Can I just say that I’m really, really loving this Bat-renaissance? As a rather rabid fan of the Caped Crusader, I’m really digging on the Nolan Films, the DC animated films, the Arkham series of video games and now, the XBLA-exclusive multiplayer shooter, Gotham City Impostors.
Set in a stylized Gotham City in the midst of civil war, the game pits groups of the ‘Bats’, representing the forces of justice against the ‘Jokerz’, acolytes of the Man Who Laughs. Armed to the teeth with guns and explosives, they fight for dominance and the sheer thrill of blowing each other’s heads clean off.
This is not a grim and dark entry into the DC universe. Imagine a toddler locked in a room with nothing but a stack of Batman comics, an internet connection and several kilograms of Wizz-Fizz and you’ll get a feel of the aesthetic and feel that the game has. It’s cartoony and slapstick and hilariously violent.
That’s ok. Not everything has to be constipated Frank Miller waffle. Sometimes it’s okay to open the curtains and let the sun shine in.
The game itself plays much like Team Fortress. Members of a team are divided into various classes such as ‘Defender’ or ‘Sniper’ with their own combination of weapons. These weapons can be customized through a levelling process and there’s plenty of room to build a unique loadout that suits your playing style.
Speaking of customization – once you reach Level 5, you can also begin to customize your character – you can pick your bodyshape (which will determine stamina and dexterity) and some cosmetic options.
There’s also the option of picking up grappling hooks, roller skates and capes as you continue to play and get a feel for different classes of player. These offer a bit more physicality to the game. There’s nothing like gliding down and divebombing on an unsuspecting Joker to trigger a nerdgasm.
The two modes I played were variants of Capture the Flag and Domination – ‘Psych Warfare’ in which the two teams fought over a battery that will power a propaganda broadcast and ‘Fumigation’, which involved capturing points to unleash deadly gas and/or bat pheromones.
The maps in which they were set ‘Crime Alley’ and a fun park were balanced and had a great open feel to them, with plenty to explore. I’m looking forward to seeing the maps yet to come when the game is released to the public.
Gotham City Impostors hits XBLA on the 10th of January. I look forward to shooting a dynamite-tipped arrow into your gizzards.