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Gotham City Impostors
Apr 24, 2012
A few months back, the Monolith-developed shooter offered a wacky if inconsistent take on criminals and crusaders in Batman's hometown. Gotham City Impostors imagined what ordinary folks who idolized the Dark Knight and the Clown Prince of Crime would do if let loose in all-out gunfights.
Part of the fun of GCI comes from stitching together bizarre outfits for your characters. But this batch might be the goofiest yet. The Bat-costumes don't even have masks and the giant Yosemite Sam-style mustaches on the Rodeo Joker look utterly silly. You'd never be scared of these guys. Maybe that's the point.
The gang in charge of Gotham City Impostors wants you to know another wad of cool content is dropping soon, all for the affordable price of $0.00. It has yet to release, but that video above has, which means the title update is on the way soon.
You'll get a new map, the East End of Gotham, which the local Realtors say is perfect for your "scummy dilapidated urban murdering needs." Nice. A new game mode, "Bounty Hunter" encourages you to pick up coins dropped from fallen friends and foes alike. Finally, English is no longer your character's only language option; Spanish, French, Italian and German will be included.
Feb 24, 2012
Players of Monolith's Bat-FPS can enjoy a free update today which adds to the wardrobe options for the game's Bats and Jokerz avatars, including some that don't have pointy ears at all.
The update also adds a new rooftop map to Impostors' environments, a much-requested join-in-progress feature and promises to improve match-making for the online-only game. You can nab the free add-on starting today.
Feb 16, 2012
A glitch coming when a user updates Gotham City Impostors' trial version to a full game is causing reset of some players attributes and statistics, developer Monolith has said, which is particularly troubling since some players have boosted their attributes with paid upgrades.
Monolith, answering a lengthy (and upset) thread on the game's official forums, acknowledge the stats-wipe issue and tied it to the trial-to-full version upgrade. Some users said their stat wipes occurred after their game was purchased. The wipe affects features like the game's "Calling Card" unlockables and customized loadouts. Worse yet, notes Joystiq, is the fact some players have paid to boost their XP by purchasing an hour of double XP time for 50 cents.
Monolith is asking players to report any problems they encounter completely and immediately. It would seem they want this resolved pronto, because it's not good for business when players hold off on buying the full version out of fear they'll lose what they've earned.
Feb 14, 2012
Batman's had lots of sidekicks over the years. Imps from other dimensions, mask-wearing dogs and his own kill-crazy offspring have leapt from the shadows with the DC Comics superhero. He's trained them, scolded them and in case of Ace the Bat-hound, probably picked up their poop while out on patrol. But there's been a tacit Bat-approval for all of those partners.
Batman probably wouldn't approve of Gotham City Impostors.
The cult-like Batz gang that idolizes Bruce Wayne's alter ego gets one crucial thing wrong as far as their crime-fighting campaign goes: They kill. A lot. And in this Monolith-developed multiplayer first-person shooter, all the killing happens intentionally and with much glee. None of that "oh, your hand slipped from mine while you dangle over a cliff" guff.
Of course, the rival Jokerz faction murders their do-gooder counterparts, too. But, c'mon, they're modeled after a homicidal clown. This digitally distributed game takes inspirations from the idea that people would want to emulate Batman and his enemies, most significantly from storylines seen here and here. Despite the fact that Impostors happens in the Dark Knight's hometown, the death-dealing doesn't feel all that bad. It feels pretty good actually.
There's a manic tempo to the combat in GCI. Using spring-loaded footwear, grappling hooks and glider rigs to zip around the maps makes for fast-paced, surprise-filled firefights. Even the stealth—generally the most serious of pursuits—feels wacky here. It's gladiatorial bloodsport in the universe of the 1960s Batman TV show. The maps feel tight and intricate, built for speed and constant running-and-gunning.
In between all the dying, you'll stumble upon a sniper-friendly hidey-hole or a great spot to lay a bear trap. The verticality's nicely layered, too, and some maps will offer instances where your death-from-above perch gets drenched in a hot-lead rainstorm by someone who got even higher than you did.
WHY: Because, while making your own bootleg Batman is fun, Impostors still feels like a game in search of a community.
What I played: About 20 hours in various online modes.
Gotham City Impostors
Platforms: PlayStation 3 / Xbox 360 (Version played) / PC
Released: February 7th (PlayStation Network, PC) ; February 8th (Xbox Live)
Type of game: Class-based first-person shooter.
What I played: About 20 hours in various online modes.
Two Things I Loved
- The Impostors experience is like playing through a notebook of some Bat-super-fan's scribbly drawings. It's not the sleek, shiny Rocksteady version of the Dark Knight and that's a good thing.
- The gunfights get hot and heavy in Gotham City's streets. There's no ramp up here; you're jumping straight into the deep end, getting hit immediately by jolts of instant adrenaline.
Two Things I Hated
- It still takes an awfully long time to fully populate a match. Whenever I just want to just jump in and bang out a couple of matches, I got frustrated at the wait.
- I never felt like the people on my side were interested in teamwork. Even when I was playing a support role, fellow Batz or Jokerz would run off without letting me heal them. Individual glory still seems to trump all.
Made-to-Order Back-of-Box Quotes
- "If you ever wanted to shoot an arrow straight into Adam West's cowl, here's your game." -Evan Narcisse, Kotaku.com
- "Robins? We don't need no stinkin' Robins!" -Evan Narcisse, Kotaku.com
Impostors is a class-based shooter, meaning that you'll need to invest playtime to unlock better armor, weapons, mods and paint options for your Jokerz or Batz avatar. There's a typical array of class types in the game—medics, strikers, scouts, defenders, etc.—and only continued play will reveal the best weapons+gadgets+support gear recipe for you. There's no escaping the fact that Monolith's imprinted off of Valve's success with Team Fortress 2 in a big, big way. The public announcement system updates, the hard emphasis on customization and the random prize-drops in the field of battle all owe big debts to TF2.
