It’s been almost two years since Batman was declared dead and the Gotham Knights were revealed as the new protectors of Gotham City. Since then, we’ve had bits and pieces of new info on what the game will look like when it releases this October. However, one detail has been very absent from the promotional material, the villains.
We’ve had plenty of gameplay and story trailers that focused on our four playable heroes, Batgirl, Nightwing, Red Hood and Robin. They’ve shown them fighting different factions and using their bat cycles to traverse through the large city of Gotham. However, information on other villains is bare beyond the three confirmed members of Batman’s rogue’s gallery. What other villains could show up and will they play a major role in the main story or as side missions to complete.
A City of Scum and Villainy: Whose already confirmed
The Court of Owls
This secret society of owl-themed conspirators has been confirmed as the primary antagonists of Gotham Knights. They’ve received the most marketing since the game’s debut at DCFandome in 2020. We got more footage of them in the recent gameplay trailer that shows they’re up to no good, killing off high-ranking members of Gotham’s wealthier society and anyone that stands in their way. It’s not quite clear how their plans will shape Gotham City during the main story, however, I guarantee that Gotham’s new protectors will be facing off against unholy creatures and the court’s top assassin, Talon.
Possibly my favourite Batman villain, Mr Freeze was the first villain shown off with his boss fight. He appears to be in a more upgraded and bulkier suit compared to previous video game incarnations and has a bigger ice weapon than usual. Sadly he hasn’t shown up in any more promotional material, however, some gameplay for Red Hood shows him chasing down an ice cream truck which could mean that he’s not just a one-mission threat encounter. This brings the possibility that he either has his own story in the main narrative or as a set of side quests. Whatever it might be, I’m looking forward to taking him down with a friend in co-op.
The last confirmed villain that will be appearing in Gotham Knights is notorious crime boss, The Penguin. He’s seen in the story trailer talking with Nightwing but may just play a small part in the game. Penguin has had similar roles in the Arkham series as a character to gain information from. Personally, I would love to have a creative boss fight with him and his umbrella full of tricks.
My Most Wanted: Which Villains Should be in the game
My first pick is Deathstroke, one of the DC universe’s deadliest assassins. Slade Wilson has been known for terrorising the heroes of DC Comics, especially members of the Bat Family. He could play a role in Gotham Knights as a personal adversary for Nightwing due to his past history of fighting him alongside the Teen Titans and Batman. Another reason to include him is to simply have WB Games create another amazing boss fight, though this time it may take more than one hero to defeat him.
Deathstroke has appeared in previous DC games, most notable being as one of the best boss fights in Batman Arkham Origins and a playable character in Injustice: Gods Among Us. It would be interesting to see him in a bigger role than in previous games. Hopefully not another tank battle though…Rocksteady really dropped the ball with his small appearance in Batman Arkham Knight.
One of Batman’s most notable villains is ex-district attorney Harvey Dent A.K.A. Two-Face. Harvey was once a close ally of Batman and Commissioner James Gordon until an injury caused him to go insane and become one of Gotham’s notorious crime bosses. Considering most Batman-related games have some of his core rogue’s gallery causing trouble, Two-Face has a high chance of making the cut. There’s already been some evidence that suggests he will be making an appearance in Gotham Knights due to a screenshot that was posted with the line “Face Two-Face”.
Two-Face has appeared in previous DC games, most notably in Rocksteady’s Arkham trilogy. His role in both of these games was more of a cameo or a set of small side missions that didn’t really cater to the overall narrative or as just a good secondary story. My hope for Two-Face is for him to be one of six faction leaders that players will face. I would also like for him to get his own boss fight because previous fights have gone down similar to fighting the traditional enemy than a boss. It could be interesting to see what creative way a fight with Two-Face could be, perhaps his signature coin flip may come into play.
Another member of Batman’s core group of rogues is Harley Quinn, the on and off partner of The Joker and member of the Suicide Squad. Harley Quinn has made many appearances in media, mostly alongside The Joker and only rarely on her own. With recent information from the developers that The Joker would not be making an appearance in Gotham Knights, Harley could pave her own legacy as Gotham’s new queen of crime. Harley could be one of the leaders of the six factions player will be facing, especially since some shielded enemies have certain references to the clowned villains.
