Our IGN First for August is WB Montreal’s long-awaited Gotham Knights – the open world action-RPG set in a brand new Batman video game universe… in which Batman has died. To kick off a month of new footage, interviews, and news, we’re beginning, appropriately, with the first 16 minutes of gameplay.
The footage (above) shows off the first time you’ll take control of one of the Knights, running you through the basic controls and abilities for both combat and traversal. The opening of the game is set amid the rarefied environs of Gotham University, with the Knights following Batman’s last lead, and on the hunt to find Dr. Kirk Langstrom (known to comic book fans as Man-Bat). After finding that he’s seemingly been murdered before you arrive, you’ll need to investigate the crime scene and fight past members of the Freaks gang, who are trashing the campus, having been emboldened by Batman’s death.
In the final game, you’ll be able to choose which superhero you’d like to play this section with, but we’re showing off Batgirl’s version of the intro today. While the events of this section are the same for each Knight, all four characters will have different dialogue and animations during this section.
The interesting thing here is that, despite this being the opening of an RPG, none of the Knights are meant to be weak – instead, all four are already proficient at Batman’s style of crime fighting, and your progression through the game is instead helping each one find their own strengths beyond that (more on that progression later this month).
“They're already awesome at the start of the game,” explains creative director Patrick Redding. “It's not a function of them being ineffective as crime fighters, quite the opposite. They are all effectively graduates of the Batman School of Crime Fighting. So when they start, they are at their most similar, in the sense that they have a lot of these basic tools of combat and stealth, and moving around in the world and using their grapple. And then it's really over the course of the game that they fully diverge into their own flavor of what a Dark Knight of Gotham City should be.”
What comes before this first playable section is much more of a mystery. WB Montreal is being extremely coy about the prologue to Gotham Knights, refusing to say how and where Batman dies (and who’s responsible). All we know is that his four proteges – Robin, Batgirl, Nightwing and Red Hood – meet by his grave and decide to work together to solve the mystery that seemingly led to Batman’s demise.
We’ll find out more when the game is released for PC, Xbox Series X/S and PS5 on October 25. Before that, however, we’ll have the whole of August to show you new gameplay, in-depth information, and more.
Joe Skrebels is IGN's Executive Editor of News. Follow him on Twitter. Have a tip for us? Want to discuss a possible story? Please send an email to [email protected].
Are in the market for a new charging station that simultaneously charges multiple devices, from smartphones to laptops and even your Nintendo Switch (or Steam Deck)? If that's the case, Amazon is currently running a fantastic deal on Ugreen's Nexode 200W desktop charger. Usually $200, this device is down to its lowest price yet, $170 ($30 off).
Using GaN II technology, the Ugreen Nexode is ideal for those looking to minimize clutter on their desk yet still charge multiple devices concurrently. It is a great travel device if you bring three or more devices. The Ugreen Nexode features six USB ports: four are USB-C and two are USB-A with a maximum power output of 200W.
I own a Ugreen Nexode and was able to charge my iPhone 13 Pro, Google Pixel 6, Sony ZV-1, Nintendo Switch, iPad Air, and my AirPods Pro in roughly two and a half hours. And with an HDMI hub, you can use this device as a docking station for your Nintendo Switch or Steam Deck.
The only drawback worth noting is that the device's power distribution varies greatly depending on your device. Green does have a chart that helps provide a layout when using three devices or more. Clear labeling on the device or in the materials that come with the packaging would have been nice, especially if you are charging a 100W device on one port and want to see how much charge another device or two could draw. Yet, if you are looking for something that can fast charge smaller devices like smartphones, AirPods, and/or a Switch, this might be worth picking up.
Taylor is the Associate Tech Editor at IGN. You can follow her on Twitter @TayNixster.
PlayStation's Summer Sale is in full swing at the moment, and there's more than enough incredible deals to get excited about. This includes a number of digital and physical PS5 games going on sale for a limited time only.
The Marvel Universe has a rich history of postapocalyptic future stories, particularly when it comes to the X-Men franchise. But until now, we haven't seen one of these stories focus on Marvel's so-called first mutant, Namor the Sub-Mariner. That all changes with the release of Christopher Cantwell and Pasqual Ferry's Namor: Conquered Shores.
Conquered Shores could be described as the Namor's answer to Old Man Logan. This five-issue series is set 100 years in the future, in a time when a combination of global warming and a Kree attack has left Earth nearly covered in water and humanity struggling for its very survival. In this era, only the kingdom of Atlantis is thriving, but that doesn't mean all is well for Namor.
Check out the slideshow gallery below for an exclusive preview of Namor: Conquered Shores #1. Then read on to learn more about the direction of and inspirations behind the series from Cantwell himself.
