Gotham Knights lead outlines changes after fans criticize Batgirls character biography

Gotham Knights developer WB Montreal has addressed criticisms of its depiction of Barbara Gordon, A.K.A. Batgirl.

Earlier this week, Gotham Knights creative director Patrick Redding held a Q&A with members of the game’s official Discord (opens in new tab) server. Redding was asked about Batgirl’s character biography (opens in new tab) in particular, which was heavily criticized when it was first published online earlier this month.

Batgirl fans will know a defining moment in the character’s history came at the hands of the Joker in The Killing Joke, when the character was shot through the spine and left paralyzed from the waist down. Batgirl then took on the moniker of “Oracle,” providing Batman support from the Bat Cave, where she would go on to use a wheelchair.

Since we see Batgirl fighting and gliding around Gotham City in Gotham Knights, you’d be forgiven for thinking this is a different iteration of the character. But when the character’s biography was published online, it revealed the two depictions were one and the same, but WB Montreal’s version had undergone training to “recover from her wounds,” so that she could “return to active duty as Batgirl.”

Now, as reported by Eurogamer (opens in new tab), WB Montreal has addressed criticisms levelled at this depiction. “As with many of our characters and plot elements, the circumstances around Barbara’s injuries differ in some important ways from how it’s been portrayed in the comics,” said Redding in the Discord Q&A, adding that “Barbara has been through multiple surgeries followed by a lot of physical therapy and pain management,” in the new game.

Redding also revealed the team at WB Montreal has changed the wording in Gordon’s character biography in response, and is working with AbleGamers (opens in new tab) to “learn about different types of spinal injuries and the potential for someone to regain mobility.” AbleGamers is a charity providing gaming opportunities to disabled gamers around the world, bringing people together through the power of games.

Additionally, Redding revealed we’ll see Batgirl undergoing her recovery throughout Gotham Knights. Her physical rehabilitation will very much be a part of her character, and in addition to regular exercises, her off-duty outfits will actually feature a back-supporting brace. Batgirl is just one of four playable characters in Gotham Knights, alongside Red Hood, Nightwing, and Robin.

Gotham Knights devs also broke down Nightwing and Red Hood’s gameplay actions recently during the Discord Q&A.

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