Play as Batgirl, Robin, Nightwing, and Red Hood in a new story set after the death of Batman.

By Nick Romano
August 22, 2020 at 01:45 PM EDT

All the clues are in. The puzzle is complete. WB Games Montreal has officially revealed what its new Batman game is all about.

Gamers got a first look at Gotham Knights with an announcement trailer and new gameplay during a virtual panel presentation held on Saturday amid DC FanDome, the digitized fan convention.

In the context of this story, Bruce Wayne, the Dark Knight himself, is seemingly dead — killed during an explosion. When he destroys the Batcave, a pre-recorded message goes out to his protégés: Barbara Gordon (Batgirl), Tim Drake (Robin), Jason Todd (Red Hood), and Dick Grayson (Nightwing). Commissioner Jim Gordon passed away some time ago, so the Dark Knight couldn't trust this information to the Gotham City Police Department.

"If you're watching this, I'm dead," Bruce says. "This is Code Black." That means gamers will now get to play as each of these four heroes in an open-world RPG Gotham City setting and see what happens when they "have to step up and take on the role of new protectors of Gotham," says WB Games Montreal creative director Patrick Redding.

All week long ahead of the unveiling, the game makers behind 2013's Batman: Arkham Origins dropped a series of cryptic images and symbols to tease the grand reveal. Prominent theories surrounding comic book villain the Court of Owls, the League of Assassins, and even Two-Face abounded. And now we know we're definitely in Court of Owls territory, but senior producer Fleur Marty teases "the mystery in Gotham Knights is way bigger than just the Court of Owls."

A few familiar DC Comics villains from the Bat-verse will make appearances in this game, including Mr. Freeze. A walkthrough showed gameplay of Batgirl in action as she goes to confront Dr. Victor Fries in his icy lair. Each character comes with their own unique arsenal of abilities and it'll be up to the player to decide how their tricks and skills will develop as the game progresses.

Batgirl, Gordon's surviving daughter, is described as "a determined fighter and hacker," according to a press release sent out after the panel. Nightwing, a.k.a. the first to hold the moniker of Robin, is a master of "acrobatics" with expertise in "his signature dual Escrima Sticks." Red Hood, the antihero whose death and forced resurrection is tied with Joker, maintains "peak human strength and proficiency in multiple combat techniques with all manner of weapons." And Robin, the youngest member of the team, is a "master of deductive reasoning." He's "an expert fighter armed with his collapsible quarterstaff and skilled in a variety of stealth techniques."

According to Marty, this range of main characters will be able to touch on all the aspects that have made Batman stories famous, from "the detective side" of the hero all the way to "the urban legend," "scourge of the underworld."

Redding further teased a co-op mode coming in Gotham Knights that will allow fans to fulfill "that fantasy of the superhero team-up."

Gotham Knights is set to arrive sometime in 2021 on PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 4 Pro, PC, and the Xbox One family of devices, including Xbox Series X and Xbox One X.

And if that wasn't enough Batman content, Rocksteady Studios, makers of the Batman: Arkham series, are working on a Suicide Squad-centric project, subtitled Kill the Justice League. That, too, gets a panel during DC FanDome, held at 8:10 p.m. ET/5:10 p.m. PT tonight.

Related content: