Downloadable titles, I personally feel, are the future of how console gamers will digest their games. With consoles every year offering hard drives with more available space, the ability to save a full game locally and play off the hard drive is inevitable. Since being introduced to Steam, I have always hoped to see Microsoft and Sony make more of an effort to line their business model with how Valve takes care of their gamers. Until that happens, let me explain why the battle between the Bats and Clowns is so awesome.
Lets not get side tracked though, Gotham City Impostors is one of those downloadable games that makes you feel like you are getting the full retail experience without leaving your gaming seat. Considering this beta has been alive and well since December, I may have got to the party late, but it certainly didn’t hinder my experience. As a demo, GCI (Gotham City Impostors) is jam packed with content and unlocks. More impressively, the first time I played the game their was an option to run through a tutorial that breaks down all of the unique gadgets and features of the demo. After a quick lesson in Bat school, I quickly hoped online to get a taste of what this game was all about.
Before you even have a chance to hop online, you immediately get a feel for the way this game presents itself. It’s hilarious from top to bottom, the creative ways in which the Batman brand are used are totally unique, and make for a great setup to a shooter title. This game is light hearted from an aesthetic perspective, but from the gameplay, it is deeply rooted with hardcore shooter mechanics, and the “Bat” gadgets certainly change things up. The ability to run, jump, shoot, melee, and throw grenades are all rock solid, things really get interesting when you throw in the environmental factors and all of the customization. Placed throughout the maps in the demo there are a variety of trampolines, ramps, and other unique ways to traverse the map. This component I found most interesting from the whole experience. Unique gadgets like the grapple gun allow you to zip across the map in any direction, which makes travelling to objectives very fast paced. Other items like the batarang and the body armor I found quite useful. Keep in mind, the body armor is actually a metal trash can lid, but it certainly swayed a few gunfights in my favor. Even for a beta, a number a customizable unlocks are available as you level up. For instance you can unlock many of the unused guns and abilities just from leveling through the initial ranks. I focused on the “burst” assault rifle and body armor, I have always been one to rely on accurate shots with an extra boost of health for a longer spawn.
The only game type I experimented with is called Fumigate. This is GCI’s version of territories or domination from COD. There are 3 strategic points on the map that must be controlled by majority. If your squad is able to lock down 2 points for the majority of the match either the clowns will release their poisonous gas, or the bats will release their swarm of bats. This is an elaborate game of tug of war. It plays well, and the matches normally fly by quite fast. I for one am excited just to see some classic death match modes, but for now the beta has provided a tone of variety.
From a shooter perspective, GCI presents itself to be a smooth and fast as something like Call of Duty. This is a good thing, but the game really stands out with the environment tools and the ability to use gadgets during shooter gameplay. Shooting, grappling, and gliding around the map turn this fast paced CoD type experience into a great new blend of Team Fortress 2 type game play. Perhaps the animation style and lighthearted humor also help to convey the TF2 experience. Not that classes have anything to do with the outcome of this game, but the unique characters, weapons, and gadgets certainly separate GCI from being pegged as just another shooter.
Gotham City Impostors is a totally unique experience and shows that stand alone multiplayer titles do have a place in this current generation market. With a great name like “Batman” paving the way for this title I hope it attracts some gamers that were maybe unsure about this experience. Hopefully if you have not had a chance to check the beta out, this preview will give you an idea of what you are in for. This game appeals to a few obvious markets, if you like the dark knight, you will enjoy this game, and if you enjoy shooters, you will also enjoy this game. Talk about two birds with one stone, thanks to WB for sending me a beta code, as I really enjoyed my preview over the weekend. Have you played the beta?