The World of Namor: Conquered Shores
Namor: Conquered Shores will inevitably invite comparisons to past Marvel stories like the aforementioned Old man Logan and Days of Future Past, as well as movies like Waterworld. But as Cantwell explains to IGN, the series is actually more inspired by a pair of critically acclaimed war movies than anything else.
"To me the biggest inspirations were movies like The Thin Red Line and Aguirre: The Wrath of God, that show the absurdity of civilization and societies and systems in the face of sheer chaos, and how no matter where we are, we bring our petty obsessions and small minds and anger to situations offering us transcendence if we would just pay closer attention," Cantwell reveals. "The comic Coda by Si Spurrier and Matias Bergara had also forever changed how I approach stories of collapsed worlds."
Cantwell developed an extesive back-story for this alternate future setting, even if not all of those details will mae it into the final story. In this particular vision of a 22nd Century Marvel Universe, the war with the Kree has robbed Earth of many of its greatest heroes when it needed them the most.
"The climate catastrophe on Earth was greatly accelerated and worsened by an eco-terrorist attack by the Kree, who felt Earth was becoming too volatile and powerful for the stability of the galaxy," Cantwell reveals. "Almost all our favorite heroes left Earth to go fight in the ensuing war. Most are gone and never came back, now casualties or missing. Namor stayed to protect Atlantis. Others stayed for similar reasons—protecting the vulnerable remnants of Earth. It’s not many, but we’ll see a few."
"Almost all our favorite heroes left Earth to go fight in the ensuing war. Most are gone and never came back, now casualties or missing."
As Cantwell alludes, Conquered Shores will feature a handful of other familiar Marvel faces – heroes who, like Namor, have powers that have enabled them to fight the ravages of time.
"[Namor is] aged and looks seasoned, but he’s fit. Atlantean DNA," Cantwell says. "I liken it to Spock in Star Trek. Vulcan lifespans are long. Namor is superhuman above and beyond as well. So he’s aged gracefully. The same is true for the handful of other superhumans kicking around. Luke Cage’s physiology has helped him hang on, but he looks older than Namor. The same is true with Cap. Jim Hammond is an android so he’s in good condition. And Frankenstein’s Monster… my new favorite character to write from the Marvel universe… is a very thoughtful and stoic zombie who could theoretically live forever. Also, Namor had to age well; he’s so dashing. He’s like if an Olympic swimmer were superhuman. His body is a work of athletic perfection."
However, Cantwell makes it clear that one band of death-defying heroes won't be playing a big role in Conquered Shores. In his mind, the X-Men were among the many casualties of the war with the Kree. This is one post-apocalyptic Marvel story where Wolverine won't be putting in an appearance.
"In my mind, some went to war, many vacated to Arakko or other newer colonies, and I feel the Kree super-weapon took Krakoa et al out of commission," Cantwell says. "The Kree would be smart enough to do that, but also smart enough to use back channel diplomacy with a group increasingly seeing themselves as separate from humanity. So in my mind, a large portion of mutants became isolationists off-world in the ensuing conflict, while some (your favorite mutants) went to fight the Kree and died. Wolverine died. There. I said it. Nightcrawler too. And Strong Guy."
Namor 100 Years in the Future
As we've already established, Namor himself has survived the past century of death and destruction mostly intact, with only his graying temples hinting at the fact that he's now several hundred years old. In many ways, he's succeeded as king of Atlantis beyond his wildest dreams. His kingdom is thriving in this new age, while humanity is barely hanging on and all but totally dependent on aid from its undersea neighbor.
"Atlantis is at its absolute zenith at our story start, and Namor is largely responsible for that," Cantwell reveals. "This is peak Rome, America post-WWII, the British Empire at its height. But Namor has just retired from the throne. So he has more time on his hands to reflect. And he is still a living legend, he has the will of the people, and a lot of agency to affect change. But not as much as the supreme ruler does. That’s Namorita now. And she is very much the new generation forged by Namor’s perspective as emperor."
Namor has always been a hero torn between these two worlds, and that still hasn't changed 100 years later. Even as Atlantis prospers, Namor feels the weight of his responsibility to the surface world more keenly than ever.
"It’s been a hundred years, so the temperature has cooled into resentful factions," Cantwell says. "The surface humans don’t love being subjugated by an Atlantean empire, but they’re literally dying out. Many in Atlantis are content to just let that happen… they see themselves as the future… but remember Namor straddles both worlds. As he’s grown older, it just doesn’t sit with him right to let a bunch of helpless refugees die. This is coupled with him reflecting on his mercurial superiority complex that often drove him in the past, and also informed the credo of his people."
Cantwell adds, "I always am looking for ways to write superhero stories that feel relevant to now. This was less some grim tale and more of a window into a new Namor story. How would he react? What would happen given something like this cataclysm, both grounded in future warnings of the real world and the aftermath of a true Marvel-like seismic event?"