The lights are on
We recently had a chance to go a few rounds in the Gotham City Impostors beta. More than just a competitive FPS, the game pits factions of obsessed citizens against one another with a collection of cool gadgets and gizmos. The beta has the Bats and the Jokerz gunning each other down in a variety of cool modes and maps.
I started things off with a quick-paced and light-hearted initiation with the Bats. In this training course I learned the basics of gunplay, how to use a grappling hook, roller skates, and more. Gunplay feels an awful lot like Call of Duty, with precise iron sight aiming and smooth movement. Speaking of movement, using the grappling hook is as easy as looking at a wall, pressing a shoulder button, and flying through the air. As the Bats, you can also open up a cape and float through the air above your enemies’ heads.
This enhanced mobility makes for some very interesting online matches. If you were to remove the ability to speed around on skates or float through the air, a round of Impostors would feel like a frenetic Modern Warfare 3 match with buckets of Batman-inspired paint poured all over them. However, you can use the grappling hook to eject yourself from a failing firefight or perform a skate-by shooting. I personally liked grappling above a busy doorway, waiting for a hapless enemy to pass below, and dropping a cooked grenade on his head.
If you’re worried all these fun toys will make each match a chaotic mess, rest assured that Warner Bros. is hammering out the game’s balance. After being punished by the Bats’ ability to glide and dive bomb, I decided to switch my class from standard grunt to scout. I loved being able to disappear at will when I noticed a Bat soaring overhead. Hitting a flying target with an SMG may be tough, but the scout’s auto-locking shurikens soften them up, making clean up much easier. The scout is just one of several well-crafted default classes. After gaining enough experience in combat, a similar process to Call of Duty, you unlock the ability to customize your weapon loadouts.
The game modes available so far are a domination type called Fumigation and capture the flag type calledPsych Warfare. Fumigation has the Jokerz striving to protect three Joker Gas blasters with the Bats trying to shut them down. As one of the defending Jokerz, I liked being able to use the grappling hook to perch somewhere above the blaster and pouncing on hapless Bats as they attempted to reclaim them. In Psych Warfare, each side fights for possession of a battery to power a machine that blurts propaganda across the city with demoralizing effects on the other team. Tracking the bright yellow path of battery acid makes finding the chump in possession of the goal an easy task. Teamwork is essential to keep the battery courier safe, and working closely with allies brings out the best the game has to offer.
Having spent a lot of time in Modern Warfare 3’s multiplayer, I was surprised how close Impostors felt to the juggernaut FPS series. This, of course, is a glowing compliment. The silly art style, on the other hand, is evocative of Team Fortress 2’s zaniness, resulting in a unique look. These elements, combined with the fun take on the Batman universe, produce an online experience I can’t wait to get back into. Fortunately, I don’t have to wait long, as the downloadable title hits PSN, PC, and XBLA on January 10 for an affordable $15.
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That fat guy(s) looks f***** up