Gotham City Impostors review (XBLA)
Gotham City Impostors was developed by Monolith and was published by WB Games. It was released February 8, 2012 for 1200 MSP.
The Dark Knight has finally hit his stride in video games with the award-winning hits Arkham Asylum and, more recently, Arkham City. While these games offered amazing single-player experiences, both through revolutionary gameplay and engaging stories, they have also steered away from any multiplayer experience.
While Batman and Joker have been fighting in retail games, their crazed followers in Gotham City have brought the battle to XBLA. Gotham City Impostors trades Batarangs and dark atmosphere for guns and crazy humor. It’s easily comparable to Call of Duty or Team Fortress 2, but it has unique features that doesn’t make it feel like a copy. While matchmaking can be a pain, this six-on-six comedy shooter has some of the best action on XBLA.
Here’s what we liked:
So much customization – Gotham City Impostors has loads upon loads of customization options. Every time you level up you get a free unlock for a specific category, such as weapon or support item. You can choose anything in the given unlock category from the beginning of the game, giving the perfect opportunity to make a great class in the first few levels. After every game you also get costume coins, which you can save up to buy clothes to decorate your impostors. The possibilities are endless, and it won’t be long until you get your own perfect loadout.
Batman doesn’t kill, but impostors do – Using absurd weapons like a deep-freeze gun and a bear-stalker bow in a multiplayer playground sounds like anarchy, but it’s handled very well. The wide variety of weapons and and tight controls gives a solid class-based combat experience. The game has five maps, each designed very well to allow equal opportunity for any loadout. The wide selection of weapons make every shot count, and feel quite powerful to boot. The real game-changers are the mobility gadgets, including grappling hooks and glider rigs, which add a unique layer to the combat and are useful strategies for the objective-based modes.
Style – When you think of a Batman game, you don’t think of bright colors and sight gags. Costume pieces range from standard to absurd, such as cardboard boxes for masks and bunny slippers for shoes. Tutorials are given through black and white silent cartoons, equal parts helpful and charming. The few gameplay modes the game has are unique twists on common game types: why capture a flag when you can capture a battery that will turn your enemies into weaponless, slap-happy fools? This isn’t your normal Batman game, which makes it that much cooler.
Challenges – A light side of single player tops off the dish, giving you a chance to perfect your mobility skills across every map. Challenges require you to move to checkpoints and shoot targets in the fastest time possible, and even give XP rewards for good times. It’s not much, but it really helps you hone skills and get used to map layouts.
Here’s what we didn’t like:
Matchmaking issues – If you’re entering the matchmaking lobby, prepare to wait. Matchmaking can take a while, and being abruptly kicked out of a game due to server issues is common. The server may switch your team mid-game, even if it separates you from your party. Occasionally you’ll play a game type that wasn’t the lobby you were in, or the correct game loads with some glaring issues (no fumigation machines, gadgets won’t work, randomizing calling cards, etc.). Matchmaking can be a mess, and patience is mandatory if you want to enjoy the game.
Micro-transactions – The game’s Black Market lets you buy superficial items for your characters. While they do not affect the game, they do prevent players from working towards them and unlocking them in-game. There’s also XP boosts that last an hour, and a few mascots that can only be unlocked by purchase. Trading hard work for instant gratification feels like cheap tactic.
Gotham City Impostors is one of the most downright fun shooters available today. Matches are a blast to play, and the frequent unlocks lets you adjust your strategy every time you level up. There may not be enough content for some, and the matchmaking is borderline terrible, but the promise of free DLC and patches may ease the pain. Being Batman may be awesome, but being an impostor is so much fun.
Score: Buy It!