Gotham City Impostors - First Impressions
We take Gotham City Impostors for a test drive to see if this downloadable shooter can live up to the monolithic expectations from genre and franchise fans alike.
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, Team Fortress 2 with a
Batman theme. The third eyebrow raiser is the games developer, Monolith
Not unlike a wickedly wrapped Joker bomb, Im 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 lets 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
youve played any of those titles, you know that Monolith has a pretty solid
lock on the damn thats creepy FPS market, or DTCFPS for short. And no,
Dead Space doesnt count since thats 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 at least for
the purposes of this article 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 games 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 youre 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 lets take a crack at those pesky TF2 comparisons now, shall
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, youll be
playing on the side of Batman or the Joker, however, you wont actually be
playing as either one. Instead, youll 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 doesnt 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, youll also be able to select two different gadgets to bring to the
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 Ive had ever since the game was first announced. Im happy
to report that, yes, the game is definitely fun to play. Considering I was
playing it on the 360 perhaps my least favorite platform as far as shooters go
that hopefully means good things for the PC release as well.
We dont have a set release date for Gotham City Impostors just yet, but the
word on the streets is that its 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 dont 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.
Well 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!
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