Gotham Knights is set to be the next big Batman-related game from DC. The game is set to focus on the Bat-Family, Nightwing, Robin, Batgirl, and Red Hood, after Batman's demise. Gotham Knights has an opportunity to highlight some of Batman's greatest companions in an adventure of their own. The good news is that the developer, WB Montreal, is working on a cooperative multiplayer element for the game. Unfortunately, the co-op mode will be limited to online play only. While it's unclear if the developer would consider adding support for the co-op mode to be played locally, there is a case for it to happen.
Gamers will have more information about the new Batman-adjacent game soon, as Gotham Knights is confirmed to appear at DC FanDome. FanDome begins on October 16, and DC fans will hopefully have their questions answered about the company's upcoming projects throughout the event. Gotham Knights won't be released until 2022, meaning that there is probably a chunk of development left to be completed for the game. While it could be unlikely to happen, some fans have been hoping that WB Montreal will add local multiplayer. The developer has stated it won't support local multiplayer, but there are several reasons why the team should consider it.
Gotham Knights Has Been Designed for Two-Player Co-Op
WB Montreal has stated that Gotham Knights has been designed with co-op in mind. Interestingly, the game has been developed with two-player co-op specifically, despite there being four playable characters. Gotham Knights is said to be fully playable solo or in co-op, and there is no requirement for a constant internet connection. With an online co-op mode being developed and a constant online state being unnecessary, it feels as though the building blocks for local multiplayer could already be in place.
Two-player gameplay in a local setting could be manageable for Gotham Knights. Implementing a co-op mode to feature all four Gotham Knights protagonists could be chaotic for a local setting, but this is an advantage of the two-player design philosophy. Supporting local multiplayer with two players is in line with the game's focus on co-op gameplay, and it would be less of an ordeal to implement than four players. While this would undoubtedly take a lot of hard work to execute regardless of player count, the foundations for it seem to be in place already.
Gotham Knights' Potential Couch Co-Op Audience
As cooperative gameplay in Gotham Knights has been confirmed in some capacity, it could be a missed opportunity for it not to be supported locally. Understandably, online play might take precedence over local, considering the enduring popularity of online multiplayer games. This is especially important as the Covid-19 pandemic continues, and gamers might feel more comfortable engaging in multiplayer in an online capacity. Eschewing a local cooperative mode, however, could detract from the game's potential audience. Couch co-op has become a less prominent feature in modern gaming, but there is still a large audience for it.
Gamers have been spending more time playing online due to the impact of Covid-19, but there is still an audience for the local experience, too. Gamers who live together would understandably like the option of gaming together. As Covid-19 has forced people to stay inside more on a global scale, local multiplayer options are arguably more relevant than ever. By including local co-op support at launch, Gotham Knights could stand to add to its audience. Families and friends in co-habiting situations would be able to team together seamlessly to explore what the game has to offer, including the different character combos.
WB Montreal has detailed how the dynamic duo element of the gameplay is key to the experience. Based on the developer's description, it seems as though the co-op element is taking a drop-in/drop-out approach, which could lend itself nicely to a couch co-op environment. The local aspect would allow players to communicate efficiently, coordinate gameplay strategies, and test out different Bat-Family character combinations with ease. Local multiplayer has become progressively uncommon, but it could be a big draw for Gotham Knights at launch.
Gotham Knights' Collaborative Gameplay
The debut gameplay trailer for Gotham Knights made it clear that the game will be playable solo or with friends in co-op. The initial gameplay trailer showed off some impressive solo gameplay, but the showcase also displayed tag team moves. Players will be able to perform finishing moves together on enemies, and while it's unknown if this will extend to other types of tag team moves, this could make for a rewarding gameplay experience.
This indicates that not only will players be able to defeat enemies while in the same shared space, but that there is an element of synergy as well. This is bound to be a satisfying experience while participating in online co-op sessions, but perhaps even more so in a local setting.
During the first gameplay trailer, Batgirl and Robin take on Mr. Freeze. The brief clip shows Robin and Batgirl trading turns to take the boss' aggro and deal damage, respectively. This kind of coordinated effort could be key to success in Gotham Knights' co-op gameplay, and it could be made all the more efficient with in-person support. Taking down the villains of Gotham Knights could be more enjoyable for gamers playing together locally, and it could be more triumphant as well due to ease of communication.
It's hard to say if Gotham Knights will get local multiplayer support. It's a taxing endeavor to implement that can cause a heavy load on the visual side of things. Gotham Knights could certainly benefit from a local co-op mode at launch, due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the audience that still exists for couch co-op titles. Gotham Knights could have a compelling narrative and fun gameplay, and some gamers foresee it as a better overall experience in a local co-op setting.
Gotham Knights will launch in 2022 on PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S.