No Frame No Gain
For anyone connected to, working in or a consumer of the Video Games industry the chances are at least one debate or opinion regarding Gotham Knights has crossed your path this past week. We cannot recall such negative public outcry this deafening since the ill fated Cyberpunk 2077. With the game breaking levels of bugs, glitches and performance issues found in Cyberpunk its taken December 2020 to now to get the game back on the straight and narrow.
The most obvious elephant in the room here is of course the announcement from Fleur Marty, executive producer for Gotham Knights. This announcement stated that the game will be locked to 30FPS for its console release and won’t see a performance mode addition for Series S/X or PS5 consoles.
There were many reasons suggested by the developers themselves as to why this happened to be the case. The nature of a drop in and out co-op experience, ultimately meaning that the game will always draw on resources to enable this at all times of operation. Think Knack on PS4 for a similar comparison.
The total outrage across the most toxic corners of social media as well as gaming outlets themselves has been vitriolic. A wasteland of opinions and clickbait titles designed to manifest animosity often from gamers with little to no intent to buy or play the game anyway. “We’ve been betrayed”, “let down”, “lied to”, “cheated” just some of the language used.
Here at Rapid Reviews we believe each game deserves a fair merit based assessment and fortunately we have had the pleasure to get early access to the full game. As we hit the ten hour mark here’s the journey so far…
Gotham Knights is an Action RPG that follows a similar framework to the Arkham games, but in actual playability feels closer to the Spiderman Playstation games. The open world of Gotham City is gorgeously detailed yet enormously expansive. We follow 4 companions, united in the grief that Batman is dead. Robin, Batgirl, Nightwing and Red Hood are committed to continuing Bruce Waynes legacy and restoring order in Gotham City. Our companions are of course accompanied by the omnipresent Alfred.
Each of our 4 characters have a deep and detailed backstory that unfolds as you progress through the game. They do a really wonderful job of encouraging you to visit flashbacks, read through emails and scrounge for memories to piece this together. Whilst playing you also have total flexibility to switch out across the four characters once per day should you wish. This means replayability is going to be a huge aspect of Gotham Knights. Each days adventure with 1 character is 3 missed days with the others. Layer in the opportunity with drop in co-op play as well and this game is going to be absolutely huge!
In a similar way to the aforementioned Arkham games, stealth and detective work come part and parcel with each characters journey. Each mission achieved, robbery foiled or intel collected has multiple ways to achieve your objective. There are even bonuses available for those tailoring their approach. With each character having the option to glide, grapple, batwing or drone hop your way across the city, the variety is on show from the moment you step out of the Belfry.
Devil Is In The Detail
Graphically the game is crisp and stunning. Light and shadow is just fantastic on the Xbox Series X, and you can absolutely see why the developer was unwilling to compromise fidelity for frame rate. The sound is engaging and scored exceptionally well. It feels like the inspiration connects to The Batman movie which released this year. Dark, Gritty and low on compassion. This translates right down to the voice acting. Even character modelling which sees your path cross with many classic Batman villains of old from Harley Quinn to Penguin.
Onto the all important question. Is the frame rate noticeably juddery? The answer is absolutely not. When it comes to the world of gaming you tend to just adjust to whats on the screen. You can’t miss what isn’t there. There is a very real possibility that WB Games could decide to add a performance patch to the future of this game on console, and it would absolutely be welcomed. It certainly shouldn’t be at the expense of the gorgeous visuals on show though. I can’t wait to dive back into the world of Gotham City and for anyone sat on the fence about whether to take the plunge and buy Gotham Knights. I say, turn the music up, drown out the hate and enjoy the ride!
Rapid Reviews Rating
4 out of 5
Gotham Knights is available 21st October and can be purchased via the Xbox Store by clicking here.
You can find and read our reviews on OpenCritic.