Gangs of Batman and Joker fanboys fight it out in Gotham City – and why not?
Gotham City. The place has had more than its fair share of chaos. Plague, earthquake and more psychotic criminals per square mile than any city should have to deal with. And then there are the gangs.
Considering the presence of vigilantes such as Batman and Huntress, and the big name crazy criminals such as Joker, Scarecrow and Two-Face, it is amazing that there never seems to be a shortage of people willing to join a gang in Gotham City – which is kinda fortunate as that is what Gotham City Impostors is banking on…
The game is a reasonably standard multiplayer FPS in which players get to join a gang that have modeled themselves on either the Batman or the Joker. As a member of either the Bats or the Jokerz, it is then all out warfare against the opposing gang. There is a tutorial, which masquerades as an induction test for the gang, and a handful of single-player challenges, but otherwise it is all about the online multiplayer action. There are a few different modes in which to play which mirror the popular multiplayer modes of other online shooters, and five maps across which to battle at launch, although I am sure that there are more to come through DLC.
The player gets to choose from a decent variety of weapons, from the standard guns that could be found in any shooter, to the more exotic weapons such as the slingshot. They also get to choose support items, such as grenades, and a gadget, such as a grapple hook, rollerskates or gliding wings. There are a huge number of ways that the player can customise their character within the game, resulting in a truly unique presence amongst their friends. But it is how all of this customisation is implemented that will turn some gamers off of Gotham City Impostors.
As the player makes their way through match after match, they will gain experenice and level up. Doing so will unlock new weapons, gadgets and such, much like otehr games. But after each match they will earn costume coins, which can be used to unlock new items of clothing and such for customisation. Investing the time to get these new items may be slightly beyond the capabilities of many players, being that it will take at least three or four matches to unlock the cheapest of these items, so a full outfit will end up taking many, many games. Given the limitation of only three modes at the moment, and only five maps, it seems like a bit of a grind.
But fear not, because there is hope to be found. At launch there was in excess of 100 hundred items that can be bought for MSPoints and used within the game. The vast majority of these items can be purchased using the costume coins, but then that would take time. This way, players can customise their character as quickly as the want, as long as they have the cold, hard cash to do so.
This is a model used by many of the freemium games that can be found on the Net. Players can grind away for hours and play the game for free, or spend some cash and save some time. It works quite well and I regularly enjoy a couple of freemium titles. But the problem lies in that Gotham City Impostors is not free, you have to buy the game. That is the point that will stick in the throat of many gamers.
Gameplay-wise, it is absolute chaos – which is fitting for Gotham City. The maps are fairly imaginative and, with the addition of the gadgets, nowhere is off limits, with players flying around or zipping up to advantageous positions using the grapple hooks. Trampolines will launch players into the air and the rollerskates will see them hurtling past you at high speed. For the less adept shooter fans out there, death will come quickly and frequently. But that doesn’t seem to detract from the fun of GCI, especially for the fans of Batman.
Gotham City Impostors is a fun game. But the true selling point, that which makes the game stand out from all of the other team-based FPS games out there, is the customisation. This feature requires such an investment of either time or money, that it will be lost to all but the most enthusiastic players. Hopefully, as more maps and game modes are added through DLC, more players will find themselves getting enthusiastic about this title. I would love to see more gangs added to the game (it’s not like there is a shortage of inspiration) and some modes that will take advantage of multi-gang warfare.
But until then, Gotham City Impostors is a good game that doesn’t quite do enough to stand out from the competition. Worth playing, but be prepared to invest if you want the best that Gotham City Impostors has to offer.