Gotham City Impostors Hands-On -- PAX 2011

By Alexander Bevier in Hands-on, PAX 2011
Monday, August 29, 2011 at 4:00 pm
Gotham City Impostors is another team-based first person shooter. It's all about running around, shooting the other guys, and completing objections. The only unique mechanical additions is a grappling hook -- used for fast transit and climbing on roofs -- and the Borderlands-esque satisfaction that comes from watching numbers fly out of your target's head when you shoot them.

Still, this game is worth paying attention to. It may not be mechanically unique, but its still an enjoyable experience with more charm than any other team-based shooter on consoles*.
The core features being shown off in Gotham City Impostors' PAX demo were the character customization options and the game's tug of war mode. The latter is all about capturing control points, and earning points while they belong to your team. The control points in this particular map (Crime Alley) were toxic gas emitters. The Jokers wanted to poison the city, while the Bats wanted to keep the air clean, like Al Gore.

The battle mode was perfectly fine and made for some enjoyable combat, but the game's apex is its character customization and visual style. The game's initial concept is that the characters are all average people pretending to be Batman and the Joker; this lets players create a hilarious amount of Bat/Joker inspired outfits for their character. I'm talking about towels wrapped around necks, hats with bat ears, and -- of course -- plenty of hockey pads.

Overall, Gotham City Impostors looks like a very competent first-person shooter, and it has enough visual flair to be noticed in the genre's saturated market. Still, with no mechanical aspects that stood out, the game's success will depend on Batman fans playing the game. WB might not have to worry, though; Batman fanboys are a dedicated lot, much like the Dark Knight himself.

*I say that as a Batman fan. The visual flair and unique concept art kept me interested in things like the customization aspects, but there's probably as much charm in Monday Night Combat or Brink. I just didn't play those games because Batman wasn't in it.
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