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.
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.