How Gotham Knights' Open World Compares to Marvel's Spider-Man

Gotham Knights seemingly has a concrete marketing plan after the release of its latest gameplay demonstration, the announcement of three editions available for pre-order, and its next-gen console exclusivity. From the gameplay recently shown, fans have a lot to unpack about its moment-to-moment features in the open world. Nightwing and Red Hood’s gameplay presentation share a look at these features, which have since inspired comparisons to other games.

Batman: Arkham Origins seems like a safe blueprint that WB Games Montreal could have adapted to its open world in Gotham Knights. Instead, Gotham Knights is paving new ground to separate itself from Batman, even in how its gameplay is oriented. Tuesday’s walkthrough showed enough of its open-world to invite comparisons to other titles, and it looks like Gotham Knights might be taking pages out of Insomniac Games’ open-world formula from Marvel’s Spider-Man.

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Gotham Knights’ Open-World Approach Echoes Marvel’s Spider-Man

Ganke’s app in Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales offers a good in-universe explanation for how Miles learns about the troubles of random pedestrians. Swiping on the DualSense’s touchpad brings up a pop-out window with a smartphone screen that players can tab through to access where side activities or crimes are happening throughout the city - and apply a navigational waypoint.

Gotham Knights’ Belfry could serve the same function as this app, where the protagonists that players aren’t in control of can provide updates on occurrences across the city. It has already been shown that characters will frequently converse with one another via comm link, comparable to how Peter takes phone calls from Aunt May or Doctor Otto Octavius.

Optional open-world content such as Harry Osborn’s research stations, photographing New York City landmarks, collecting backpack memorabilia, and more are updated as colorful icons when players are introduced to them. In Marvel’s Spider-Man, players first need to decrypt radio tower signals before they can access all available content in each borough. Something similar might be implemented into Gotham Knights in order to unlock fast-travel and add mileage to progression in each area, if players do decide to indulge in its optional content.

The Nightwing and Red Hood gameplay demonstration portrayed Gotham Knights’ map as having its own icon waypoints spread about, which makes this a comparable feature. Marvel’s Spider-Man does include minimal crafting as one of its open-world features, but not to the extent that Gotham Knights has already demonstrated. Tokens are awarded to players in Marvel’s Spider-Man for tackling its many open-world activities and crimes, with specific kinds of Tokens earned for particular activities.

Players know exactly what they need to do to earn Tokens, as only a few are required to craft a suit, mod, or gadget. By contrast, Gotham Knights boasts an abundance of crafting material resources, which may either imply that far more resources will be needed to craft its respective suits and items, or that far more resources are awarded for the completion of activities and stopping crimes.

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Gotham Knights May Approach Random Crime Similar to Marvel’s Spider-Man

Marvel’s Spider-Man popularly features criminal activity that players are expected to engage with between scripted story missions. Players are sure to come across crimes if they spend time in the open world, which is natural since Marvel’s Spider-Man’s traversal is so fluid and engaging. Such crimes include armed robbery, stolen vehicles, drug deals, and break-ins, among other high-profile crimes.

Only two criminal activities are shared by Gotham Knights according to early footage: illegal hacks and illegal shipments. Illegal hacks look somewhat similar to the criminal hacks that the Underground attempt in Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales. However, the hack in Gotham Knights does not require anything from players beyond ordinary combat.

Moreover, it is not confirmed whether illegal shipments in Gotham Knights will all revolve around vehicular pursuit, but the instance shown in the most recent gameplay demonstration echoes the stolen vehicle crimes seen in Marvel’s Spider-Man. This activity is relatively simple and the only demand it has on the player is to reach the enemy vehicle, which speeds and swerves away. For Spider-Man, that means web-swinging or wall-crawling to close the distance quickly.

Once players have web-zipped onto the vehicle, players maneuver Spider-Man around to different sides to dispatch its gun-toting passengers before hitting the driver and mashing the square button to bring the vehicle to a halt. For Gotham Knights’ protagonists, that means racing behind the enemy vehicle on the Batcycle, which has a comic-inspired skin included as a pre-order bonus. Some sort of bomb is dropped behind an ice cream truck in the gameplay demonstration, and Red Hood quickly evades it before closing the distance.

This event is even more simplistic in Gotham Knights’ vehicular pursuit, where a single quick-time event allows the player to commandeer and overturn a vehicle. Then, enemies appear from the overturned vehicle and combat ensues. Meanwhile, combat only ensues after specific instances of grand theft auto in Marvel’s Spider-Man.

Gotham Knights Also Features Distinct Enemy Factions

Gotham Knights makes a note of enemy factions and their presence in Gotham City per-district. On the map this is seen as a measure of completion, but it is probably locked to different events in the story where characters or events are introduced. For example, Marvel’s Spider-Man features its own enemy factions with Fisk’s thugs, the Inner Demons, and Sable’s mercenaries. But Martin Li’s Demons are not a ubiquitous enemy faction until they are introduced in the events of the story, same as all of Marvel’s Spider-Man’s enemy factions.

Further, Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales features the Tinkerer’s Underground and Roxxon’s mercenaries. The only faction that is currently revealed in Gotham Knights is the Regulators gang. It is likely that the Regulators and other factions will also be associated with supervillains, and there is a decent reason why these factions may not have been unveiled.

WB Games Montreal has been secretive about what other antagonists may arrive in Gotham Knights. Particular villainous factions being shown off now would ruin the surprise. In the meantime, players have had a couple deep-dive looks at what co-op will look like for the Bat Family, and more information could still be shared this summer. Gotham Knights could end up being akin to a two-player Marvel’s Spider-Man, and that might be its biggest point of interest.

Gotham Knights is currently scheduled to release on October 25 for PC, PS5, Xbox Series X/S.

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