PAX 2011: Gotham City Impostors Hands-On Preview

Remember that scene in Dark Knight where a bunch of Batman wannabes show up in hockey pads and try to stop the Scarecrow’s drug deal? How would you like a game that lets you be those guys instead of Batman? If this sounds appealing then you might enjoy Warner Brother’s upcoming game: Gotham City Imposters. Developed by Monolith Productions, the game is a class based multiplayer shooter that pits a team of Joker fans against a team of Batman impostors. Check out the trailer to get a better idea of what it’s all about.

The demo I got to play was a 5v5 “Fumigation” match. In a Fumigation match, the goal is to capture and hold three gas generators. The more gas generators a team is holding, the more points they accumulate over time. Capturing all three of the generators results in the enemy team being gassed to death. Players can also score points by killing the other team.

Since the Batman vigilantes don’t possess Batman’s skill in hand to hand combat they prefer to rely on good ole’ fashioned guns. They’ve also got a bevy of special gadgets that aren’t as impressive as Batman’s devices but still get the job done. There are smoke bombs, grappling hooks, pipe bombs and even roller skates. The roller skates take some getting used to, but they allow players to get around the map quicker and access different areas using ramps.

The graphics are a little cartoony, offering a stark contrast to gritty Batman games like Arkham Asylum and Arkham City. The gameplay is wacky as well, with trampolines allowing you to bounce up on to rooftops and grenades disguised as jack-in-the-boxes. Still it was refreshing to see a Batman game that didn’t take itself quite so seriously.

The control scheme was reminiscent of Call of Duty and it was easy to get used to (except the roller skates). I actually managed to wrack up the most kills on my team and lead us to victory. The opposing team of PAX attendees didn’t look up very often and I was able to effectively stalk them from the rooftops. The fact that they were wearing brightly colored clown outfits also didn’t help.

Overall, the game was an enjoyable experience. The assault class might be a bit overpowered, but aside from that, I don’t have any serious complaints. And since the game is expected to retail for $15 on Xbox live, it looks like Gotham City Impostors will be well worth the price. Keep an eye out for this one coming this winter.

Want to be like Batman? Check out Game Front’s Gotham City Impostors Multiplayer Guide.

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