Continued play is the watchword here. There's no plot-based campaign in Impostors and, after a brief tutorial, it's up to the player to figure out the best gear and strategies for their playstyle. This is freeing but it also feels frustrating too. You can level up quickly but still feel like you don't have the know-how to earn glory on the mean Gotham streets.
I couldn't shake the nagging feeling that Impostors never quite gels into that special sort of subliminal teamwork that truly great shooters engender. I've had that happen in other games where I've played with strangers. But no such thing happened in this Bat-shooter. In the Gasblaster mode—where you have to capture and hold three control points on the map—I constantly felt like my side went from rock-solid control to abject failure really quickly.
Now, while that may've been a failing of our skills, I felt like my erstwhile teammates and I never had quite enough tactical information or comrade telepathy to shift the tide of battle back in our favor. All the wannabe hero/villain warfare feels like it's missing some special ingredient. The only factor I can chalk that missing-piece feeling up to is the sense that Gotham City Impostors still feels like it hasn't reached critical mass.
My time with the game felt like a bunch of people playing in pursuit of the almighty level-up. It's not a terrible pursuit, though. Hell, seeing all the cool weapons and costume finery that I hadn't unlocked yet kept me grinding in the abandoned industrial parks and back alleys of the game's maps.
Impostors operates in a near-camp space, with goofy voices and a cartoony yet hyper-real aesthetic. Seeing a guy in a Joker speedo caper off after wasting you starts the weird feedback loop of wanting to know what the people who kill you look like. And then I wanted to level up to make my own characters memorable so that I could slay enemies and strut.
As magnetic as that pull is, the whole time I played Impostors I felt like I was being pulled along a series of transaction queues. I wasn't cajoled into spending any actual money and it's not all that different from other online shooters, but Impostors doesn't do enough to mask or sublimate the feeling that you're a cog in a system. You spend a lot of time waving away prompts and cycling through menus just to get back to gameplay. It's fun in that lethal habit-trail way offer but it doesn't feel transcendent. Clever, but not greater than the sum of its very transparent parts.
However, because it's an online-only game, the experience will either grow or wither as people flock to it. Impostors feels like it's figuring things out as it goes along, which might pay off. Or might not. I'll be checking back in a month or so to see how many people are donning capes or facepaint to shoot each other in Crime Alley.
Feb 11, 2012
I'm not sure whoever's writing up these notes is properly classifying what's to come from Gotham City Impostors, the downloadable shooter that released this week. "In March, we're going to release our very first DLC for the low, low price of FREE," they say. Considering one of the features is the ability to mute other players, we're talking a title update, because if that truly was DLC, the shitfit thrown would definitely be unmutable.
Whatever the case, none of this costs anything to the player. That means they don't have to earn in-game currency for it, either, as is the case with the shitload of costume alternates dumped on the Xbox Live Marketplace and PlayStation Store earlier this week. So what madness is coming in March? Here's the scoop, per developer Monolith Productions.
• A BRAND NEW MAP: The 25th Floor of the Gotham Times building is about to be your playground for destruction! (Just make sure not to fall of the edge.)
• JOIN-IN-PROGRESS: Players can now join a match, even after it has started!
• MATCHMAKING FIXES: Matchmaking has been totally revamped! Those errors you remember? They're a thing of the past. Gone. Finito.
• NEW WEAPONS: The Falcon Blade (a bullet-blocking katana worthy of warfare in Gotham) and the Kingmaker (a quick-draw pistol that can humble even the mightiest of Mighties) are available for you to unlock!
• A NEW SUPPORT ITEM: Toxic Gas! Leave a cloud of nigh-invisible noxious vapors in your wake, that will impair and damage those foolish enough to follow you.
• A MULTITUDE OF NEW COSTUME CHOICES: In addition to the myriad of costume items already available, we're letting you dress up like a luchador, a corporate schlub gone mad, and so much more!
• NEW FUN FACT: The new Nimble Fingers Fun Fact will let you capture Gasblasters faster, and attach/detach batters quicker. The team's clutch player? Yeah, that's you.
• MUTE EARLY, MUTE OFTEN: Ever wanted to squelch that guy blasting techno in the pre-game lobby? Now you can! Easy peezy, lemon squeezy.
The Next Chapter of Impostors, Yours for Free [Gotham City Impostors]
Whoa there, viral marketeers! You have to be careful not to overshadow your product with the promotion, as these lovely shots of everyday people dressing up in Gotham City Impostors garb readily demonstrate.
Monolith's game of vigilant justice versus criminal insanity is now out on PC, Xbox 360, and PlayStation 3, but it's no substitute for actually cobbling together a makeshift superhero / villain costume and taking to the streets of your local Gotham equivalent.
If I didn't have a job this is probably what I'd be doing instead.
Gotham City Impostors doesn't hit Xbox Live until tomorrow, but you can get all of the Gotham City Impostors DLC you could ever want today.
The game now has over one hundred selections of downloadable costume pieces, ranging in price from $1 to $4 (80-320 MSP). A majority of the DLC is obtainable the old fashioned way - by playing the game and earning tokens. But it looks like players that want a quick way to unlockable costumes can just cough up some dough.
It seems that not even Batman is immune to the allure of micro-transactions.
Thanks for the tip, Edo!