Gotham City Impostors Review
A Batman-based shooter? Hey, stranger things have happened. Well, not like this. Aside from a grapple gun, Batman doesn’t really rely much on firearms whatsoever — well, maybe smacking a guy in the head with his own shotgun, but that’s different. Anyway, Batman is not the star of Gotham City Impostors. Rather, it’s a group of vigilantes, similar to the ones featured in The Dark Knight, dabbled in hockey pants and second-rate gear as they battle a fanatical gang known as the Jokerz.
But don’t think this game takes itself seriously. While its developer, Monolith, is making the shift from the far more deviant F.E.A.R. franchise, the game itself is a load of fun, a combination of skill-based shooting and the kind of mirth-filled mayhem you’d expect from Postal. Except this time, it’s, you know, actually fun.
The game lets you choose your side — the Bats or the Jokerz — and hit the streets in five unique maps, ranging from an amusement park to a harbor packed with trouble on the docks. Your job is to score a number of different ways, depending on which mode you’re playing in.
You’ll start off with the tutorial, where the Bats officially invite you to join their team and learn the basics between gunplay and gimmicks, like trampolines, a glider to get across rooftops, and, if you’re privy to it, exploding jack-in-the-boxes. Each team has their own specific perks, and you’ll earn plenty more over the course of the game.
There are single-player challenges here, but the majority of the game takes place through Xbox Live and the PlayStation Network, across three modes — Psych Warfare, Fumigation and Team Deathmatch. The most basic of the three is the Team one, as you try to get to 50 points — or have the most points by the end of the ten-minute round — to win. Fumigation is a Conquest-like mode where you dominate three points on a map and try to get the highest percentile possible. Psych Warfare is sort of like Capture the Flag, except you’re stealing gear from the other team and forcing them to fight back against you through bitch slapping. It’s hilarious.
The gameplay is right up there with some of Monolith’s best. It features terrific gun control and plenty of gadget-play in each round. What’s more, you actually have something to play for, besides bragging rights. Rewards include nice customization options to make your online warrior more your own, weapon perks that help you power up in a number of ways, and cool little bonuses to customize your “showcase card” with.
If the game does have a major flaw, it’s that the matchmaking can be a bit off. One minute you’re in the middle of a match, and the next you’re booted, waiting a few minutes for the next one. That’s not a deal breaker, as there are plenty of players online, but Monolith could do with some touching up the game via a patch update, something to keep things in balance.
Gotham City Impostors may not be a nice and neat game, but it looks terrific. Each stage stems from Batman’s universe, including torn-up city streets riddled with Joker gas and a fun amusement park with plenty of room to run. The character design is excellent, making the shooters look intimidating but hardly as heroic as the Dark Knight. Also, the game runs smoothly enough — when you don’t get kicked out of a match, that is. The audio’s good too, between the hilarious taunts, the fun-filled music, and the above-average shooter sound effects.
More offline content could’ve been offered, especially to those who get kicked out of a match once too often. However, if you stick out the battle, you’ll find Gotham City Impostors to be a lot better game than you would’ve expected a Batman-themed shooter to be. Great customization options, solid presentation, and a fast pace will make you glad you decided to play with these wonderful toys.
[Reviewed on PlayStation 3]