Harley Quinn has appeared in many video games, most notably in all of the Arkham games and will be one of the playable characters in the upcoming Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League. We’ve seen Harley be her own villain in a DLC for Batman: Arkham City but it was only as more of a revenge plot for Joker and not herself. I would like to see Harley be her own villain in Gotham Knights. She’s been a henchman for too long, it’s time for Gotham to face Quinn’s wrath.
One thing that recent DC games have been doing successfully is presenting audiences with villains outside of Batman’s well-known rogue’s gallery. One such villain is Arthur Brown a game show host turned criminal mastermind who goes by the name, Cluemaster. He’s known for pulling off schemes and leaving intricate clues for the police to solve, similar to The Riddler.
I would like to see Cluemaster have an independent role in Gotham Knights, with a set of side missions that has him challenge the new protectors. However, I could also see him get a slightly bigger role due to his connections with a possible future member of the Gotham Knights, Stephanie Brown A.K.A. Spoiler. It would be great to see them sow the seeds of her arrival and possibly have additional story missions as post-game content.
Out of all the mob boss-like villains in Batman’s rogue’s gallery, one that has interested me the most is Black Mask. Roman Sionis, a former business executive turned mob boss donning a mask made out of a piece of his father’s coffin. This later burned onto his skin after a fight with Batman, thus fully becoming his alter ego, Black Mask.
WB Games used Black Mask in their previous DC game Batman: Arkham Origins. He played the main antagonist, though later revealed to be a pawn in another villain’s plan. Afterwards, demoted to a hugely disappointing side mission. The way they treated him left a bad taste in my mouth since it really didn’t do Black Mask any favours. For Gotham Knights, he deserves a comeback, whether as a side villain or post-game content. Black Mask’s time in the spotlight is due for a resurgence.
The Riddler has been one of Batman’s more intellectual foes among his gallery of rogues. A battle with him will always turn into a string of twists and turns that only the smartest will prevail. In Gotham Knights, Riddler would be up against four opponents, allowing him to come up with more interesting challenges for players to overcome. He could bring in some creative level set pieces similar to his saw-like contraptions from Batman Arkham City but designed to challenge each member of the team.
Edward Nygma has made many appearances in video games. His most notable escapades have been in the Arkham trilogy where he laid down Riddler Trophies for Batman to find. These collectables have been evolving with each entry and have become a staple with Rocksteady’s Batman games. However, because WB Games will be making Gotham Knights, the infamous collectables will most likely not make an appearance. I want The Riddler to have challenging side missions without the dependency on finding a certain amount of collectables.
Another popular (and fan favourite) DC villain that has appeared in the Arkham games is Scarecrow. He’s been creating fear-induced stages that many players have said to be the best parts of Batman Arkham Asylum. Johnathan Crane uses his knowledge of psychology to experiment on people’s fears which has always intrigued me since he never does anything for greed or fame, just a simple psychotic desire to know how far he can go with one’s fears. This is the main reason why he’d be a great choice for a villain in Gotham Knights. Gotham has lost their protector, and his allies are struggling with the responsibilities they’ve been left with. Scarecrow would be a deadly threat and be able to pick apart each hero with ease, making the battle to overcome him even greater than before.
In past games Scarecrow has had mixed roles, being the main antagonist or being a recurring villain in the story. My desire is for Scarecrow to get a selection of side missions that challenge the Gotham Knights with their own fear toxin levels. Whether it’s by Scarecrow’s own hand or by the Court of Owls using his fear toxin, those levels were what I loved in the Arkham series and would strongly desire a return to the nightmare.
James Gordon Jr.
Finally, the last villain that should be in Gotham Knights is Batgirl’s crazy serial killer brother, James Gordon Jr. At an early age, James developed sociopathic tendencies towards people due to a lack of empathy. This later transformed into a deadly spree of killings and now he has become another member of Gotham City’s insane killers and a nemesis to Batgirl.
His family connection to Batgirl is the main reason he should have a role in Gotham Knights. His father, recently deceased along with Gotham’s Dark Knight, James would only have his sister and other members to target. The fun of having numerous playable characters is when they have personal side missions similar to RPG follower quests. James is the ideal villain for a personal set of side missions for Batgirl. His portrayal in the game could be similar to how Hush or Victor Zsaez was in the Arkham games.
Which characters do you want to appear in the game? Gotham Knights will release on October 25 for PC, PS5 and Xbox Series X/S.