Gotham Knights’ Worst Surprise Isn’t What You Think It Is

Gotham Knights features a rich plot filled with mystery and suspense, but its ending feels rather abrupt. Throughout the game, players take control of the heroic quartet of Nightwing, Batgirl, Red Hood, and Robin as they work to unravel the mystery of Batman’s final case before his untimely death and the machinations of a secret society known as the Court of Owls.

[Warning: The following article contains spoilers for Gotham Knights.]Eventually, the heroes of Gotham Knights unmask the Court’s leader as the wealthy and influential Jacob Kane – only for him to be unwittingly slain by Talia al Ghul. From there, the story of the game shifts toward stopping Talia and a resurgent League of Shadows before they can carry out their nefarious plans for Gotham City. This mystery leads the player to Gotham Knights’ version of Arkham Asylum, which is much smaller and less prominent of a location in comparison to Rocksteady’s Batman: Arkham series. Still, the player uncovers more information about Talia’s secret dealings with Dr. Kirk Langstrom and his research into creating a synthetic version of the life-giving Lazarus Pit. This research also leads to the creation of the monstrous Man-Bats, the first of which leaves whichever Knight the player is controlling injured after a grueling boss battle. Undeterred, the Nightwing, Batgirl, Robin, or Red Hood quickly returns to the action after Alfred locates Talia’s hidden lair beneath Gotham’s catacombs – but this is where Gotham Knights’ story and level design start to lose steam.

Gotham Knights’ Ending Feels Too Abrupt

What comes next is a dark and dreary chase through the caverns beneath Gotham City, with the player battling wave after wave of League of Shadows members in near-identical brown tunnels. The big twist is that these tunnels lead to the remains of Gotham Knights’ Batcave, but this reveal comes by extremely quickly with little time for the player to process what is going on. After that, Talia reveals her main objective: resurrect Bruce Wayne to serve as her right-hand man in the League of Shadows using a brand-new Lazarus Pit. Players then must fight a brainwashed Bruce before taking on Talia in two separate boss battles – the latter of which can feel quite cheap due to a sudden spike in difficulty. In the end, Bruce sacrifices himself a second time to destroy the Lazarus Pit before it can fall into the hands of the League or a newly-refreshed Court of Owls.

While the ending of Gotham Knights provides an emotional climax that conveys the game’s themes of sacrifice and legacy well enough, it all goes by incredibly fast. There is very little time between the battle with Man-Bat in Arkham and the final chase through the Gotham tunnels, even as the game feels like it could go on for a few hours more. Not to mention the fact that both major villain factions are still active by the end of Gotham Knights, making the final cutscene feel more like the set-up for a sequel or DLC chapter than a conclusion in its own right.

It could be argued that the chase through the Kane Industries tower right before the final stretch of Gotham Knights feels like a more satisfying finale to the game than the actual climax, as it involves the player storming the Court’s main base of operations in search of Jacob Kane – aka Gotham Knights’ often cosplayed Voice of the Court. This mission contains plenty of action and concludes with the game’s primary villain at the time being taken to justice. Of course, this is where the twist of Talia being Gotham Knights’ ultimate antagonist happens, leading to the game’s thrilling but somewhat uneventful true finale.