They liked Batman before it was cool.
When Gotham City Imposters was announced back at E3, I was more than a little disgruntled. At first glance the game not only looked like just another first person shooter, but one that went and spit all over the Batman license. We all know that Batman is a character that absolutely detests guns; he wants nothing to do with them, so it was only natural that the internet cried out in protest when Monolith Productions revealed their latest game, but after spending some time with Gotham City Impostors I can’t really say that Monolith has done anything wrong, and here’s why.
All the fanboy rage I had stored up dissipated shortly after I got through the hilarious opening cinematic and tutorial level. In just a few moments the opening cinematic let me know that the impostors were scared of what Batman was going to do to them, while the tutorial level establishes that the Impostors are in no way associated with their big time counterparts with quotes like,“We just can’t afford Batman’s form of non-lethal justice.” Now that our fanboy rage meters are depleted we can take a look at the actual game and all that it has to offer.
Right out of the starting gate I started to feel like this game was just another first person shooter; luckily I can say that for the most part I was wrong. Like any first person shooter you get a primary gun, secondary gun, melee combat, and explosives, but with Gotham City Imposters you get a “gadgets” option, and that’s where a lot of the fun comes in. These gadgets usually take the form of movement tools like grappling hooks, or glider wings, but there are options like goggles that ping your opponents as well. The movement gadgets are a nice addition to the fps genre, but what lies underneath this admittedly fun gimmick is a relatively responsive and accurate shooter that shouldn’t be ignored; the controls certainly don’t feel as tight as they could, but that’s to be expected from a $15 downloadable title. My real problems start to come with the multiplayer modes.
The game offers up a handful of modes that feel almost like domination, capture the flag, etc. but they are barely worth mentioning because it’s extremely hard to get into any games other than deathmatch; which is probably because the other modes feel like they where not given the same level of care. Like I said, the real jewel in this game is of course, Team deathmatch; it’s 5v5 combat works perfectly for the small map size by forcing very frantic, yet fun combat on the player. The gameplay isn’t anywhere near the likes of Battlefield, Uncharted 3, or Call of Duty, but oddly enough I kept going back for more; the game was strangely addictive that way, and I feel like the personality put into the game had something to do with that.
That very same personality is very strong in this game, which both helps, and hurts the experience. The game’s strong personality helps because Monolith has created maps firmly rooted in its comic book source material, while building characters with well written jokes. These jokes are extremely cheesy, and that isn’t a bad thing because they really work well; the voice actors managed to inject just the right amount of cheese into their lines, which kept me laughing, but its use of comedic “bleeping” felt unnatural and the humor was lost as soon as it was earned. It’s also important to note that there are myriads of unlockables that take the form of costume pieces, guns, gun mods, support items, and gadgets that will make sure you keep chipping away at the game.
Gotham City Imposters is a strong downloadable shooter with comparatively responsive, polished controls, and great personality that is sadly hurt by its lack of worthwhile game modes and that Monolith hasn’t really brought anything fresh enough to the first person shooter genre. I would say pick this up if you can get a friend or two to play it with you, or if you’re looking for something reminiscent of team fortress 2, but if not, I really couldn’t recommend this with the $15 price tag.