Gotham Knights players have been breaking Batman’s one rule, with the other members of the Bat Family taking lethal approaches to combat in the game’s open world. Gotham Knights sees Bruce Wayne’s various proteges coming together to protect Gotham in the wake of Batman’s death, with players able to take control of Nightwing, Batgirl, Robin, and Red Hood, who each have their own particular set of skills that allow a range of different approaches to levels.
Although Batman was often seen carrying a gun and fatally dispatching his foes in his very first appearances in Detective Comics due to its creators taking from pulp noir comics of the time, Batman’s « no-killing » rule has been a key part of his character within most modern iterations. The choice not to kill is something that Batman believes separates himself from the criminals he faces and is something he instills in each of his allies. Throughout Gotham Knights’ evolving open world, players can find logs that Bruce left behind, and one of them reveals that this iteration of Batman was of the « no killing » mindset as well, explicitly stating « If I let him go too far, he becomes one of them. That can’t happen. Batman can’t kill criminals. »
As shown by Redditor satzuetzei192000 (via The Gamer), the other members of the Bat Family seemingly take no issue with breaking Batman’s one rule and murdering their foes throughout Gotham Knights. While this is on brand for characters such as the gun-wielding Red Hood – who has reformed his ways and uses non-lethal weapons – satzuetzei192000 shows that this lethal approach is available across all four heroes, as Tim Drake’s Robin can be seen hurling a criminal off a rooftop, with the criminal almost certainly dying as they hit the streets below.
The no-killing rule has been shown via gameplay mechanics in other superhero titles such as the Batman: Arkham and Marvel’s Spider-Man series. In both games, enemies who are thrown off rooftops are attached to something that will stop them from reaching the ground. In the case of Batman: Arkham, criminals who yanked off ledges or dropped off gargoyles were left hanging by a grappling hook tethered to their leg, whereas Marvel’s Spider-Man used web traps to automatically stick his foes to the side of buildings, with players hoping the police can get to them before the webbing dissolves once the webhead leaves the crime scene.
Why WB Games Montréal didn’t take a similar approach to other non-lethal superhero titles for Gotham Knights is unknown. The game’s story goes into detail surrounding Red Hood’s new mantra and him adopting a non-lethal approach to crimefighting, so this particular gameplay quirk feels like a slight oversight. That said, the Bat Family heroes of Gotham Knights all use weapons and takedowns that could feasibly kill someone in real life regardless of being dropped off ledges, so this is probably a case where players need to suspend their disbelief a little more than they may be used to.
Sources: satzuetzei192000/Reddit (via The Gamer)