I will admit that I was a little skeptical about Gotham City Impostors when I first heard about it. I believed it was just riding on the coattails of the Batman name to garner attention for another bland first-person shooter. But the girl dressed up as a fake Joker kept urging me over to try out the demo as I played Mortal Kombat next to her. Her eerie voice, which seemed almost identical to that of the real Harlequin, convinced me to give it a go.
I’m very glad I listened to that strange woman getting paid to stand there and lure people over.
You may be familiar with the makers of Gotham City Impostors if you’ve ever played F.E.A.R. or The Operative: No One Lives Forever. Monolith Productions really wanted to make a multiplayer game set in the Batman universe, and they seemed to have approached that idea rather well given what I saw.
Gotham City Impostors is a 6 on 6 all out battle. For the show floor demo, the map I was on was named the “Amusement Mile.” This was an abandoned carnival filled with trampolines and ramps. The mode I was playing was termed “Psychological Warfare” (in case you’re wondering, there is standard team deathmatch as well). The goal of this mode is to find a battery and carry it over to a gas machine. After putting it in the machine, your team protects the device for 60 seconds. After those 60 seconds, your enemies are hit with the gas and are unable to wield their weapons. It all looks like a bad acid trip (not that I would know or anything).
The only means of “weaponry” your opponents have against you is their arms to try to slap you to death. If the opposing team is unable to deactivate the gas machine under a certain time limit, the other team gets a point. Needless to say, my team didn’t so well.
Although the character classes were preset for the demo, the developer showcasing the game did inform me that you will be able to have endless customization options once the game launches. This is to emphasize the premise of the game that you’re just an average Joe in Gotham that one day decided to be the hero (or the villain). Your character can be as unique as you are; no two characters should ever be the same given the options you’re given. As you earn XP, you will be able to unlock more customization options and weapons. The body sizes of the characters (Speedy, Nimble, and Tough) affect aspects such as health and speed.
I tried out all the preset classes in that short demo, and most of the weapons (such as the rocket launchers) looked like they were made in someone’s garage. That’s exactly what Monolith wanted to portray given that these Bats and Jokers don’t have the same resources as our beloved Dark Knight. For combat, you will have a primary weapon (i.e. assault rifle), a secondary weapon (i.e. boomerangs or hatchets), and a gadget (i.e. roller skates). There will also be more Gotham-inspired maps when the game releases.
The game will be available for download on the Xbox LIVE Arcade, PlayStation Network, and PC in early 2012. I might actually be picking it up, and I completely blame that siren Joker chick.