Gotham City: Imposters is developed by Monolith Productions and published by Warner Brothers Interactive Entertainment for the PC, XBLA and PSN. The game is a first person shooter set in DC’s Batman universe where average people have taken to the streets with the aim and costume to imitate either their hero Batman or their villainous idol the Joker. This has been released as a downloadable budget title but does support microtransactions for non-gameplay affecting items and bonus’.
The is a reasonable tutorial to get you started , which goes over the basics of the controls which does its job well to sort you out with some of the more interesting gadgets but unfortunately it doesn’t show all of them or introduce you to many of the support items. It does however give a little bit of story to the game and its written pretty well and has the same vein of humour that lives throughout the game and the cartoon trailers that were released.
Aside from the tutorial there are also challenges that can be played to hone your skills. These also allow you to earn Xp but it tends to be a much lower amount in comparison to multiplayer games. They start off just honing your skills with the gadgets in order to make you learn how to use them to get around quickly but they soon include killing targets as well. These are definitely challenging but do offer a very good way of improving your skills with map movement.
The gameplay could be considered almost exactly like Call of Duty with regards to the fluidity of the controls. Movement and shooting is very responsive though it does depend on the class and gadgets that you use to move around. Some gadgets are incredibly good and are definitely the leading choices. The glider rig is possibly the best at this stage in the game as it has the ability to do a dive that inflicts large amounts of damage to any enemy it hits; it’s also one of the quicker ways of getting around. Roller skates offset the mobility issues the tougher body types have with the smaller body types.
At the moment the game is still teething a little; certain combinations of weapons, body types, gadgets and support items rule the roost and it definitely affects the lower level players who don’t have access to that much stuff. This doesn’t make things much easier because of the lack of players online in some of the game modes. Team deathmatch is easily the most populated of all the game modes, fumigation is occasionally difficult to find a match in and psychological warfare is in dire need of more players; not only because of the distinct lack of people playing the game type but also the fact that most of the time if it starts heading towards one side winning people quickly leave the losing team. Luckily the free DLC and patch that is coming soon will fix that as it will give people the ability to enter a game that has already started.
Fumigation is a tug of war over 3 points where controlling the majority of the points will see the opponents bar deplete before either a swarm of bats or a deadly gas will be unleashed to kill your opponents and win you the match. Psychological warfare has a capture the flag style gameplay where a battery spawns in the middle of the map and to score a point a team must take the battery to thier loudspeaker and defend it for a short time. If they succeed in capturing and defending it, the loudspeakers will activate and demoralise the enemies, making them unable to use weapons and support items and forcing them to attack with a melee slap attack.
Weapons are very standard with a few exceptions such as the freeze gun, catapult and bow. Most of the weapons that get used are the standard assault rifles, snipers, bow and shotguns. A lot of the weapons are underplayed at this point in time and some just seem outclassed by others. At the moment the heavy hitters are the snipers, shotguns and the heavy machine gun which can shred most opponents in seconds. Eventually you can unlock upgrades for your weapons; this normally has the standard modifications such as red-dot sight, armour penetrating bullets, a sniffer mod (a motion tracker), bigger magazine etc but there are a few more interesting mods but they belong to the explosive weapons such as the rocket launcher and the catapult. Support items come in a range of different flavours; from shurikens to boomerangs, body armour, bear traps and many more. Body armour is one of the most commonly used items as it requires little thought for use as it tends to give you an advantage unless the enemy is equipped with a freeze gun or armour penetrating bullets. Grenades are also quite commonly used if only for the fact that they are unlocked from the beginning.
Gadgets are the main way of getting around in the game and as I said before the glider rig has the biggest advantage but that’s not to say that the others aren’t useful. Targeting goggles are the only non-movement gadget and are there to let you get assists by painting targets on the map so that your team mates can see them. Ninja smoke bombs make you more or less invisible aside from a little smoky outline and motion blur which people can see. Roller-skates are the best for movement on the slower characters so long as you don’t mind being ground based. The grapple gun is one of the more interesting ones as firing it at an enemy can also kill them and the remaining gadgets are hit and miss depending on how you want to play.
Character customisation is definitely important and the fact that there is so much to unlock is a great thing but the initial levels to let you get those unlocks seem a little too long to get to. As you play matches you will unlock coins that you can use to buy items of clothing for both the Bats and the Jokerz. It is mutually exclusive so you will have to decide which team to buy clothing for which is a little annoying as you don’t get a choice of which team to play as.
Experience and levelling make up the vast majority of unlocks; including allowing you access to class customisation, challenges (for weapons, items etc which is different to the challenge mode), as well as body types, faces and voices. It feels incredibly slow at times because of the lack of choice with the unlocks and some unlocks are so few and far between it can feel like you are lacking choice due to bad decisions with your unlocks. Unlocks for weapon mods come most frequently and are also the least helpful as you will tend to have more mod unlocks then you have weapons that you need unlocks for. This long levelling can slow down the pacing for unlocks and it feels a little awkward when you don’t know how long it is until you unlock the next of your needed unlocks.
Graphically it is pretty sharp, it has a very distinct almost cartoon style to it and it makes sure that it doesn’t take itself too seriously. There are more than enough customisable options at the moment to give most people what they want and it will offer more through the use of microtransactions. There are very few maps at the moment but they do offer a reasonable experience so far. They do feel like they suit the game well but they don’t quite feel like they belong to the Batman universe as much as they should; though that may be because of them being more colourful than locales in other Batman games/films/comics.
The audio is difficult to pin down as it will depend on your preferences as there is a distinct lack of music at times which is a little unsettling when you aren’t in the midst of battling. The voices of both sides are pretty good and you can change the pitch as well but changing it also make the voice speed up and slow down which is very irritating when the low voice is so slow at delivering the lines. In the end all the voice work and sound effects delivery perfectly the sense of madness the game creates with the cartoon style voices.
Presentation and Audio
The presentation and audio play up to the insanity of the game and it works well on the most part; it definitely is a love letter to the Batman-Joker relationship and it shows. The voice work is great but the customisation of the voices could be handled better; also there needs to be more put towards gender equality, only a single body type is female and the voices seem a little segregated as such with 2 definitively female Jokerz voices and 1 Bats voice.
The game emulates from the “best”/most popular control style and plays brilliantly because of it. Movement is fluid and the weapons and items have impact and a weight to them. Slow levelling and rate of unlocks definitely impede your gameplay at lower levels and can cause problems with experimentation of different combinations until you reach the higher levels. Luckily the first patch will add new features and save the almost unplayable psychological warfare gametype.
As a downloadable title it ticks a lot of the right boxes and definitely has reached a lot of its goals in terms of atmosphere and its take on Batman universe. It plays well and gives you lots of customisation choices but the slow progression hinders gameplay too much at the moment. Microtransactions I have no problems with but depending on how it plays out with any new content could make or break the game.
First and foremost the game will be compared to Call of Duty; much of the way the gameplay is executed is definitely inspired by it, which is by no means a bad thing. To me Call of Duty epitomizes fluid controls and fast paced action; it does a lot of things right but does make mistakes. Gotham City Impostors takes most of the good but does get let down in terms of level progression, multitude of maps and by no fault of its own lack of players. The price is fair for what it offers so long as it backs the game with enough free DLC considering that they are using microtransactions. Hopefully the game will get a player base large enough to keep it afloat and the PC version should be able to. Whether the console versions survive for long depends very much on how the initial teething works out considering the problems that they have run into.
Disclaimer:All scores given within our reviews are based on the artist’s personal opinion; this should in no way impede your decision to purchase the game.