From the very first cutscene, Gotham City Imposters immediately separates itself from plethora of rather mundane shooters which have flooded the market over the past decade. With Batman gone, the Batz and Jokerz have started an all of war for Gotham City, so grab a gun, choose a side, and let’s go kick some @$$.
The Basics: Aside from a short tutorial and a limited challenge mode, Gotham Imposters is strictly multiplayer only. The three gamemodes include straight up TDM in addition to Fumigation (best described as Domination or Conquest), and Psych Warfare (Sabotage/Assault). Neither of these objective gametypes revolutionize the FPS genre, but the unique twists presented through both the toxic gas spewing domination points, and the struggle over a battery to power a propaganda machine serve as humorous means to distinguish the experience from your standard shooter's offering.
Gameplay: Whereas other shooters argue over such trivial concerns as “realism”, the comically absurd style of Gotham City troubles itself not with such matters as “believability” or “common sense”, instead opting to assemble an arsenal out of homemade weaponry so wacky, it would bring MacGyver to tears. Players can choose from such exciting weapons as bottle rocket launchers, boomerangs, katanas, energy drinks, glider rigs, electrical gnomes, magic conch shells, even a freakin
bear HUMAN trap. Every class comes equip with any two weapons, a gadget, a support item, two fun facts (perks), a rampage (pointstreak), and an exp. modifying psychological profile (Ex: the bipolar psyche gains addition exp. when the team is winning, but suffers an exp. penalty while losing). This is in addition to choosing one of five body types, a unique calling card (Title/Emblem/Catchphrase), and then there's even an in depth costume editor.
The customization in Gotham City is wonderfully addictive. The true beauty is that nothing is ever routine. Every single gadget and support item is so unique that while Gotham Imposters cannot boast a large number of options in any category (14 weapons, around 10 weapon mods in total, and only 7 gadgets) changing even a single weapon or gadget is virtually guaranteed to dramatically alter your play style. Brilliantly, this extreme diversity between customization options keeps individual games from going stale. Every match will pit you against new enemies, with wildly varied stratagies, and will demand quick out of the box thinking to determine the best counter strategy. My advice thus, is to experiment, Gotham Imposters is an entirely new experience for most FPS players and falling into a routine becomes quite tiresome. The heart of soul of the game, is creativity. So even if the scoreboard doesn't reflect it, the true winner in Gotham Imposters is the gentleman with the most entertaining means of painting the room crimson red.
Graphics/Sound design: As expected from an Arcade Game, Gotham Imposters can’t boast cutting edge graphics or a big budget score, but its wacky style and humorous dialogue mask almost all complaints I can think of. Certainly the maps lack polish, but the bright vibrate comic book architecture and low resolution scenery fit perfectly well into the DC universe. Then there's noticeable lack of an epically orchestrated score in a Batman game, which is quite forgivable when your character is crass enough to unheroically proclaim “Kinda tickles my balls” while standing over an air vent. So in the end my only real gripe with the design is the character animations, which are rarely fluid, and occasionally twitchy, particularly when sprinting and knifing. Still for an arcade game, this does not warrant objections.
Achievements: (No bearing on final score) For achievement whores out there, Gotham Imposters will offer an impressive TA score, given the time consuming achievements. 3 will pop straight away for completing a match, customizing a class, and beating the tutorial. But the remaining nine achievements include becoming a nemesis 50 times, completing all challenges for a single weapon (min. 1000 kills) and gadget (min. 500 uses), winning each gametype on each map at least once, earning a 10-kill streak, earning two thirds of all the gold medals in challenge mode, two gametype specific achievements (one VERY time-consuming), and even one for reaching lv. 100 and being promoted (prestiging). In sum expect to play at least 30 hours to earn all 200 GS, but expect at least 600 TA score to boast for it.
Final thoughts: Gotham City Imposters stands as an unexpected instant classic. Learning from the mistakes of most triple-A shooters on the market, Imposters keeps things surprising fresh by swapping menial customization options with surprisingly addictive gadgets, unique support items, and unconventional humor. Crass, unapologetic, completely absurd, Gotham Imposters embraces these aspects of itself and proves to be one Hell of a ride for it. And so, as long as the multiplayer base keeps going strong I can safely say Gotham City Imposters will remain one of the best Arcade games available. Five out of five stars.
Map design: 4/5
Sound Design: 5/5
Fun Factor: Extremely High
*Monolith Productions has released a title update to address many of the fans complaints about matchmaking. This TU is FREE and includes:
- A new map taking place on the 25th floor of "Gotham Times"
-Drop in/Drop out matchmaking
-Improved matchmaking speeds
-A mute feature
-New weapons, gadgets, fun facts, and several costumes.
*A second set of FREE DLC includes:
-Another new map set in the dilapitated urban setting of "The East End"
-A new gametype "Bounty Hunter" where players must confirm their kills by picking up damage boosting bounties dropped by dead enemies to score.
-An added option to change which language your characters will scream obscenties and kill phrases in.
*A third piece of FREE dlc which is now available will:
-Finally send all the Batz and Jokerz where they belong, on a new map set in Arkham Asylum.
*Gotham City's first PAID DLC "The Pirate Rodeo Pack" includes:
-A new weapon, gadget, and fun fact as well as many new costumes.
-New voice-overs options for both Batz and Jokerz.
-And a new weapon camo; hope you like pizza.
*GCI's second PAID DLC "The Steamy Punk Pack" includes:
-A new "anti-camping" weapon, fun fact, and support item (a frickin jetpack!! For those of you wondering)
-New voices-overs and costume options for both the Batz and Jokerz
-A new mascot who will hover over your shoulder while you fight.
-And a new weapon camo; who doesn't love Dinosaurs.
*Many players have reported unacceptable matchmaking issues, including frequent drops and excessive lagging, which have still yet to be addressed in the aforementioned Title Update. For more information, read the comments below.
*To much fan controversy, Monolith Productions offered over $200 of dlc on day 1. This “DLC” allows players to unlock costumes earlier then they should, by paying with Microsoft Points. Now this is purely cosmetic, but to the gripe of many fans as costumes were supposed to be a means of showing off dedication and hard work. Even more damning is the fact that players may also PAY for hour long sessions of double experience at a rate of 40 MSP/hour in-game. Naturally angering fans who put twice as much effort in, merely to match players rich or stupid enough to pay for such a thing.