Gotham City Impostors – Xbox 360
Platform: Xbox 360
Developer: Monolith Productions
Publisher: Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment
Release Date: February 8, 2012
Nerd Rating: 6.5 out of 10
Reviewed by D34D_F0X
When The Bat Is Away….
So chances are, nowadays, that if you ask any given person on the street who their favorite hero is, you wouldn’t be at all surprised to learn that it’s The Caped Crusader. When asked to elaborate on the reason it’s usually that he is just a man, that any one of us could take up the mantle. This game expounds upon that theory, albeit without all those pesky morals and without any of Bruce Wayne’s trust-fund.The basic premise is established in the opening cinematic and is definitely worth a watch. Batman is spotted leaving town for unknown reasons by the proverbial mice, The Jokers and The Bats, who both immediately realize they can blow each other away without interruption. Something the Dark Knight probably frowned upon, but honestly, when is he not frowning?
So what is this game exactly? At its core it is a modern first person shooter and delivers in that regard beautifully while still maintaining a splendid sense of offbeat humor, much like the zany bright combat of Team Fortress 2. This game is fast, fun, frantic, and despite being based in Gotham, extremely vibrant. Right off the bat you’re given a few pre-made classes to familiarize yourself with the game and basically get a feel for what role you prefer. From the classic sniper, to the zany roller-derby-katana-wielding-psycho, there is sure to be something to suit anyone and everyone.
Gotham City Impostors carries what you would expect from a modern first person shooter in terms of weaponry. It houses generic shotguns, SMG’s, and assault and sniper rifles, but goes a step further in introducing weaponry like freeze guns, compound bows, and rocket-launchers that shoot soda-bottles. These weapons can be taken even further by adding different mods, for example, scopes, silencers, fully-automatic capabilities, armor piercing rounds, and hollow points. The weaponry is then layered by “Support Items” and “Gadgets.” Support items vary from pipe bombs to bear traps, while Gadgets are centered around mobility and utilities. Gadgets are a stand-out feature of the game in my opinion, as they are going to define a lot of your initiation into a fight. Are you going to snipe from a higher position you used your grappling hook to reach or rather navigate the level while invisible, only to drop your shroud once you are ready to assassinate an enemy? Finally there are Fun Facts which are essentially perks, Rampages which are your kill-streaks and Psych Profiles which reward you for playing a specific role.
All these features come together to form a nice series of checks and balances that gives the game a strategic depth. If you blast an armored enemy with your freeze gun they are more susceptible to be frozen, while if you shot them with hollow point rounds it would do virtually nothing. Another layer worth mentioning falls under the category of aesthetic and strategy, which is body type. If you play a nimble character type you will be fast and hard to hit but lack health, while larger body types are the complete opposite.
Gun-play feel and accuracy is surprisingly tight in a game that has SO much going on at any given time. This comes through brilliantly in finesse based weapons, like the Bear-Hunter Bow pictured above, when landing a head-shot is vital to securing a kill. This is important in any FPS being that you never want to feel you missed your shot due to bad programming, and in Gotham City Impostors you never will. If you have the skill it’s easily possible to head-shot an enemy in mid hang-glide.
There are four different game-modes, Psyche Warfare (capture-the-flag), Fumigation (domination), Team-Death-match (duh) and Bounty-Hunter (capture-the-coins?). I tended to stick to the objective based game-modes of Psyche and Fumigation because the death-match variants felt way too hectic and disorganized. This is my personal preference only though; if you feel at home in chaos, don’t let me stop you.
Don The Cowl Or A Towel!
Once you get a few levels under your belt the game opens up quite a bit. You will periodically receive unlocks to make available different guns and equipment to tailor your own particular style of play. Beyond this you will also unlock “costume points” after every match which you can use to purchase different costume items. There are not a ton of options, but there are enough that you can manage to make a character stand-out. Like almost every facet of Gotham City Impostors, costumes are heavily infused with humor. When you witness an overweight member of the Joker’s crew running around in nothing but purple underwear, a boa, and a large “J” spray-painted on his chest, you will know exactly what I mean.
If you are a gamer girl you will be pleased to see that the female demographic is not excluded from this game, but it is slightly disappointing that instead of being able to just choose your sex, your entire gender is restricted to the body type of “nimble.”
WE DON’T GET TO FIGHT IN THE BATCAVE!?!?
A big part of any game set in Batman lore is always going to be setting. Gotham City is held closer to the heart of a true nerd than New York City itself (unless you are a nerd named Peter Parker, then New York city is pretty important), so I’m not gonna pull punches when I say this doesn’t feel like Gotham to me. Don’t get me wrong the maps themselves are fun to navigate and littered with fun, inventive ways to position yourself, but the feel of Gotham just wasn’t there for me. This could be due to the almost ironic sense of contrast between the game’s universe and the comics, and it could be that I’m missing the point, but at one time I was standing in crime alley on a chalk outline of Bruce Wayne’s parents and the goofy take on the serious subject matter didn’t sit well with me at all. When the game originally released it contained 5 maps, now it sits at the grand total of 6, which honestly, just isn’t that grand.
Will You Be Staying?
In terms of longevity, this game has quite a bit. There are 100 levels for advancement in Gotham City Impostors and it extends upon that with its own form of prestige called promotion once you reach the level cap. Their are plenty of unlockables as well that can be earned through completing different feats. These include Calling Cards which is simply your player card which other players identify you by. There are weapons skins which are my personal favorite being that this game boasts some signature Batman themed swag, such as the “Riddler” skin, which turns your gun green and covers it in question marks! Finally there are mascots which are just cute batman themed plushies that float behind you during game-play.
More Than Just Impostors..?
I’ve already said it, but I feel it bears re-iterating, this game is fun. If you are looking for a competitive serious play-through, then look elsewhere. However, if you are looking for a game that you and your friends can have a good laugh at, backed by solid game-play and a plethora of options, then it’s about time you took a tour to the more juvenile side of Gotham.
-6.5 out of 10-
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