Review: Gotham City Impostors

February 13, 2012, By Christian Davis

Let’s take a break from all of the realistic modern war genres and the color brown. Let’s dress up as clowns and bats instead and shoot each other with makeshift weapons and items. Why don’t I throw a jack in the box at you that’s booby trapped with C4? How about you chase me down on roller skates and shoot me in the back with a bow and arrow? That sounds more interesting. Why don’t we just take a break from realism and just get silly for a while? I think what we all need to do is spend some time with Gotham City Impostors and have a laugh.

The first person shooter genre has obviously taken a liking to the gritty and more hardcore aspect of gaming. We’ve played that style of game so often now that it has become exoteric. Some of us may have forgotten that games were once a whimsical and fun activity that had you laughing rather than complaining about an unbalanced weapon or a faulty spawn point.  Gotham City Impostors is here to remind you that being silly is something that you never noticed you missed.

The downloadable shooter takes the best aspects of three relatively different subjects–Batman, Call of Duty, and Team Fortress—and combines them to create an energetic and fun experience. Batman and the Joker are gone from Gotham City for reasons unknown, so your standard civilians and thugs take to the streets to protect or wreak havoc in the city they love in a hilarious fashion. Being that these are just your every day citizens, they lack the money and resources that the psychotic clown and mysterious caped crusader have; so they create their own weapons and gadgets with which to protect themselves.

You won’t see any high caliber rifles or advanced weaponry here. What you’ll get are slingshots that propel grenades, the pipe bombs you’ve seen kids on YouTube make, and bow and arrows. Of course, since there is a heavy comic influence present so you’ll also get exploding jack in the boxes or freeze guns along with a few of the standard shotguns and rifles.

Gadgets play a big part in the gameplay and will be essential to reaching many victories.  Once unlocked you’ll have things like x-ray goggles that you can use to mark the enemy, roller skates for quicker speeds, gliders, body armor and several more. They help improve your game without having anything feel too out of place or broken. The more you play, the more you’ll be able to unlock and equip in your load-out.

The load-outs in the game are reminiscent of Call of Duty’s. You can select a primary and secondary weapon, both that can be altered with modifications, paint-jobs, and attachments. Then you have the Fun Facts (perks) which have options such as regenerative health, being revived by your teammates, to quicker speeds.  The Rampage (killstreak) feature works differently than expected too. Rather than give you the ability to call in some air support, you get a character buff if a certain condition is met. If you’ve died several times without getting any kills you’ll have your damage reduced by 75 percent for the next 15 seconds. If you’re doing really well you’ll be able to dish out double damage for the allotted amount of time.

These aren’t based on how many people you take out though, more so dependent on the amount of damage you’ve dealt. Dealing 1200 points of damage will unlock a Rampage trait for your character and that sounds a lot easier than it actually is. If you’re shooting someone with a rifle, each bullet only does about twenty to twenty-five points of damage. That’s not counting whether they have body armor or if they’re running the aforementioned trait that reduces damage. It takes quite a bit of skill to achieve one of the positive Rampage traits. Not to say it’s hard to get into, everyone just has a pretty fair chance against one another.

The action is fast paced and depending on the game mode, matches can end a lot sooner than you think or it could last the duration of the game. That’s where the initial launch of Gotham City Impostors falters a little bit. There are only three game modes available: Team Deathmatch, Fumigation (domination), and Psych Warfare (demolition). The game only has multiplayer aside from the training and challenges, so you do wish there was more.

They do have their little twists to each game type though. Psych Warfare for example has you get a battery and attach it to a machine that will demoralize your enemies with propaganda. If successful, for 30 seconds of the match the enemy will not be able to use their weapons and will only run around in a hazy state trying to defend themselves with flailing hands. While in the hazy state the game is constantly insulting you with phrases like “You Suck” and “Go home to your mommy.”  It’s great to see not only the characters with personality but the gametypes themselves.

When it comes to the game’s characters, you have several body types to choose from. Ranging from thin and fast to slow and bulky. From selecting a body type, that’s where you get into the game’s really fun customization. You can modify the type of voice your character has, the clothes, hair, face paint or mask, shoes, pants, etc… Each character will look pretty dissimilar from one another and it’s great to have that level of customization. The customization items you get are also not of the highest hero caliber. Masks are made of cardboard boxes, chest plates are made out of hub caps, etc… They really embodied the average citizen taking control of the crime fighting and havoc causing.  There’s even going to be DLC coming in March which includes a map and over 100 new customization options. Maybe we’ll get more comic book related clothing? Who knows?

If you’ve been waiting for something to break up the monotony of current shooters, go and download Gotham City Impostors. It’s a game that you wish all of your friends would get and enjoy with you. It’s just good fun with wacky characters and an enjoyable tone. Who would have thought Call of Duty, Batman, and Team Fortress would all unintentionally contribute to the making of such an amusing title.

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