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The uninventive Gotham Knights ending has a huge bat-shaped problem

Batman is dead, right?

Gotham Knights
Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment

Gotham Knights has seemingly come and gone, and the general consensus is that it’s a disappointing mess. The game has its fair share of issues, but one of its greatest weaknesses is strange story decisions made in terms of the ending. Though presented to the player as a “twist,” the predictable surprise is one that goes against the very premise of the game which emphasizes the dawn of a new era for Gotham City in which the titular Gotham Knights are meant to take the spotlight. But what exactly happens at the end, what does this mean for a potential sequel, and why does this finale leave such a bad taste?

Spoiler warning for Gotham Knights.

What happens in the Gotham Knights ending?

After discovering that Bruce Wayne’s uncle, Jacob Kane, is behind the deadly Court of Owls, it’s up to the Gotham Knights to bring him down. However, Talia al Ghul assassinates him before Nightwing, Batgirl, Red Hood, and Robin can do anything about it.

The Court of Owls takes a backseat to The League of Assassins in Gotham Knights.

Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment

Talia reveals she planned all of this to get the Knights to bring down the Court of Owls because she wants her League of Assassins to take over Gotham. Eventually, the Knights are led down to a hidden underground lair built atop the Batcave, where Talia has built a Lazarus Pit.

This mysterious pool of green liquid has regenerative powers and was actually used to bring Jason Todd (Red Hood) back to life, which we’re led to believe is part of the reason why he’s prone to violence and anger. It’s then revealed that Talia has used the Lazarus Pit to bring Bruce Wayne back to life, and doing so warps his mind.

The player then must battle a brainwashed Bruce Wayne, and after he’s defeated, he miraculously regains control over his psyche and becomes the Batman we all remember and love. Talia, angered that he’s no longer under her control, stabs Bruce, leading to a final battle between her and the Knights.

The Knights defeat Talia, the League of Assassins leave the city, and all is seemingly well. Bruce finds an old Batwing and flies it into the Lazarus Pit, sacrificing himself, but seemingly destroying the pool in the process.

During the final moments, the Knights publicly announce that Gotham is under their protection, and the game ends.

How to get the Gotham Knights secret ending

After the main ending, you can go back to the Belfry and interact with the family portrait to unlock a final scene. It shows Bruce recording a video that will be shared in the event of his untimely passing. The Knights interrupt him and have a heartfelt moment with Bruce. It’s then revealed that the Knights are watching this video on the Batcomputer in the Belfry.

Why the ending undermines the game’s premise

What’s the point of playing as the Knights when Batman can just be brought back to life?

Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment

While the Lazarus Pit is an interesting narrative element that works well in the comics, it ruins the significance of the main heroes in the game. Gotham Knights’ premise is bold — a story in which Batman is dead — but of course, its writers couldn’t resist bringing Bruce back to life.

If you know the comics, it’s practically a given that Talia would end up reviving Batman, and that’s precisely why it’s such a painful ending. Even without being familiar with the source material, many were skeptical that Batman would actually stay dead in this game. It turns out, they were right.

Introducing such a fascinating concept, only to have Batman come back at the end felt like a cheap shot that we could see miles away.

It’s predictable, making Batgirl, Nightwing, Robin, and Red Hood feel like secondary characters. It would have actually been refreshing if Batman were truly dead, allowing him to pass the torch to the rest of his Batfamily in a meaningful way.

Now, due to the introduction of the Lazarus Pit, the player is constantly left wondering when — not if — Batman will come back.

It also makes a potential sequel far less interesting, as the premise of Batman being dead is meaningless now. Since characters in this universe can bring Batman back at any time, what’s the point of playing as the Knights? It’s a baffling choice that feels at odds with what the game promised.

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