Note: iOS 9 + Facebook users w/ trouble scrolling: #super sorry# we hope to fix it asap. In the meantime Chrome Mobile is a reach around
hot  /  reviews  /  videos  /  cblogs  /  qposts

Preview: Gotham City Impostors

11:00 AM on 05.17.2011 // Nick Chester

When Monolith first told Warner Bros. that it wanted to make a Batman game, there were blank, confused stares all around. The publisher already had a successful Batman game with Rocksteady's Batmam: Arkham Asylum and the follow-up, Arkham City, was already well into production.

But the developer had its own ideas, a multiplayer game set in the Batman universe, and one that would turn Gotham City on its head. The first challenge when tackling a multiplayer Batman game is obvious, and that is that everyone's going to want to be Batman.

Monolith had the solution. Enter Gotham City Impostors, a downloadable multiplayer first-person shooter where no one is the Batman, but everyone can be a Batman.

[Note: While Warner Bros. was more than happy to let us get hands on with an early Xbox 360 version of the game, they didn't provide a single in-game screenshot for purposes of coverage. Outside of the game logo and the concept art pictured in the header, the images contained are from another awesome game called real life.]

Gotham City Impostors (PC, PlayStation Network, Xbox Live Arcade)
Developer: Monolith Productions
Publisher: Warner Bros. Entertainment
Release date: TBD
Price: TBD

Even though we'd had hints of Gotham City Impostors (via domain registrations) for awhile, the game itself still comes as a bit of a shock. Distracted by the upcoming sure-to-be Game of the Year contender Batman: Arkham City, who'd have guessed it was a multiplayer first-person shooter set in the Batman universe? by the devs who brought you F.E.A.R. and No One Lives Forever, no less? Warner execs didn't see it coming, either, and called the initial pitch one of the most "surprising" they had ever seen.

A lot of that probably had to do with some early concept art it had lugged along to that initial meeting. One we were shown displayed a group of folks dressed up in Joker-style attire. Dead center was a skinny, naked man in clown make up, mockingly pointing his middle finger at the camera. The mans crotch is blurred out, but beneath it you can vaguely make out a shock of green pubic hair, which matches his bright green afro.

While you're not likely to see any imagery like that in the game when it ships (they're aiming for a "T" rating), it was wild enough to win the suits over. The game was given the greenlight, and later given the seal of approval by DC Comics and the legendary Jim Lee. Lee loved the idea so much, he went back to DC and wrote up an entire storyline for Detective Comics based around Monolith's "Impostors" concept.

The idea is this: regular, everyday folks -- bored with their decidedly average vanilla lives -- have decided to take things into their own hands. On one side, you have folks dressed like Bats, personalized variations of the Gotham's crime fighting Dark Knight. On the flip side, you have the Jokerz, mischievous citizens who've identified themselves more with the Clown Prince of Crime himself, The Joker.

That underlying narrative lends itself to Gotham City Impostors' reason for existing: team versus team online multiplayer shooting. It's also a great setup for allowing a wide range of player customization, which will allow players to carve their owner Jokerz/Bats identity online.

First you'll identify what body type your character will use, which is not only an aesthetic choice, but one that has an affect on gameplay. We saw three unlocked -- Speedy, Nimble, and Tough -- with two "classified" types that unlocked through an XP-based player progression system. The "Nimble" style was chosen for our initial demo, which skins the player as a female, and allows players to move swiftly and even jump a bit higher than other physique types.

While they didn't seem to have any affect on gameplay, other changes in physical appearance -- including the type of costume you'll don -- are also available to you. As a "Bat," for instance, you'll be able to swap out different style cowls, shirts, gloves, and more. Imagine, if you will, a female Batman wearing a sporty jersey, a short ruffle skirt, and a tight rubber mask, accented by a pair of (functional) glider wings. That's just the start: there appeared to be a metric ton of other visual options at your disposal. I just don't think naked with green pubes look of the early concept art will make the final cut.

More important than your look may be your weapon loadout. This consists of a primary "ready" weapon, a backup, a support item, and gadgets. As the Impostors don't have the same access to the resources as the "real deals," they often have to rely on the black market or even fashion their own crude (but effective) items.

The ready weapons we saw were typical of the shooter genre, like an assault rifle Monolith is calling the "Dawn Patrol." The "Thunder Dragon" back up weapon, on the other hand, looked more like something made in dingy basement: it's a rocket launcher made from PVC tubing, a can of fireworks jammed into it as ammunition. Weapons can be customized even further by swapping out ammo types, and even applying your own skins. It should go without saying, but the "Thunder Dragon" looks totally bad ass clothed in the game's "Pink Cheetah" skin.

