Our opinion on one of the most exciting Betas of the year is here. Find out what we think after the jump.
It’s fair to say that being Bruce Wayne would be incredibly cool. You’ll have a seemingly limitless amount of money, enabling you to create the most ferocious of gadgets and vehicles, with your trusty Batmobile being the pinnacle of your complete badassery. You get to live in a fortress and have your own cave to house said gadgets and vehicles, and, if you’re really lucky, you’ll get to have Katie Holmes as a love interest and THEN have enough money to turn her into Maggie Gyllenhaal when you’re bored of her. Essentially, being Bruce Wayne is the ultimate fantasy, and Rocksteady’s ‘Arkham’ series has channeled this into pure gold, creating two incredible games for fans of the Bat, making you feel closer to Wayne and his Gotham City inhabitants than ever before.
So, what’s next? ‘Arkham World’? Who knows, that incredibly mean tease at last years Video Game Awards certainly had us hoping so, but first there is just a small matter of an online FPS set in Gotham City. My goodness, just writing those words gives me chills. An online FPS set in Gotham City. The stuff dreams are made of, right? Well, dream no more my TC dwelling brothers and sisters, it’s real, and it’s wonderful. Monolith Productions and WB Games present the utterly mental ‘Gotham City Impostors’.
Upon entering the beta, the comical introduction (pretty much the original trailer – below) tells you more or less everything you need to know about the game – it’s bright, it’s colourful and it’s utterly hilarious. From the subtle seriousness of ‘Arkham City’, it’s nice to see a Gotham City story which is poking fun rather then ol’ Bats being all moody and stroppy. Of course, Batman is nowhere to be seen here. If you’re not sure about the whole backstory just yet there’s not an awful lot to remember. In the simplest terms, admirers of Batman and the Joker take it upon themselves to war it out in honour of their heroes. Thus leads into a world of Batman gangers (Batgangers?), laying down their own kind of vigilante justice against the army of Joker wannabes.
You enter the game and given the option to jump straight in, where you’re taken to a page with three options. Fumigation, Pysch Warfare and Initiation. You want my advice? Go for the Initiation first. This is where you can learn the controls and also the extra power ups such as the grapple, shooting on rollerskates, melee, boomerang and more. You get to meet Melvin and Sir, seemingly the leaders of the Bat heroes. They’ve knocked up this training warehouse where they will test your skills to ensure you’re good enough to roll with them. Of course, you’ll always pass it. You have to sit through an introduction video that you can’t skip through, however it is good fun. A highlight here is learning how to use the divebomb. If you’re gliding above an enemy, hold down RT in their direction and you’ll go steaming into their skull with a classic superhero pose. It’s great fun, a simple little highlight from the tutorial, which isn’t one of the best out there, but certainly good for laugh or two.
Once you’ve finished with the tutorial, you’ll be taken back to the menu screen. If you feel you’re ready to take on the worst Gotham City has to offer, jump back to the ‘play now’ screen and choose your game. Sadly, only two options are available in the beta, however both of them are quite mental and given the idiocy of the game it suits the presentation perfectly.
Fumigation is pretty much King of The Hill with another name. Three gas canisters located across the map – capture and defend all three for victory. As one type of gas builds up in the atmosphere, another will decrease. You need to be holding at least two gasblasters to reach critical mass and take out your enemy. The gasses are different depending on which team you’re fighting for. The Bats’ Gasblaster releases a bat pheromone. Once you have reached critical mass a megaton of bats will attack and kill the entire Joker team. If the Joker team wins, the canisters will release a deadly toxin which will wipe out the Bats. It’s pretty hectic and cracking fun as long as everyone is working together. I found myself going for melee attacks on this one more than any other attack, finding it fun to sneak around the back of the canisters to take out unsuspecting enemies. It’s up to you though; for some reason any way you can find to kill someone on this game is pretty hilarious.
Psych Warfare is your second choice in ‘Impostors’ and is my favourite for sure. Your team has a brainwashing machine, but it needs a power source. The trick here is that there is only one battery, so grab it before the enemy does. When it’s yours, work as a team to defend it. If it is not defended, the enemy can steal the battery and take it to their machine. If it goes off, you will become so demoralised you won’t be able to use your weapons or gadgets. You can still slap – yes, slap – your enemies along with their machine, so if you get to it early enough you can shut it down. Team score upgrades when machine is used, personal score upgrades by killing demoralised enemies. So get slappin’ that machine. Slap it. SLAP IT HARD.
One thing I was looking forward to is the customisation options, found under the Secret Identity option in the main menu. This enables you to kit out your impostor in the most insane costumes you can imagine, along with gadgets and guns suited to your play style. Suffice to say, ‘Impostors’ hasn’t disappointed on this end. Of course, if you’re playing over and over your customisation options will far outweigh those who have just began. You need to get to Level 3 before you can even edit your costume. Level 2 allows you to edit a Calling Card where you can edit the background, a symbol and a catchphrase for defeated enemies to see. It’s essentially your bragging rights, so you’re going to want to keep it updated.
With over a thousand levels of player advancement, using rollerskates and hunting bows to packing rocket launchers and glider wings, Gotham City Impostors gives you the freedom to play the way you enjoy. Frickin’ awesome.
Let’s get down to the brass tax here: will ‘Gotham City Impostors’ be a worthy download when the full game is available? I say resoundingly yes. There is no bullshit here, the same nonsense you get from the brawl of ‘Battlefield’ or ‘CoD’, but with the ability to craft an alter ego so insane, even the Joker will look at you and go, “Jeez…what a psycho”. ‘Impostors’ knows exactly what it is and doesn’t take any prisoners. It’s full on fun from start to finish, and the intense customisation will keep you busy for a long time.
Be sure to jump in when it’s available if you weren’t lucky enough to get a beta code. I seriously hope this is going to be massive, it really deserves to be. Any gripes? Well, yeah. I know it’s only a beta so this is a weak argument, but it took me over twenty minutes to get a game this afternoon. That my dear friends is not so cool, and I was left crying into my pillow thinking of the fun I could have been having. Instead, I found myself on my iPod playing ‘Temple Run’ until it finally hooked me up. I know this will be sorted in the final game so I can’t complain too much, but right now, it’s a damn shame.
My final thought in ten words:
‘Team Fortress’ in Gotham City, my dreams have come true.