Written by Twisted Ideas
Earlier last month, I reviewed the open beta for Gotham City Impostors. For those unfamiliar Gotham City Impostors is a downloadable game developed by Monolith. Civilians dress up and model themselves after Batman and the Joker. These two factions decide to take matters into their own hands and shoot it out. The game has a similar feel to Team Fortress 2 as it has a dark sense of humour as well. Is Gotham City Impostors a competent shooter or is it a poor imitation?
The beta included 2 modes, Fumigation and Psych Control. The only new modes in the full release are Team Death Match and Challenge Mode. Team Death Match is self-explanatory if you ever played an online shooter; The first team with 50 kills wins. The challenge maps are single player training missions involving each of the movement gadgets. Fumigation has 3 gas blasters to hold and each team has to struggle to reach 100% to kill the opposing team. Psych Control is capture the flag where you need to attach a battery to your propaganda machine and defend it to cause the opposing team to flail around nearly defenseless. Matches are 6v6 and there are time limits should the game last too long.
You can equip any combination of two weapons and most can be equipped with mods. Support weapons vary in effect: there are thrown projectiles, ground traps and support items. Most gadgets allows for increased mobility. Fun Facts are perks that provide passive abilities for the player. Body types changes your character’s size as well as health, speed and strength. The larger your character the more health and strength they will have at the cost of speed. Fun Facts are perks that provide passive abilities. You can also customize appearance with various apparel.
GCI uses a standard leveling system where kills, assists and accomplishments give you experience. The level cap is 1000 and you can accept a promotion at level 100. The first few levels force you to use character classes introducing you to some of the weapons, gadgets, etc. When you unlock custom loadouts you can customize your character in the various aforementioned categories. When you gain levels you receive an unlock key for a category and you’re free to unlock any item.
When I was playing the beta there were connection issues. Games would disconnect and some games wouldn’t start. I was concerned that Warner Bros. couldn’t fix the online to handle a critical mass of players and I was right. The Team Shy Guy team started a party together and we had difficulties starting games. We would lose connection before or right after the game started. There were times one of us couldn’t enter the game while the rest could. This was forgotten about when we were able to get several games in a row with no issue. Lag hasn’t been much of an issue other than rare lag spikes.
Spawns try to place you far away from your opponents but at times it will leave you stuck in the action. Theoretically if one team effectively kills the opposing team from a distance in their spawn point they will continue to spawn there until a player runs in that spawn area. If you are in that situation camping becomes very strong assuming you have good snipers because if you die you are spawned within that area. The opposing team is forced to get close to change the spawn point.
Matchmaking is an issue as games can start with as little as 8 players and players cannot join in a game in progress. There is nothing in place to handle players leaving the game or disconnecting. I had a 4v2 games and even a 5v0 games. The game does not rearrange players but split our party into different teams on occasion. There will be free DLC to allow players to join mid-game and improve the server but there were two betas (PC and console) and I cannot believe that Warner Bros. lacked the foresight to implement this prior to release.
The gadgets and the level design is done is a way that it makes use of vertical space. Map knowledge is important as camping spots in awkward places like on top of doors, high up vents or in the top corner of a building. I love the unlock system’s flexibility. I find it frustrating in shooters where you have to grind to reach a certain level just to unlock a single gun. In Impostors if you have a loadout in mind you can be fully equipped in under 15 levels.
There is strong equipment but nothing feels that broken. Targeting goggles can be stopped with the Wallflower fun fact, snipers will have difficulty spotting players using ninja smoke bombs and SMG’s have difficulty killing the Mighty body type. The game is oddly balanced and with multiple loadouts you can prepare for multiple scenarios. The promise of DLC to fix the online is promising if not shortsighted.
Gotham City Impostors is very enjoyable shooter bringing back the feel of Quake, Unreal Tournament and Team Fortress 2 back to consoles. What I love most about the game is that it isn’t a Call of Duty, a Battlefield or a Killzone. Weapons aren’t all generic. There are hatchets, bear traps, exploding jack-in-the-boxes and a freeze gun. This is refreshing and because of the unlock system it is easy to pickup and play and not feel at a severe disadvantage. I am disappointed that there are not more modes to play but there is a possibility for more in the future. Gotham City Impostors is a $15 game and it is worth it to finally have something different.