For about a week now, I’ve been tooling around the streets of Gotham City. No, not as the Dark Knight, but as a lowly sales associate named Melvin. You see, he’s a burly man, dressed in plastic wings with a cardboard box over his head created to look like a crude mask that Batman would wear. After work gets out, Melvin doesn’t like to relax doing what normal people do. He likes to spend his evenings with a group of fellow minded Batman enthusiasts cruising the town with cheaply made but effective “tools of justice”, eliminating crime from the city streets.
No, this isn’t some elaborate and weird fantasy, this is the new downloadable title from the gang over at Monolith, who you may remember worked on the first two F.E.A.R. games. This is Gotham City Impostors, a quirky yet very fun first person shooter set in Batman’s domain of Gotham City. Care to know what the beta is like? Read on!
First off, let me just say that I love the premise of this game. You’re some joe shmo looking to mimic The Dark Knight (or the Joker), only you have none of the wealth that Batman has so you’re forced to deal with things like Rollerskates, makeshift grappling guns, trampolines, and guns that look customized on the cheap. It’s wildly over the top and honestly, it’s a lot of fun. I’ll be the first to admit that I was very skeptical when I heard they were making a first person shooter set in the Batman universe. It just didn’t make any sense at all. After seeing this game in action and giving it a shot, I’m sold. I mean, who hasn’t once thought about being a super hero or trying to be like Batman. That’s what makes the story line work so well. We’ve all been there at some point in our lives, it just that these normal people with normal jobs during the day, actually tried to live out that fantasy by dressing up as the character.
The demo includes two game modes played on 2 different maps and an initiation mode to get you used to the controls and the various gadgets at your disposal. Fumigation is best compared to a game like Domination where you and your team work to control a few different capture points around the map. First team to fill up their meter takes the match and your treated to the other team getting swarmed by bats or falling to a cloud of laughing gas. The other game mode is called Psychological Warfare and it’s more akin to Capture the Flag. Two teams fight over a battery which they want to use to power their own machine which will brainwash the enemy team. The maps featured in the demo also encompass some well-known Gotham spots like Amusement Mile and Crime Alley. They’re well made and seem to be balanced pretty well from what I can see. Not once did I run into a bottle neck or choke point.
At its core, you’re looking at a very fast paced first person shooter dressed in a familiar set of things that you find in any normal online multiplayer game these days. You start the game only able to select premade classes, but as you progress and level up, you’re able to basically customize your character as you see fit including body style, costume, alternative weapons, abilities, and primary gun. The unlock system is very generous and before you know it, you’ll be creating the character you want. It never gets old seeing the various characters running around a map dressed completely insane. The voice acting is also a highlight with a wealth of voices all doing their best to make you laugh from their insanity.
Overall, I was pleasantly surprised by Gotham City Impostors. It’s a very fast paced shooter that kind of harkens back to the old arena style shooters like Unreal Tournament and Quake III Arena or modern team based shooters such as Team Fortress 2. It ditches the dudebro style of FPS multiplayer games now a days and replaces it with wacky cosplaying citizens of Gotham City and over the top gadgets like rollerskates or a Rocket Launcher made from PVC pipes. Honestly, the biggest thing this game has going for it is it’s fun factor. No matter how terrible I was doing, I always had a good time and I was never getting angry. Here’s hoping that the community takes a shine to it when it’s released next Tuesday.