Published on January 29th, 2012 | by Chris Powell0
Preview: Gotham City Impostors beta
Before Monolith Productions unleashes the Bats and Jokerz hordes upon us next month, the developer opened up Gotham City Impostors for a free beta a few days ago. We’ve had some time to put the game through its paces and can report back to you now on how the game is shaping up.
Before we jump in, I think it’s important to tell you what Gotham City Impostors is all about. The game is a team-based, first-person shooter that pits six would-be Batman helpers against six wanna-be Joker henchmen, and if you’re familiar with Team Fortress or Monday Night Combat, you’ll be right at home. Monolith has announced the game will be a download-only title available on the PlayStation Network, Xbox Live and PC. More importantly to some, though, is that the game won’t have a single-player campaign. Nope, this game is all about the online multiplayer.
Although you might think having a Batman vs. Joker game without featuring either of the characters would be crazy, the characters do a great job at starring in the game. While some might look a little more akin to their idol than others, they each have a unique style to them that you’ll quickly enjoy.
There are five different characters to choose from: Speedy, Nimble, Tough, Burly and Mighty. Each of these have different attributes and abilities. For instance, the Speedy body type can move much faster than any of the other characters, but his health is much lower than everyone else, while the Mighty character is a monstrosity of a body type with a ton of health but is slow and lumbering, making him a much easier target for opposing shooters.
Before you jump into the multiplayer, I suggest you play through the Initiation level to learn the ropes. Currently, the beta gives players acess to two maps and two game modes called Psych Wars and Fumigation and two maps.
Psych Wars is a capture-the-flag style mode where teams race to place a battery inside a propaganda machine in the middle of the map. If a team successfully activates the battery, the propaganda machine begins blaring hilarious lines to the opposing team, which makes them temporarily go insane and leaves you running about the map like a mad man before the battery is once again reset in a random spawn point.
Fumigation is your typical King of the Hill style mode where teams battle for control of three control points placed throughout the map. Once a team controls all three points, either a swarm of bats are unleashed or a poisonous gas is spewed, killing the losing team and ending the game.
While these modes are fairly straightforward, what sets Gotham City Impostors apart from its competitors is the crazy amount of customization. As you play through the game, you rack up XP points and Costume Coins for killing enemies, winning a game and a number of other ways. Once the match is over, you can spend your Costume Coins on customizing your character’s look. You’re able to tweak your cowl, logo, cape, torso, hands, feet and legs. While these don’t give you any stat bonuses, they go a good job in ensuring your character looks different than any other you’ll meet.
In addition to the costumes, you’re given the ability to create a custom loadout where you choose your ready and backup weapons, gadgets, support item and Fun Fact. Speaking of which, let’s get into these.
Weapons and Gadgets
This wouldn’t be a Batman or Joker style game with some absolutely ingenious and zany weapons and gadgets. But unlike Batman and Joker, our less-wealthier characters have to cobble them together and make do with what they have. This means their gadgets are cheap knock-offs, but they’re still highly effective.
Impostors gives you access to several ranges of weapons, such as rifles, sub-machine guns, heavy weapons, sniper rifles, shotguns, launchers and assistance tools. During the beta, there are about three weapons in each category with the exception of the assistance category, which only gives you access to the Motivator that allows you to boost your teammate’s health and defense. The weapons are of such wide variety, that you’re able to truly play the game how you like.
In addition to the weapons, there are numerous gadgets at your disposal that are highly useful. They range from gliders, roller skates to grapple guns that allow you to move about the map much faster and more efficiently. Support items are your normal bomb or projectile-like items; need a pipe bomb, shuriken or body armor? They’re all right here. Lastly, Fun Facts give your character passive benefits like the ability to run faster or shoot more accurately.
Like your costumes, these must be purchased with XP points you earn through battle, but if you’re impatient, the full game will give players the Quick Buy option to spend real money and buy them outright.
How does the beta play?
Well, they don’t call it beta for nothing, right? When you’re able to actually get into a game, it plays incredibly well and is fun as hell. But you’ll likely spend just as much time looking at a “Finding Match” screen as you are blowing away Joker look alikes.
I was also booted from finding a match because of the following error, “The game database of your client and the game database of the server differ.” I’m not really sure how that could happen since I was running the latest beta version, but oh well.
Other than that, Gotham City Impostors is shaping up to be a magnificently fun shooter. The numerous gadgets, weapons and characters come together to make a remarkably quirky and fun game. Monolith Productions is one of my favorite developers, and they’ve brought us incredibly great titles in the past like Condemned and F.E.A.R. There’s no reason to think they’ll let us down anytime soon.
The game is set to launch in February for $15 on the PSN, XBL and PC.