Gotham Knights, an open-world action game from Batman: Arkham Origins developer WB Games Montreal, opens with the death of Batman. The Dark Knight battles Ra’s al Ghul in the Bat Cave itself during the game’s opening scene. The confrontation ends with both characters dying as Wayne Manor collapses around them.
Surely most players who are even considering picking up Gotham Knights and guiding the Batfamily — Robin, Red Hood, Batgirl, and Nightwing — through the aftermath of that confrontation are asking the same question: Is this the same Batman from the previous Arkham games, Arkham Asylum, Arkham City, Arkham Origins, and Arkham Knight?
The answer is simple: No, it isn’t. Gotham Knights takes place in its own continuity that is completely separate from the Arkham games. The Batman who dies in the opening scene is a different Batman, and every other character in this game who you may have previously encountered in an Arkham game is a different version of that character, too — including the four main heroes.
As to why that’s the case, the closest thing that exists an answer comes from WB Games Montreal Creative Director Patrick Redding, who opened up about the decision in the game’s official Discord server (as spotted by The Direct):
“We wanted to be able to interpret and adapt the characters — that’s both the heroes and their rogues’ gallery — in new ways that would support a new player experience and progression. We wanted to be able to write the history of these characters with an original story without being tied to a particular continuity or feature set.”
Like all Batman and Batman-adjacent stories, Gotham Knights shares plenty of basic building blocks with other well-known tales. Even though it’s not the same timeline or universe as the Arkham games, characters will make references to familiar events. For example, Harley Quinn mentions doing some government work; clearly, the Suicide Squad exists within this version of the universe.
As for whether this version of Gotham is a place worth visiting, check out Polygon’s Gotham Knights review. Then check out our guides to the differences between the four heroes and what you should know before you start the game.