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Gotham City Imposters


by Niall Coleman - 17th February 2012
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Gotham City Imposters (PC) Review

Gotham City Imposters (PC)


Released recently Gotham City Imposters is a download-only multiplayer FPS developed by Monolith (F.E.A.R.) and published by WB Games. In this game, which rides in on the immense success of Batman Arkham City, we play as violent vigilantes dressed up like Batman against equally violent criminals dressed up like the Joker in open warfare on the streets of Gotham City... in terms of plot, well that is pretty much it, but what do we expect from a multiplayer only FPS?


Gameplay
Before we look at the game itself it is worth noting that the sign-in process could be streamlined. We downloaded the game through Steam, which has a sign in, then the game requires a Live account (another sign in) and then we are prompted to register for a Warner Bros ID (WBID) which allows us to track and compare our progress at www.gothamcityimpostors.com. Three sign in's is over the top and really Windows Live could have been removed during development, we say that rather than WBID as it gives us a free unlock of a gun paint job.

Once we get past the multi login we are presented with the initial game menu which consist of Play Now, Secret Identity, Track Record, Black Market, Help & Options, and Exit Game.

With the last two being relatively self-explanatory we will dive into Play Now where we can choose from Team Deathmatch, Fumigation, Psych Warfare, Challenges and Initiation.


Initiation is a solo in-game tutorial, running us through the basic controls and some of the more unusual weapons and equipment.

Challenges is also a solo play option. It takes place on the same maps as the multiplayer matches and involves us completing timed activities using gadgets. The challenges range from basic to expert and successful completion results in us being awarded experience points, with more points awarded for faster times.

Psych Warfare is a multi-player game type which involves us grabbing a battery and then plugging it into a P.A. system to demoralise the enemy team. Experience points are awarded if we grab the battery or plug it in.

Fumigation is a similar multiplayer game type to Psych Warfare, in that it involves capturing and defending areas. In this game type we have to capture the 3 Gasblasters to release a poison gas attack on the other team. Experience points are awarded for capturing a Gasblaster.


The final type of multiplayer games is Team Deathmatch, which simply involves killing as many of the other team as possible while trying not to die.

All of the multiplayer games and challenges take place on one of five maps; these are Amusement Mile, Gotham Power, Crime Alley, Ace Chemicals and Dock. Once we have made our multiplayer match type choice we go onto the Matchmaking Lobby where the game finds and assigns up to twelve other players. The map is also automatically assigned but we have the option of voting to veto the assigned map. What we must note at this point is that matchmaking can take some time and there are accepted bugs in the process but Monolith and WB Games have promised that in March they will release fixes and the ability for players to join a match after it has started. These features are part of a free DLC.


Once we have enough players for a match we are automatically put into the Jokerz or the Bats team. Team selection appears to be based on the most even balance of players as players of any level can play with each other. After the teams are set we are then able to select our character type. If we are of sufficient level we can pick our custom loadout but if not we must pick one of the games pre-set loadouts.

These are:

Striker: Tough body type, armed with a rifle, shotgun, pipe bomb and grappling hook.

Scout: Nimble body type, armed with an SMG, slingshot, shuriken, and smoke bombs.

Defender: Mighty body type and armed with a kind of homemade heavy machine gun, a homemade rocket launcher, a boomerang and a set of Batman style gliding wings.

Medic: Burly body type armed with a rifle, the loud haler medpac, impact grenade and roller-skates.

And finally no multiplayer FPS would be complete without a Sniper loadout. The Sniper has a speedy body type and is armed with a sniper rifle, SMG, proximity bomb and grappling hook.


Weapons are obviously numerous and are a mix of conventional with home-made, each having modifications that improve an aspect of performance. They can also have a paint job. Paint job options are unlocked by completing Feats of Prowess, whereas weapon mods are unlocked by levelling up. As well as the two weapon slots we carry one support item from the above list which can be pipe bomb, impact grenade, boomerang, hatchet, shuriken, bear trap, trap-in-a-box, body armor and energy drink. We also carry one gadget into the match. Gadgets are generally used for assisting us in moving through the map and they are glider rig, grapple gun, rollerskates, spring boots, inflatable insoles, targeting goggles and ninja smoke bomb. Like the support items the gadget are locked until we level up, however if we launch the game using one of the games pre-set loadouts we can access equipment that would otherwise be locked.

Finally for the main gameplay in game controls are the standard W-A-S-D, R to reload, F to activate items, G for explosives, LMB to shoot, RMB to aim and the middle mouse button activates our gadget.

As with many recent games the more we play Gotham City Imposters the more content and items we can unlock and these allow us to perform actions such as changing our loadouts and costumes while elsewhere in the game we can purchase consumables which allow us to boost character or team XP. Mascots are also available and take the form of small versions of DC Comic characters that hover over the shoulder of our character.

Monitoring our progress is The Track Record menu which is divided into five areas; Feats of Prowess, Stamps of Excellence, Multiplayer Stats, Leaderboards and Achievements. While Secret Identity is where we customise game aspects.


Graphics and Audio
The graphics style in Gotham City Imposters moves away from the look of the other recent Batman and FPS games towards a more cartoon style of environment. While no visual element of the game is completely unbelievable, they are all accented to the extreme, for example the large body type is ridiculously big and the smallest body type is dangerously thin. This coupled with the cartoonish equipment design gives a strange mix of realism and fiction to the game. Visually it is neither very distinctive nor unforgettable. It sits squarely in the middle of the road, being visually unique but not spectacular.

The audio component of this gaming experience also has this strange mix of the unique but unspectacular. Voice acting is almost non-existent with the in-game speaking, other than the players via voice chat, being the post kill catchphrases. The large amount of variation among these keeps things fresh though.


Summary
Gotham City Imposters is a lot fun, very enjoyable, but a little buggy when matchmaking. It is not going to appeal to fans of realistic FPS' and there are limitations in terms of gameplay given that it is predominantly an online fps and nothing more. The game tries to keep our interest by having a near infinite number of unlockable options though and it is only £12.00 to buy which seems appropriate.

If you think that a mix of Team Fortress and COD put in a comic Batman world sounds good then this game will be your idea of fun.

Score: 79%
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