Gotham Knights mocked for looking worse than 7-year-old Arkham Knight

Carver Fisher

Gotham Knights is out, and, as a spiritual successor to Rocksteady’s critically acclaimed Arkham series of Batman games, comparisons are being drawn to Arkham Knight. And those comparisons have been illuminating.

Reception for Gotham Knights has been fairly mixed. While we were keen on the title and gave it an 8 out of 10, reviews are certainly skewed when it comes to Gotham Knights.

For those unimpressed by Gotham Knights’ open world, Arkham Knight has been a commonly used point of comparison. While it may seem a bit unfair to compare a 7 year-old title to a game that just came out, the side-by-sides are very telling.

Digital Foundry put together an entire video fleshing out the topic, comparing both games running on the PS5 (Arkham Knight with PS4 backwards compatibility) in order to give each title a fair shake. And, according to Digital Foundry, Gotham Knights is “less than the sum of its parts”.

Gotham Knights vs Arkham Knight is a heated debate

At first, it may seem strange to even think that a 7 year-old title could hold a candle to its much newer, graphically intensive successor. However, there’s a compelling argument to be made for either game.

When it comes to visuals, any argument made is very subjective. This one is no different.

What isn’t subjective is the fact that Gotham Knights is much newer, and the technology behind it has come a long way from when Arkham Knight was released.

A newer engine and more robust anti-aliasing techniques result in a much less jagged image in Gotham Knights, and the sort of upgrade that is to be expected with more modern titles.

Under scrutiny, Gotham Knights is a vastly improved title from a technical standpoint. Much of the texture work overall graphical fidelity has seen a big step up. At least, when it’s not being marred by some technical issues cited in our review.

The crux of the argument most (including Digital Foundry) have made in favor of Arkham Knight is rooted in the game’s art direction.

Where Gotham Knights may have an edge when it comes to running on newer technology, its detractors have used Arkham Knight as a point of comparison for its dense, varied map layout.

Digital Foundry certainly aren’t the only ones that think Gotham Knights is a step back. The topic has been trending on twitter as Gotham Knights’ launch approached. This, on top of the 30FPS cap for the new Batman title, has had fans mocking Gotham Knights before it even hit the shelves.

It’s important to remember that Arkham Knight had a rocky launch of its own, with the graphical fidelity of the title pushing the PS4/Xbox One to the absolute limit. Not to mention its PC port being bad enough that it had to be pulled from Steam a short time after it was released on the platform and undergo some significant optimization upgrades before it could be re-released.

There’s no way to tell which game looks “better” here, but the side-by-side comparisons are certainly helpful for drawing your own conclusion.