Review: Gotham City Impostors
Gotham City Impostors is a new FPS brought to us by Monolith Productions, the guys that introduced us to the F.E.A.R series. Now I know what you’re all thinking, “Do we really need another FPS?” and the answer to that is “Yes. You need this one”. But I see your point; it’s hard to get excited about an FPS game when there are literally hundreds available, but GCI is, in my opinion, a breath of fresh air in a world where Call of Duty is re-hashed every year and First-Person Shooters are slowly becoming more and more grey and unexciting.
GCI is set in Gotham City (duh!), but Batman and the Joker aren’t around, and crowds of people have taken it upon themselves to be the superheroes and super villains. You play as either a “Joker” or a “Bat” and go toe to toe with the opposition. At the very core, GCI is an FPS, but it has a level of customization that is incredible. You can set up your own class from body type and the clothes you wear, down to the pattern on your weapon. This game doesn’t have rigid classes that you have to follow, so you can play exactly as you want to play. As well being able to choose your weapons you have “gadgets” and “support Items”, these are a little harder to explain. Gadgets are the kind of things that you expect Batman to be running around with, there are things like the glider rig, which allows the player to take the fight into the air, and then there are things like roller skates, which will let you get around the map on foot much faster than everybody else. The other gadgets you can choose from are the grapple gun, spring boots, inflatable insoles, targeting goggles and ninja smoke bomb, and each of them have a unique effect on how your character plays. Support items are exactly as they sound, items to support your class, but not as integral as your weapons. These include, boomerang (my personal favourite), which you can fling at multiple enemies leaving them stunned and disoriented, pipe bombs and impact grenades, trap-in-the-box and then there are more team based ones like the care package, which will heal you and your teammates, there are more, but I’ll let you discover those.
As I mentioned earlier you can choose your body type, there are 5 to choose from ranging from beanpole skinny all the way up to Hulk-smash size, and they all play really differently. For example, “mighty” the biggest body type has massively increased health and melee power, but is remarkably slower than all the other type, and the “speedy” body type (the smallest) has less health and melee power, but is incredibly fast, then there are the 3 slotted in-between the two. Along with your character’s appearance you can choose “Fun Facts” about them, these are like your perks, and then something I found really interesting was that you can choose a “psych profile”, these are really impressive. Basically, a player’s psych profile will either award or penalize you dependent on the way you play e.g. there is one that will award you for committing team-oriented acts, like capping points or assisting team mates, but will penalize you for more selfish acts, like going on one man killing missions and vice versa. These add a really nice little touch to the game because if you choose a psych profile that fits your play style and plays to your characters strengths there is a whole host of bonus XP just waiting for you.
Weapons are fairly standard, there are assault rifles, SMGs, heavy weapons, shotguns, sniper rifles launchers and assistance. Everything is just as you’d expect really, and the only Assistance weapon in a megaphone that you use to “motivate” your teammates, healing them and giving them a nice little defense boost. There are a few nice little touches though, like a Deep Freeze gun that essentially turns you into Mr. Freeze, and one of the launchers is a bomb flinging catapult. I strongly recommend having a play around with all the weapons just to find the perfect class for you.
I really feel that I’ve gone on and on about the customization, but in my opinion it’s a great thing, and what makes it even better is that not only do you get complete control of everything, you even get complete control in what order you unlock things. When you reach certain levels you’ll be given “unlock keys” and you choose what you want to unlock. This means you can get your ideal class setup fairly quickly, and even better, nobody can whine at the high level players for having the stronger weapons.
The graphics in this game are nice, I say that because they aren’t super high-definition and pushing the boundaries, but they’re good. The maps are nicely made and really cater for the aerial fights as well as the fight on the ground. Although the graphics aren’t the best, the style of this game is incredible. Everything seems to fit, two teams of rag-tag Jokers and Bats are running around with what can only be described as homemade gadgets and most definitely homemade costumes (my Batman cowl is a blue painted cardboard box for example!)
There are only a few game types in GCI at the moment, Standard Team Deathmatch, Fumigation and Psych Warfare. Team Deathmatch is exactly as you’d expect it; kill the other team more than they kill you. Fumigation is a point capture game type, comparable to Domination in Call of Duty, except the points are Gas machines, and you need to fill the map with 100% of your gas while your opponents do the same. I don’t do it a great deal of justice in my description but it’s a great deal of fun. Psych Warfare is a CTF game type. I haven’t had a great deal of experience with this, but you need to grab the battery and plug it into your propaganda machine, while the other team attempt to get the same battery onto theirs. Once you attach the battery you need to defend it and the enemy go into “Panic Slap” mode, where they flail their arms around trying to remove the battery (again my descriptions aren’t the best, but getting a panic slap melee kill is second to nothing).
Despite how amazingly fun this game is there are a few little gripes that I have with it, the biggest being that before you’ll even get into a game you’ll need to log into Game for Windows Live and then configure yourself a Warner Brothers ID. Then if you’re playing in PC you’ll have to wait a while to even get into a game, the matchmaking system isn’t the best at the moment, but we’ve been told that they are working in it. At least they’ve addressed the issue (and the game has only been out for a couple of days), they’ve also announced a DLC for March that they’re going to drop for free (on PC, I’m not 100% on Xbox and PS3) which will include new maps, weapons, support items and gadgets along with the matchmaking fixes and they plan to address minor balance issues.
My final opinion is that this is simply a brilliant game, once you get into a game it’s an absolute blast, I seriously haven’t had this much fun with an FPS since TF2, and it has to be said that Free DLC and full post-release support are a sign of good things to come. For a measly $14.99 (or £11.99 for us Brits) it’s a steal. I’ve already sunk almost 20 hours into it myself.
Verdict - 85%
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