PAX Hands On – Gotham City Impostors

When Warner Bros. first announced Gotham City Impostors, it created a buzz of negative energy from both media and gamers alike. In fact, I happened to be one of those who voiced displeasure with the move, because who really wants to see a Batman themed FPS game? Nonetheless, we managed to get our hands on the title at PAX and it quickly changed our take on this goofy multiplayer shooter.

When I first picked up the controller to play Gotham City Impostors, I was told to select which body type I wanted for my character and that the choice really only affects things like health and speed. In Impostors, there are no limitations on which body type can carry which weapon. In fact, the game has no “classes”, so you get to design the character of your choice and then roll out with whatever arsenal you want. You can also combine any weapons in the game, meaning you can rock an assault rifle main weapon and your secondary weapon. I went ahead and selected the smallest body type and setup my custom load out of weapon, fun facts, and gadgets. If you don’t want to bother with a custom load out, you can use presets like medic, sniper, assault, and they will outfit your character with the abilities and fun facts that make sense for that kind of character.

For those of you who might be wondering what the fun facts are, they are like perks from Call of Duty. Not all the facts were available in the PAX demo, but some of the ones that were there included faster health regeneration or better aiming to name a few. However, you will be able to select two fun facts for each character as well as two gadgets. One of the gadgets you select will be for hassling enemies, and the other will be to aid yourself. For my playthrough, I selected the roller skates and shurikens as my two gadgets. The greatest thing here was the fact that my player truly felt like they were skating around when I was firing at people, and if I didn’t slow down at times, I would miss entirely when firing at enemies. My shurikens could lock onto enemies and do some kick ass damage, even affecting multiple targets. I even saw one player throw down a jack-in-the-box mine which took me out before I even had time to truly admire it. Customization is really the forte of this game and I was told to expect plenty more gadgets and fun facts when the game releases.

When I was done with setting up my character, the 5v5 multiplayer demo started, and we played a mode called fumigation. In this mode, the map had three different smoke devices and we were trying to capture all three of these for our team, creating a tug of war type effect as both sides fought for control of these devices. As my team held more of the devices, a percentage meter that is shared by both teams would tick in my favor. Getting that bar all the way to my side would earn my team the coveted win. My team won the first go around in under three minutes, and the second time it was under six. The gameplay in the map was fast paced and crazy, as players jumped on trampolines to get on top of buildings, use grappling guns to fly from spot to spot, or skated around. There was hardly any time to sit still as once we took a device, it seemed like another was getting stolen from us, so this was as run and gun as you get. The game also features plenty of taunts to add to its comic flair, but without much in the way of volume, we were unable to hear them.

After getting my hands on this game, I can say I was completely wrong about my first impression of Gotham City Impostors when it was announced. In fact, this was one of the best games I played at PAX this year, and for a game not releasing until 2012, it felt really polished. The game was easy for anyone to pick up and play, but had some depth in there for the more hardcore players. It will be a long wait until it releases on PSN, XBLA, and PC in 2012, but this is a game worth keeping an eye on until then.