world, like Barbara's fight with Condiment King, and Barbara's dates with men Dick sets her up with, on of which ended up with her being stabbed with a fork.
  • Ominous Owl: The Court of Owls have this motif, as always. The reveal trailer pairs the group's infamous lullaby with the dreadful emergence of a Talon, striking from the shadows.
  • Player Headquarters: The Belfry, where you can change between Knights and equip newly crafted suits and weapons, and listen to an enormous amount of conversations between the Knights.
  • Pride Parade: Only a discussed one. Dick and Tim have a conversation about attending Pride together in costume to show there should be no ambiguity on where the Batman family stands, and Barbara and Jason email about joining them.
  • Queer Establishing Moment: Tim and Barbara have a conversation in the Belfry about a boy he's been flirting with, and how he hasn't dated anyone since that last girl.
  • Real After All: It’s heavily implied that the Court of Owls are regarded to be a myth in the story trailer, as Penguin talks about how nobody talks about them and Nightwing assumes that they are just a myth. Obviously though, this is not the case.
  • Red Is Violent: The Red Hood lives up to his name, and he's the only one of the team who resorts to firearms, in keeping with his Anti-Hero characterization from the comics and other portrayals of the character.
  • Refuge in Audacity: The Batman family's plan to protect Batman's secret identity after Bruce's death involves uploading a viral video to the internet of Bruce Wayne dancing in the Iceberg Lounge in his underwear on a night when Batman prominently battled Two-Face. Since the incident really did happen (albeit on a different night - the timestamp on the uploaded video was altered), there are now plenty of witnesses who can claim that Bruce Wayne couldn't possibly be Batman.
  • Rube Goldberg Device: At one point the player's captured by the Court and drugged into confronting what seems to be a psychological labyrinth. It turns out it's actually real, and achieved by an extremely complex set of revolving panels and rooms.
  • Sequel Hook: Although Colonel Kane is dead by the end of the story campaign, the Court of Owls have rebounded with a new leader and still dominate Gotham's criminal underworld. And Talia escapes, promising vengeance with a modernized League of Shadows at her command.
  • Shout-Out: A memo found in a hidden room in the Monarch Theatre alludes to Exit Stage Left: The Snagglepuss Chronicles, a comic that DC published in 2018.
  • Shrine to the Fallen: There's a shrine to Batman in the Belfry, consisting of what little they recovered of his suit - a cape, his cowl and a single gauntlet.
  • Shrouded in Myth: The Court of Owls invented the children's rhymes and spooky fairy tales about them so that any leaks of their existence to those not in the know would be disregarded as childish superstition.
  • Slave Mooks: Harley gets brainwashing chips into Gotham citizens via her "Dr. Q" act, allowing her to start riots across Gotham and hurl bodies at the Knights.
  • Soap Within a Show: Nights of Our Passions, which features twins birthed by different mothers. Jason used to watch it with his grandma, and it spreads from him to the rest of the Knights.
  • Stealth Hi/Bye: The Knights pull on on Montoya after apprehending Harley, and characters react with suprise if you approach them from behind.
  • Strapped to a Bomb: One of the premeditated crimes is kidnapped civilians with bombs attached - you have to defuse the combs without being noticed, as the criminals will start the timer on the bombs if you get seen, and there isn't enough time to defuse all the bombs.
  • Superhero Packing Heat: The Red Hood doesn't subscribe to Batman's rules on firearms. Then again, wouldn't be Jason Todd if he did.
  • Superman Stays Out of Gotham: This is enforced. Despite multiple references to the Justice League, Outsiders, and Titans and the fact that the game takes place over several weeks, not once do the Bats call in outside help. It becomes more glaring as the situation becomes more desperate, as Starfire alone would be a major help in combatting the League of Shadows, much less if the Kents got involved.
    • Notably though Superman does not stay out of Blüdhaven, with a few sources showing that Clark is keeping an eye on the place while Nightwing is in Gotham.
