Gotham City Imposters Beta Hands-On
Sadly, Gotham City Impostors has been delayed for a month. Even up until now, a number of our fine readers may still be a bit unsure as to whether it’d be worth the $15, given that the FPS scene is dominated by the likes of Call of Duty and Battlefield. That’s where we come in. Your friends at Thunderbolt have been fortunate to come across some beta codes and we’re here to give you the skinny on WB’s upcoming dynamic shooter.
Gotham City Impostors is a six-on-six, team-based shooter where Gotham City is overrun by people dressed up as Batman and the Joker trying to blow each other away with an array of colorful weaponry. The beta contains two maps across two modes. Crime Alley and Amusement Mile can both be played in Fumigation or Psych Warfare mode. Fumigation is a Domination-style mode where both teams vie for control of three machines across the map, holding onto each until they’re captured. Psych Warfare is similar to capture-the-flag with the teams stealing a battery to bring back and plug into a brainwashing machine, thereby rendering the opposing team vulnerable.
Being that fighting games are my cup of tea, there is no doubt that I’m far from solid when it comes to FPS. Luckily, with Gotham City Impostors‘ versatility in customization, the abundance of features have done well to keep me from feeling alienated.
Of course, starting out I was getting put to sleep at every turn. Eventually I found myself feeling comfortable in utilizing the rocket launcher; being the type who just wanted to start blowing people to smithereens. Luckily, this approach wasn’t dispensed at the cost of my teammates. Originally, I opted to have a normal build for my character – to give myself room for mobility. Eventually I switched it up for the ‘Mighty Build’ – though it makes me a larger target, the added HP kept me off the respawn screen for a bit. And if I’m playing as a big dude, I like to be comical. Whether it’s playing for the Batmen as a deadpan spoken individual, or a clown with a huge green fro, I can appreciate the leg room for humor regardless of the Team Fortress-esque presentation.
Eventually, I would tote my launcher as a secondary weapon, with my primary switched between the Gatekeeper Ingram, with an accuracy assisting scope, and the Huntsman shotgun – both flexible in any situation. For support, I went with the Body Armor, because well you know, I still don’t like getting taken down too quickly. For gadgets, I went with the Ninja Smoke Bombs for awhile. As long as I held down R2, I’d stay in stealth mode (something that should be toned down) and proceeded to make bitch kills – great in my case as I enjoyed avenging the deaths of my teammates. But being difficult to see can be a drawback as it becomes extremely rare for opponents to take you on, thus diminishing all hopes of making the scoreboard. I eventually came to use the Spring Boots as a staple gadget as it allows me to cross great distances, perfect for running away when I find myself getting gang banged. The drawback, which took me a while to notice, was that I could take damage when landing from huge jumps.
I do have a number of gripes: despite being awarded with most kills or avenging kills at the end of matches, I never made top 3 which begs to question just what the hell is going on with the scoring system. Aside from the aforementioned smoke bomb cheapness, there were a number of players who would somehow kill me in one hit despite spraying them with enough bullets to sink a ship. This whole time I’ve only been playing on only one of two match modes; no one wants to play Psych Warfare for some reason. Given the recent delay, I hope WB goes through it all with a fine tooth comb before the release. Nevertheless, this is a game that’s more than capable of providing all-nighter fun and I appreciate its sensitivity towards non-FPS fanatics such as myself.
Before I get into my experience with Gotham City Impostors, let me just say that this game has the most insane amount of customization options I’ve seen in a shooter. The beta caps at level 25 and by then I’d already had plenty of points to unlock different voices, body types, mods, paint jobs, weapons, support, gadgets, and costume items. The full game is going to have 1,000 levels which has to be some kind of record.
That being said, one of the issues that frequently drove me up the wall was how games wouldn’t start unless there were eight players waiting in line. There’s nothing I detest more than waiting in a lobby with nothing to do when there are enough players to get started, but the game won’t let you. And don’t even bother trying to get into a game of Psych Warfare, as practically everyone seems to be playing Fumigation.
My style of play is characterized as running around like a maniac, spraying bullets at anything that moves which actually suits Fumigation quite well since players are constantly running from one machine to the next in hopes of capturing them. Eventually, I switched to the Mighty body type in order to absorb more damage and quickly found the Jackhammer, basically an M60 machine gun, to be my best friend as it could mow down multiple enemies in one clip.
I balanced the Mighty’s mobility problems by equipping the glider gadget, which can be deployed after jumping on a trampoline or catching an updraft from an airvent. In the right hands it can cover quite a lot of ground and it’s also good for offense. With the Mighty body type, you can kill enemies in one dive attack which comes in handy for surprising the opposite team members.
Some weapons are unquestionably more powerful than others, and my fear is that you’ll have a dozen clones all using the same weapons and tactics. To me, that’s never fun. Some of the damage is questionable. The hatchet is a one-hit kill support item that, while admittedly difficult to use on a moving target, is much more reliable than say the pipe bomb which mostly does splash damage. The bow-and-arrow has quite a bit of stopping power and accuracy, and shotguns are lethal at point-blank range even to the Mighty.
I found the scope mod to be what tipped the outcome in the enemy’s favor. A scope on any weapon made it incredibly accurate and focused, even the submachine gun became capable of felling multiple opponents. There also doesn’t seem to be much room for sniping as there aren’t many good hiding places and game types like Fumigation are about every player scrambling from one point to the next on the map.
There’s the sense that Gotham City Impostors wants to be the next Team Fortress 2 from the amount of customization to the zany cartoon style, but I don’t know if it can compete. I found the humor lacking to be honest, and it’s not really class-based since you can have any body type equipped with any weapons. You don’t see the cohesive teamwork that’s in Team Fortress 2 nor how every character is perfectly-balanced to switch from offense, to defense, to support in order to capitalize in a particular situation.
Stay tuned for Gotham City Imposters, and Thunderbolt’s review, next month - same Thunderbolt time, same Thunderbolt channel.