Gotham City Impostors is a rare breed. Coming along mere months after the critically acclaimed and long anticipated Batman: Arkham City, Impostors offers you a skewed look at the Batman universe through a pair of mentally imbalanced eyes. Playing as either a member of the ‘Bats’ or the ‘Jokerz,’ two street gangs taking after their favorite costumed celebrity, you will find yourself running and gunning through the streets of Gotham in an inspired and satirical FPS.
“His is the path of righteousness, ours is the path of cordite and home-brew explosives.”
The game is spawned from a four issue story from Detective Comics (#867-870) wherein the Joker drugs Gotham City, causing mass hallucinations leading to Batman inspired maniacs who protect the innocent and Joker inspired madmen who want nothing more than to cause damage to the city. Upon jumping into the game, you’re treated to a brief intro level where the leader of the Bats, known only as ‘Sir,’ and his dimwitted second-in-command Marvin welcome you to the good fight and introduce you to the game’s mechanics.
If you’ve played Call of Duty, Battlefield, Bioshock, or any of the infinite first person shooters that dominate the current generation of gaming, then you’ll be right at home with Gotham City Impostors. The controls are immediately familiar save for a brief learning curve in timing some special moves. You are privy to roller-blades, glider wings, spring shoes, and grappling hooks to help you move about the map. Weapons range from the standard shotguns and machine guns to pipe bombs and PVC rocket launchers. The game plays fast and cartoony, both due to the weapons and travel options, and there is rarely any downtime to the action.
The game plays host to five maps, all of them highly vertical and full of locations immediately recognizable to fans of the comics. Alongside five maps you get three main game types. You have your standard team deathmatch, capture the flag, and king of the hill. On top of the multiplayer there is also a challenge mode to help grind for additional experience. Get ready to spend the majority of your time in straight up death matches, however. Over the last week or so of playing the game I have had difficulty filling up a lobby in either of the other multiplayer games types.
Experience points earned throughout the game can be used for a number of different purchases. You can unlock new costume pieces for your characters, new mascots that float above your head, different load-outs, and even customizable ‘calling cards’ that pop up on the screen of anybody unlucky enough to die by your hand. In an interesting move reminiscent of mobile gaming you can unlock items both with experience earned in-game or through micro transactions, paying real world money for the right to unlock items.
Gotham City Impostors is not revolutionary by any means. But it is a whole heap of fun. It is a multiplayer game that wouldn’t fit in with any current Batman game on the market while not being robust enough to be its own full retail release. This is a prime example of what a downloadable title should be, however. It is a fun idea packed with insane humor and something you should definitely download if you’re looking for a change of pace from the more serious FPS offerings out there.