WB Games Montreal has revealed that the combat system for its upcoming Batman game, Gotham Knights, has been designed with two player co-op in mind.
In a recent interview with GamesRadar, Gotham Knights’ executive producer Fleur Marty said that players should expect something slightly different to WB Montreal’s previous Batman game Arkham: Origins, explaining that they “have entirely redesigned the combat system in order for it to work well in co-op.”
Unlike the Arkham Batman games, Gotham Knights isn’t going to be focused on playing solo as the caped crusader. Set in a separate universe to the Arkham series, it features four playable characters—Nightwing, Robin, Red Hood, and Batgirl—giving players the option to fluidly switch between them and team up with a friend to take Gotham City back from its many villains.
While Marty noted that Gotham Knights is “still a brawler” and “some of the mechanics won’t feel totally alien for people who played and enjoyed the Arkham series”, he added that “it is in many ways very different.”
You can still fly solo
Though its combat has been designed with co-op in mind, there does seem to be a good degree of flexibility in how Gotham Knights can be played. According to Marty, it will still be possible to play Gotham Knights entirely solo and the co-op element is conveniently “drop-in drop-out”, so you’re not entirely dependent on another player.
In addition to that, story progression is shared between all the characters so you can switch between heroes as you please, provided you’re in The Belfry, and invite a friend to join you without the worry that they’ll pick that one underpowered character you haven’t played as at all.
Even with that flexibility, though, it certainly does seem that the idea and spirit of the “team-up” is important to the overall game.
According to Creative Director Patrick Redding, “The two-player dynamic fits the fantasy and the Gotham City setting. The ‘duo’ or team-up is such a central feature of the universe that there’s a literal shorthand for it in the comics, in animation, in the film and TV versions.”
In fact, the space necessary for fun co-op play has even been taken into consideration in the design of Gotham City itself, with Redding adding that “Gotham is a city of alleyways and rooftops, so the footprint for gameplay needs to be compatible with that.”
We already got the chance to see Gotham Knights’ co-op in action last year when the game was announced at DC FanDome and you can catch up on that below.
Gotham Knights doesn’t have an exact release date just yet but it’s expected to arrive on PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Series X/S, and PC at some point this year.