By Defne Sastim

At SDCC this Thursday, the creative team and actors behind the highly anticipated Gotham Knights shared more details about the upcoming open-world RPG releasing on PS5, Xbox, and PC this fall. With an exclusive Batgirl-centric trailer drop and preorder bonus reveal, we’ve got a lot to unpack. Spoilers below.

First, this is not your typical Batman game. For starters, Batman’s dead. And I know what you’re thinking, because this is precisely the question that a comic-con-goer asked the team at the panel on Thursday: is he really, really dead? To quote Patrick Redding, Creative Director of Gotham Knights, Batman is “dead. Dead dead. He’s dead in the beginning and he’s dead in the end”.

But how does Gotham react when its main protector is gone? How do citizens of Gotham react? The criminal underworld? The vigilantes that call Batman family?

These are the questions that Gotham Knights sets up for the player to knock down- through an immersive experience in an open world Gotham map, explored with 4 different characters and their very different stories, histories, and even playstyles. America Young stars as Barbara Gordon aka Batgirl, bringing to life a version of the character that was previously Oracle and now Batgirl once again. Christopher Sean is the charismatic leader as Dick Grayson aka Nightwing. Stephen Oyoung will be voicing the anti-hero Jason Todd aka Red Hood, and Sloane Siegel is the iconic Tim Drake aka Robin.

At the Making of Gotham Knights panel on Thursday, Redding and Narrative Director Ann Lemay discussed what went into building the story of this game. Both actors and creative team pulled from a vast library of comics to create their version of Gotham. The creative team also revealed that Gotham Knights is completely separate from the Arkham series. This sets up a lot of interesting possibilities for Gotham’s most villainous villains and what role they play in the story, though the creators played exact rogues’ gallery appearances in the game close to the chest.

One confirmed villain that fans will recognize is the Court of Owls, Gotham’s uber-wealthy secret society pulling the strings behind the scenes. Originally introduced as a concept to the Batman canon by Scott Snyder, the Court of Owls will bring a cultist element to Gotham Knights. Fans will have to wait till this fall to see exactly how the Court’s plans unfold.

Gotham Knights pre-orders are available now.

Miss any of The Beat’s earlier SDCC ’22 Coverage? Find it all here!