It’s obvious why Batman fans wouldn’t appreciate another Batman series or video game without Batman. General sentiment demands a flagship series should always have its protagonist dominating proceedings, but both the video game and series renditions of Gotham Knights seem no exception, much to the disdain of DC fans. In the light of vocal criticism from several circles, Gotham Knights should to right its wrongs, and quickly, before the title gets doomed to the unwanted flop label.
DC CW’s Gotham Knights is one of the latest additions to the ever-growing list of “Batman without Batman” ideas in the last few years. Unfortunately, the initial reaction to the series hasn’t been overly warm, as Gotham Knight‘s pilot episode failed to impress fans, who deemed it to be a Gotham-themed Riverdale. The main pain point for Batman fans is the tenuous connection — if any — of the Gotham Knights show to the Batman lore and overall vibe. If Gotham Knights is to make any headway with its audience, the series needs a reimagination of its plot.
Gotham Knights TV Series Debut Ratings are Warning Bells for the Franchise
Asides from Gotham Knights‘ disappointing silver screen debut season, the video game has also had its fair share of criticism from the general public. Apart from bearing no resemblance to the famed Arkham games – a trilogy that enjoyed widespread support from fans of the Batman franchise around the world – the Gotham Knights video game has endured several shortcomings in its gameplay, ranging from monotonous fighting techniques to stiff motorcycle mechanics. Amid all its technical issues, unfortunately for WB Games Montreal, Gotham Knights‘ lackluster and remarkably thin storytelling still sticks out like a sore thumb.
Despite being set in an open-world Gotham City with limitless potential, Gotham Knights only offers players three side missions, which is a travesty for a game with four main characters. While AAA-rated games like Grand Theft Auto 5 have excelled with the multi-character dynamic in the past, the importance of each persona to the overarching storyline was clear, and that crucial effect is missing from Gotham Knights. The decision to include four protagonists in Gotham Knights‘ gameplay was an imitation of throwing paint at the proverbial wall and hoping it stuck, as players could go through the entire game using a single character without any bearing on their experiences.
The disappointments of Gotham Knights have been well-documented, and the television series could make amends for its shortcomings with a few tweaks going forward. The core idea of Batman’s death and the CIS-esque element of a team coming together to solve the mysteries of his demise is a compelling plot for The CW to build upon, despite the terrible exposure the series has endured in its first season. The room for character development in characters like Batman’s spoilt adopted son, the new Robin, the stand-out Joker’s daughter, and the two-faced Harvey Dent presents an opportunity for Gotham Knights to foster quality backstories and deep character arcs.
While CW attempts to reconstruct the series’ image, the game has practically undergone a surgical overhaul since its release. The developmental team has taken a hands-on approach to fix its issues to the best of their abilities, releasing heavy patch updates for Gotham Knights periodically, most recently adding a barrage of new content and improving accessibility with mechanics like Text-to-Speech. Players have appreciated the efforts, although Gotham Knights could do with the improved significance of all its playable characters in the grand scheme of its plot. Overall, both the series and the video game have ample room for improvement, and Gotham Knights needs to repair its reputation as a whole while its window for redemption is still open.
Gotham Knights is available now for PC, PS5, and Xbox Series X/S.
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