Gotham City Impostors Review
When cosplay turns deadly.
Have you ever read a Batman comic and wondered what the ordinary citizens of Gotham City were like? As you might expect, considering the things they have to deal with on a daily basis, some of them are pretty crazy. Monolith took to the streets of Gotham to give you a look at what happens when Batman and The Joker are tied up fighting each other. Copycat gangs, or Impostors, war in the streets. Gotham City Impostors has one of the most original settings we’ve seen, in a multiplayer shooter, in a long time and despite its goofy exterior, the action is dead serious.
Though Gotham City Impostors is, for the most part, an online, multiplayer shooter there are a few things you can do by yourself. I’ll also take this space to set up the basics for those of you that aren’t familiar. Impostors is set in Gotham City (home of Batman if, by some miracle, you didn’t know that already) and puts you in the shoes of a member of one of two gangs.
First we have the Bats, these guys are Batman fanatics who stand for the forces of good and the common man. While not as physically skilled as Batman, and lacking the financial backing to develop sweet gadgets to fight crime with, they fall back on good old guns and explosives.
Their enemies are the Jokerz; a group of wannabe super-villains who dress up like the Joker and try to mimic his nefarious schemes. Being neither as cunning, nor as crazy as The Joker himself, they too fall back on explosives and guns. When starting the game you can jump right in to some adversarial action or you can run through Initiation. I would recommend taking part in the Initiation as there are a few specifics, namely the gadgets, that you haven’t seen in other shooters. I did run into a strange issue where I was disconnected from the Initiation sequence due to “Network Issues”. I found this frustrating as Initiation is completely single player. Why should I have to be connected to anything to play through it. After three failed attempts, I did get it done I’m just wondering why Monolith designed it so that you would be booted from the tutorial if you lost connection.
Each of your loadouts features an option to pick a gadget. These are what really make Gotham City Impostors fun. The Glider Rig allows you to glide around the map like Batman with his cape, hitting air vents for an altitude boost and dive bombing enemies. Rollerskates allow you to move much faster through the level and hit set launch ramps to reach higher areas. Spring boots allow you to charge up for a big jump boost and finally the Grapple Gun lets you fire a grappling line into any wall and zip your way over to your destination. A few others can be unlocked as you progress in the game, but these are the ones you can learn about during your Initiation.
If you’re looking for more single player (I’m not sure why you’re here, but) you can try out the Challenges. There are an absolute ton of these covering three difficulty levels across all five maps. Challenges are a race against the clock to navigate your way through checkpoints on each map and will earn you in-game experience. These challenges are a lot of fun and quite addictive.
The real meat of Gotham City Impostors is the multiplayer. As a shooter, Impostors works great and plays smoothly. The weapons are great and I found everything to be balanced in a way that lets you absorb a bit of damage before going down, without making it frustrating to kill someone. It really feels like Monolith put a lot of work into the balancing as the action is always flowing.
Though there are only five maps in Impostors you aren’t likely to find yourself bored with any of them due to the size and vertical design. With gadgets that can have you flying through the air, one way or another, it’s easy to see a lot of time was put into building the maps in a way that made them vertically interesting while still being interesting to run through. Three modes are on offer here, with standard Deathmatch being included as well as Gotham’s take on capture the flag and domination game types. The objective modes offer an Impostors twist with capture the flag turning into Psych Warfare where you’re capturing batteries to power a brainwashing machine. When you score a capture, the opposing team is brainwashed for a short time and can only run around slapping you.
Of course, we’re not just here for the crazy action, we’re here for the unlockables. Gotham City Impostors easily has the most stuff to unlock of any shooter I’ve played. In each match you earn both experience, which can be used to upgrade your loadouts with new gear and gadgets, and Costume Coins, which are used to unlock new items for your character’s outfit. Since each character is wearing a cobbled together, amateur version of Batman or Joker’s costume, these end up being pretty funny.
You’ll come for the action but you’ll stay for the sheer ton of stuff you can unlock and purchase. Once you’ve unlocked everything, you’ll still probably be here for the action. Gotham City Impostors is pure fun.
Gotham City Impostors isn’t just another shooter. Time and expertise went into designing an experience that would appeal to both serious shooter fans and gamers who like to compete, but just want to have some fun. The premise is comical but the action is serious and fast, Impostors isn’t trying to succeed on a gimmick, or the coat tails (cape tails?) of an established franchise, it’s trying to make a name for itself.