When Gotham City Impostors was first announced last month, there were three main topical focal points swirling around the buzzmill. First up, the announcement surprised more than a few based on a fact that Arkham City is due to drop later this year. Secondly, based on the little info and images available at the time, many gamers instantly dubbed the game, ÂTeam Fortress 2 with a Batman themeÂ. The third eyebrow raiser is the gameÂs developer, Monolith Productions.
Not unlike a wickedly wrapped Joker bomb, IÂm going to take my best crack at addressing all three counting down from three to one. Hopefully nothing explodes at the end, but you never know these days!
First letÂs take a brief look at the developers of Gotham City Impostors: Monolith Productions. I find this interesting for a number of reasons, but our own mileage may vary.
Monolith has a fairly lengthy list of shipped titles, among them the third and most recent entry in the F.E.A.R. series which was released this June. If youÂve played any of those titles, you know that Monolith has a pretty solid lock on the Âdamn thatÂs creepyÂ FPS market, or DTCFPS for short. And no, Dead Space doesnÂt count since thatÂs a third-person shooter franchise that desperately wants to be Gears of Gore, but I digress.
The second and final notable entry in the Monolith back catalogue Â at least for the purposes of this article Â is The Matrix Online, otherwise known as MXO by the few dozen people who continued to play it right up until the servers were shut down on July 31, 2009. Of course by that point the gameÂs development had been taken over by SOE after the previous publisher, Warner Brothers, decided to take the blue pill and jump ship on the project.
So if youÂre following along with me so far, the things we have to stuff in our magical brain blenders include:
- Team-based FPS featuring Hobo Batmen and Junkyard Jokers (and yes, I made those names up!)
- Developers of a fear-inducing FPS franchise that suspiciously launched the same year as MXO, a game that caused many strong emotive responses from MMO gamers, fear not being one of them
- Numerous comparisons to TF2
Still with me? Good. Then letÂs take a crack at those pesky TF2 comparisons now, shall we?
As luck would have it, I recently got the chance to spend some hands-on time with Gotham City Impostors. I can tell you first-hand that any comparisons to TF2 can safely be put to rest, the most obvious reason being that GCI is not a class-based shooter. Nor would you want it to be once you get a chance to zip around on roller skates or firebomb enemies with your rocket launcher while drifting along on your glider wings.
Before I drive too far down gadget lane, let me back up a bit and give you a quick rundown of what GCI is all about. As a team-based shooter, youÂll be playing on the side of Batman or the Joker, however, you wonÂt actually be playing as either one. Instead, youÂll be able to assemble some pretty outlandish costumes based on which side you play on, hence the Hobo Batman and Junkyard Joker references.
The zaniness doesnÂt end with cosmetics either. While each player can choose a core loadout from a list of some pretty standard projectile weapons of the gun and explosives varieties, youÂll also be able to select two different gadgets to bring to the multiplayer party.
During my hands-on time I stuck with a tried and true combo of rifle and rocket launcher for my main weapons, and for my gadgets I had a boomerang and glider wings. In terms of controls that meant my current weapon was mapped to the right trigger, and the two gadgets could be accessed using the right and left bumpers on a 360 controller. So pretty standard stuff for a console shooter, though thankfully GCI is expected to launch as a downloadable PC title as well.
(Yes, I still firmly believe that PC is the supreme ruler when it comes to shooter platforms. Sorry console fanatics, but facts is facts.)
The cool part of the gadgets I had at my disposal is that both offered some fairly non-traditional shooter gameplay into the mix, and I have a feeling this is where GCI will sink its hooks into FPS enthusiasts the most.
For my boomerang, holding down the bumper longer meant that it would eventually target up to three nearby enemies. Releasing it would send the thing flying, stunning and causing minor damage to all three along its path. Due to the length of time required to target multiple players I took more than a few dirt naps trying to get the hang of it, but the map we were playing on offered plenty of interesting places to perch.
Another fun interaction was the ability to firebomb enemies with the launcher while using the glider wings. It was another situational offensive maneuver at the end of the day, but a pretty cool one at that.
While my time with the game was somewhat brief, it did at least help me answer one burning question IÂve had ever since the game was first announced. IÂm happy to report that, yes, the game is definitely fun to play. Considering I was playing it on the 360 Â perhaps my least favorite platform as far as shooters go Â that hopefully means good things for the PC release as well.
We donÂt have a set release date for Gotham City Impostors just yet, but the word on the streets is that itÂs due to drop sometime next year. When the game was originally announced there was some buzz about it possibly even being released by the end of this year. And while that seems entirely possible based on the playable state of the game demo at this stage, I personally donÂt think it would release too closely to Arkham City. Besides, Wikipedia has the release date listed as TBA 2012, and everything you read on Wikipedia is fact, amiright?
Either way, stay tuned wannabe caped crusaders and laughing gas masterminds. WeÂll be keeping a close watch on the development of Gotham City Impostors over the coming months, so set your dials to the Ten Ton Hammer channel and be sure to tune in for the next episode!
Hop over to the next page to check out the Gotham City Impostor screenshot gallery!