  • Superhero Trophy Room: At the end of major missions, some souvenir shows up as part of a little museum underneath the stairs in the Belfry. They're Batman's proteges, after all.
    • Some of the more famous trophies from the Batcave are also seen in the opening cutscene, or again in the last level.
  • Taking You with Me: The opening cutscene features Batman locking himself and Ra's in the Batcave and activating the self-destruct, killing them both.
  • Technologically Advanced Foe: The Regulators use advanced battle tech, from mooks with the ability to spam drones to ones that use a Ray Gun instead of ordinary guns like the police. The ones working with Mr Freeze gain access to his Freeze Ray tech.
  • Teleporters and Transporters: In a gameplay trailer, Robin's accessed the Justice League's satellite, and uses its resources for short-range warps.
  • There Are No Therapists: Averted. Not only does the Batcomputer's profile on Jason mention his time in therapy, Jason gets emails from a Doctor Rosemont about his ongoing appointments for his mental health.
  • Throwing Off the Disability: How Batgirl returned to action. To quote the official website, "After a face-off that put Barbara in a wheelchair, she became Oracle, a powerful information and communications expert. But her father's death spurned her to train and recover from her wounds so that she could return to active duty as Batgirl."
    • Her in-game bio states that surgery and therapy are what got her back on her feet. If you look closely at her in civvies, you can see a back brace under her shirt.
  • Trash the Set: The Action Prologue starts off with a battle between Bruce and Ra's al Ghul, smashing up the Batcave as they fight before Bruce destroys the Batcave and Wayne Manor with it.
  • Truer to the Text: Compared to the Batman: Arkham Series, character backstories, ages and relationships are much more accurate to the comics, with Tim being the youngest, Jason actually having been killed by the Joker and ressurrected, and the Knights having close connections with superheroes who work outside of Gotham.
  • Uncertain Doom: The Joker isn't even addressed by name whenever he's brought up, and he's always referred to in the past tense, leading to the implication that he somehow died or vanished a while ago before Batman's death. Nothing concrete is stated regarding his status, however, though Red Hood's labyrinth suggests he paid him back for killing him.
  • Underground Monkey: The normal Regulators and the ones backed by Mr. Freeze have identical movesets, but do different effect damage - the normal ones do electric damage while the ones working with Freeze do ice damage.
  • Universal Poison: Being hit by too many poison attacks causes damage over time, until the condition fades away.
  • Villain Team-Up: One of the premeditated crimes you can come across is a deal between two factions, and when you interrupt the crime both factions will fight you at once.
  • When Elders Attack: A random mugger tries to hold up Alfred and Colonel Kane, only to be scared away by a joint Death Glare.
  • White Mask of Doom: A few members of the Court of Owls are shown wearing white masks stylized after owls in the story trailer.
  • Working with the Ex: Dick and Barbara occasionally comment on their former romantic relationship. Thankfully (as per Dick Grayson's usual portrayal) they are Amicable Exes and such comments are fond reminiscences rather than anything bitter.
  • Wretched Hive: Gotham seems to have fallen on even worse times since the death of Batman. And the police aren't doing much better either: with Gordon down, more dirty cops are popping up and the commissioner refuses to work with the Batman family. At least a good few of the supervillains seem to be gone for good.
  • Writers Cannot Do Math: Bruce Wayne died at 42, and Gotham Knights is set in 2022, but his memories of his parents mean they cannot have died in 1981 as their tombstones claim.

The Court of Owls is watching,
From inside of Gotham's walls.
They lurk in every shadow,
And they rule us one and all.
But no one talks about them,
Not a whispered word is said.
For if you try to cross them,
Then a Talon strikes you dead.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Gotham Knights


The Death of Batman

Cornered in the Batcave by one of his deadliest opponents, Batman faces his end head on.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (11 votes)

Example of:

Main / DyingMomentOfAwesome

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