While the soon-to-be-released Gotham Knights has Batman fans buzzing, a lot of that buzz is coming from gamers who can’t quite tell if the action-adventure game is directly related to Rocksteady’s legendary Arkham franchise.
Simply put, Gotham Knights is not officially part of the Arkham game series. For that matter, it doesn’t even take place in the same universe as the Arkham games. It’s a standalone adventure that takes place in the greater Batman universe (just like the Arkham games did), but it tells a new story complete with new characters and new takes on old characters. If you’re coming into Gotham Knights expecting a follow-up to the Arkham games, you’re probably going to have a bad time. So far as this title’s story and lore are concerned, those games do not exist.
As you can see, there really isn’t any ambiguity to the matter of whether or not Gotham Knights is directly related to the Arkham games. So why is there so much confusion over that matter? Well, it comes down to a few things.
First off, Gotham Knights really looks like an Arkham game in many respects. To be more specific, it features a few gameplay and visual design concepts that are strikingly similar to concepts seen in Rocksteady’s Arkham games. While a quick look at a few brief Arkham Knight gameplay videos may have you thinking “Arkham,” a deeper dive reveals the truth of the matter. Gotham Knights is more of a modern open-world game complete with collectibles, crafting, side missions, and multiplayer options. Indeed, a lot of Gotham Knight‘s unique (compared to Arkham, that is) gameplay elements are a big part of the reason why it is proving to be so divisive.
Second, Gotham Knights is being produced by Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment; the same studio that produced the Arkham games. In fact, WB indirectly contributed to the Gotham Knights/Arkham controversy when they decided to reveal Gotham Knights and Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League at the same time. The latter game is not only being developed by Rocksteady but does actually take place in the “Arkhamverse.” In other words, the confusion surrounding Gotham Knights has been there since day one.
Finally, there are aspects of Gotham Knights‘ story that do feel like they could occur in the Arkhamverse. Without getting into specifics, there are also elements of the Gotham Knights story that are in direct contradiction to the events in the Arkhamverse. The former elements of the game’s story have been bumping up against the latter and creating a lot of necessary anger regarding Gotham Knights “betraying” the mythology of the Arkham games.
Again, that’s why it’s best to wipe the Arkham games from your mind from a lore perspective when you’re playing Gotham Knights. While it will sadly be impossible to completely forget about Arkham as you play through the often uneven Gotham Knights campaign, treating the game like a direct Arkham follow-up is the quickest path to disappointment and confusion.