Behind Gotham City Impostors lays a fascinating premise. When Batman leaves Gotham, gangs of impostors come out and do battle. What you get are psychopathic vigilantes who attempt to honor the spirit of the ‘Bat by stapling cardboard batman logos to tee-shirts and loading up with assault rifles. Meanwhile, lunatics with white face paint don whatever green and purple rags they own and do the same thing as imitation Jokers. The result? Lots of really fake super hero knock-offs running around trying to gun each other down, and it’s a lot better than the free-to-play moniker might have you expect.
|He's the hero that Gotham deserves, just not one they |
ever wanted to see.
Lets just get this out of the way: on a very basic level, it’s Call of Duty. Not just sorta, it IS Call of Duty. You get five pre-made loadouts with stuff you haven’t unlocked yet, and five you can customize. Each loadout lets you select primary and secondary weapons, a gadget, and various perks. Every weapon comes with a variety of mods, like red dot sights and extended mags, all with dozens of different camos to select. You compete in team deathmatch, domination, capture the flag, and kill confirmed, only by other names. See what I mean?
And yet, there’s actually some special sauce here. The trick is that each player can also select a unique form of movement. The grappling hook works just as you’d expect. There are inflatable shoes that let you charge up a huge leap. Jetpacks let you take to the sky on your own power. The wings let you soar and swoop down for a dive bombing attack, and the roller blades let you zoom around at high speeds and even hit jumps.
|I prefer to think of this as a Joker/Bane hybrid.|
When you start adding it up, you realize that it’s the class customization of Call of Duty with the movement of Quake or Tribes. That might sound derivative, but it actually manages to find its own state of existence. With no falling damage, the game encourages you to play vertically and zip about the levels in all manner of creative ways. The maps heavily use this, with jump pads, stake ramps, and platforms dotting every level. Only chumps stay on the ground; real heroes fly about and punch evil-doers from the sky.
However, there’re really not that many weapons to choose from. I could be wrong, but there doesn't seem to be any new weapons available since launch. There are three assault rifles (the auto, semi-auto, and bolt-action), two shotguns, and three heavy-machine guns. Now, there’s plenty of other things to unlock and customize, such as different body builds (trading off speed for bulk, for example), and psych profiles (giving you bonuses for certain actions, and penalties for others). It makes me wonder if Impostors has been a financial disappointment for WB Games, because F2P titles like these require fresh content to keep players dropping cash. Also, every other game mode but TD is deserted, which is sad.
|I think I'm on fire here.|
Free-to-play games don't have good reputations. They tend to be derivative, cheap, and unfair. Yet, Gotham City Impostors is surprisingly unique. It has fun with the Batman universe in a dark-yet-light-hearted way, is built on solid mechanics, and has a movement style that’s been lost since modern war games have dominated the scene. Hopefully the recent Humble Bundle will breath new life into this almost-forgotten game.