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Gotham City Impostors Review (XBLA)

Posted by Jim Cook, 2 days ago

Gotham City Impostors is one of the stranger uses of the Batman franchise. The dark knight generally refuses to use guns, but this is a first person shooter. He looks down on people trying to imitate him, but one of the two teams available consists solely of people making improvised Batman costumes to fight crime (the other half are Joker fans who try to emulate the villain). I’m told it’s based on a comic storyline, but honestly have no idea. What really matters is that this is a pretty good team-based shooter with some neat ideas for those patient enough to put up with some problems.

Gotham City Impostors (Xbox 360)Things start off badly, with the user required to accept two different EULAs, followed by one or two more to create a ’WBID’ login (it’s optional, but you miss out on some content this way... not a very nice thing of them to do) before you can play. The words “depressingly corporate” come to mind and it definitely makes an awful first impression, but at least it gets better from there. Much better in fact, as there is a very charming game to enjoy once you’re done with all the pre-play agreements and account creation.

Players are divided into two teams, maximum six players apiece, of Joker and Batman fans who dress up like their idols, but play identically. You have three different play modes, consisting of regular team deathmatch, fumigation (a king of the hill mode with three machines that dispense gas poisoning the other team), and psychological warfare (a sort of capture the flag mode that involves taking a battery back to your team’s mind-control device). At press time, these three modes share the same five maps though more may come in the future.

Gotham City Impostors looks like a contemporary FPS at first, with realistically-styled guns serving as your main weapons. Playing for a little while will quickly unlock access to the real heart of the game though, letting you pick from a variety of more creative weapons and gadgets. Thus you wind up with modern assault rifles and shotguns sharing space with homing boomerangs that stun enemies, capes that let you glide across the sky, bear traps that slow their victim down by injuring his leg, and more. The result is a game that is fairly typical for current entries in the genre, but has just enough new ideas to be interesting. Some have favorably compared it to the PC and Xbox 360 version of Shadowrun, which seems at least somewhat apt; the author has admittedly only tried that game’s demo but sees the resemblance.

 Our Rating for Gotham City Impostors Review (XBLA)
Team FPS combat is fun enough to bring you back, and dedicated players will need to do so anyway; earning experience points to unlock more weapons is an unfortunate necessity.
Random Gotham citizens dressing up as Batman and Joker to fight with improvised weapons makes for a great visual idea. Being limited to urban themes for each stage does wear thin, though.
Deep and satisfying weapons effects join some hilarious voice acting to add an odd mix of power and comedy. It’s strange, but works surprisingly well.
Grappling hooks and other gadgets to enhance your movement were a great idea back in the earliest days of online FPS action, and they’re still fun today. Gotham City Impostors uses them to add some variety to what would otherwise be a typical military-style shooter.
Multiplayer/Online Content
When it works, the online experience for up to twelve players is great! Unfortunately, ’when’ is the operative term. It’s stable more often than not, but random disconnects, bizarre matchmaking results, and severe lag do happen a little too often to just shrug off. All signs indicate the developer is working on a fix, thankfully.
A great game is hindered by technical problems at this time. Should they be resolved, this will become one of the best titles in the XBLA catalog. Until then, it’s still fun but only recommended to those willing to tolerate the above-mentioned issues.

Rating: 1.0, votes: 1


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