Gotham City Impostors hands on preview (dressed as Batman)
It’s all very sudden. One minute I’m on the underground crossing the bowels of London and surrounded by commuters, the next I’m wearing a full Batsuit, there’s a controller in my hand and, through the cowl, there is the madness of first person shooter, Gotham City Impostors. Oh, and I have a rocket launcher. (Just to clarify, Louise is our top Bat-fan and the costume was optional – Leon).
“It’s not what you would immediately go to when you think about Batman,” concedes David Longo, Art Director at Gotham City Impostors developer Monolith. “Batman doesn’t kill people, he doesn’t carry a gun. We thought about these strange people on the fringe of Gotham – people on the black market making their own weapons and gadgets. It’s still part of the Batman universe but it’s something that people haven’t done before. Plus it’s really cool.”
With Batman and the Joker on a holiday from Gotham, there has been an uprising on the streets. Thugs dressed as the Joker’s goons and armed to the teeth with homebrew weapons are causing chaos. Cue a horde of wannabe Bats to the rescue dressed in their very own versions of the caped crusaders iconic costume and an arsenal to match.
I’m plunged head first into Deathmatch – an eight player frenzy pitting the Bats against the Jokerz. After an initial appreciation of the over the top cartoon style, I am quickly like a kid in a toyshop as I experiment with the plethora of gadgets on offer. As well as a heavy-duty rocket launcher slung over his shoulder, my member of the Jokerz has a grapple gun for hurtling happily across the map at great speed.
There’s a stack of options before you enter the game for your gadget and character selection. Body type is a big factor here – choose the hulking muscle man and you’ll be given the glider to use but you won’t be running anywhere fast. Choose someone smaller in statue and you’ll be rewarded with speedier mobility and a different set of weaponry and gadgets. Your impostor can be armed with a boomerang for stunning enemies, roller skates for that speedy escape or even a freeze gun to stop your foes in their tracks.
“I love the homebrew gadgets,” enthuses Longo, ”We’ve got the traditional weapons that people will have seen in other shooters like SMG’s, assault rifles, shotguns and sniper rifles but one of the things that stands out in Gotham City Impostors is the do it yourself weapons.
The Shredder is one of my favourites, which is a ball bearing gun that’s a lot of fun.” The combat is instantly addictive and as I become used to the gadgets on offer, I’m quickly mowing down members of the Batz. Changing characters, I’m given the glider. Now wandering over an air vent sends my impostor soaring into the air to dive bomb those who get in the way. It’s a ridiculous amount of fun.