Support items are the next way you can customize your play experience, and include things like pipe bombs, boomerangs, trap-in-a-box, and an energy drink that instantly boosts health. You won't be able to spam these items, as they require a cool down period, but used effectively they can give a significant advantage. The "Hatchet," a throwing axe that can drop enemies with one hit, was particularly popular in our hands-on session.

Finally, players must choose a gadget type, many of which are directly related to how they can move about the game's maps. Players who want to play it safe can choose from a standard Batman grapple gun, which works as you'd expect. A winged Glider Rig can also be used, which allows players to glide about a map, taking advantage of vents scattered about to reach new vantage points. Rollerskates can not only give you a speed advantage, but can also be used to launch off of ramps that I saw scattered strategically around the playable stage.

Monolith showed off two games modes: a traditional team deathwatch (which was playable), and a hands-off mode called "Psychological Warfare." In this game type, teams rush to acquire a battery that must then be returned to their respective brainwashing device. Once the battery is inserted, 30 seconds countdown before the apparatus is triggered. Once it goes off, the device sends out an opposing "propaganda" signal to the other team, driving them into an uncontrollable frenzy. At this point, players being controlled by the signal lose all use of their weapons, their attacks replaced by a wild slapping motion. If players can't deactivate the device in a short set period of time, a point is awarded to the opposing team.

At this point, Monolith was only willing to show off one map, "Amusement Mile." This run down carnival area sits on the outskirts of Gotham City, and was a colorful space for the Bats versus Jokerz proceedings. And while matches were eight on eight affairs, Monolith says its still working on the best balance in terms of maximum players for each team.

As with most modern multiplayer titles, you can expect Gotham City Imposters to have a player progression system where they'll be awarded with XP as they play. As players advance, they'll open up a number of "classified" (or previously locked) items, including body types, visual options like item skins and clothes, and more.

With a focus on fast, twitch-based multiplayer action, Gotham City Impostors is about as dissimilar to Rocksteady's Batman games as it gets. If you're not a fan of multiplayer shooter action, Impostors may not be your cup of tea. Despite its wild, comic book slant and curious take on Batman's little corner of the DC Universe, it's still very much a traditional shooter at its core. 

Regardless, Monolith has proven that when it comes to the genre, it's got the chops to deliver. If it's price right for a downloadable title, Gotham City Impostors could be an interesting alternative to the traditional military shooters ready to flood the market this fall.

Photo Gallery: (3 images)
Click to zoom - browse by swipe, or use arrow keys

Nick Chester, Former Editor-in-Chief (2011)
 Follow Blog + disclosure Tips
Editor-in-Chief @ nick at  more   |   staff directory

 Setup email comments

Unsavory comments? Please report harassment, spam, and hate speech to our community fisters, and flag the user (we will ban users dishing bad karma). Can't see comments? Apps like Avast or browser extensions can cause it. You can fix it by adding * to your whitelists.

Status updates from C-bloggers

Jiraya avatarJiraya
Some Black Friday artwork arrived today ! [img][/img]
Lawman avatarLawman
Black Friday is getting to me. All these games I kinda, maybe want that are at anywhere between respectable and deep discounts, but I'm not sure if I want to bite. I'm wondering if Godzilla's worth $12? After checking review scores, I'm not sure.
Amna Umen avatarAmna Umen
Mission complete![IMG][/IMG]
Serethyn avatarSerethyn
Black Friday slowly seems to creep its way onto Continental Europe, but I'm not complaining! I managed to get my grubby little paws on a new physical copy of The Wonderful 101 for €20! Thanks, America!
Archelon avatarArchelon
Community Question: Since I missed yesterday, I am going to do something a little different today. Are there any questions you would like to ask me for a change? If so, please feel free. I may add a second Community Question later today, as well.
RexterNathan avatarRexterNathan
Isn't PES 2016 Free-to-Play model just the demo with extra crap thrown in?
Fenriff avatarFenriff
Damn Gumo, you cold as fuck. [img][/img]
Atleastimhousebroken avatarAtleastimhousebroken
While partially responsible for one of the biggest jokes in the metal, Cold Lake by Celtic Frost, Curt Bryant is doing the soundtrack to the game Slain!. I'm digging the shitty garage band vibe.
LinkSlayer64 avatarLinkSlayer64
How is the Lightening thread STILL GETTING COMMENTS!?!?!? P.S. I am trying to make Chex Mix, but we lost my special recipe I custom designed. sucks man.
Torchman avatarTorchman
Got a deal on a Surface Pro 3 model that I wanted. Now I just need a deal on a PS TV in Canada and I'm golden.
FlanxLycanth avatarFlanxLycanth
If you in the UK, don't have a PS4 and don't mind buying used/display goods there's a few reconditioned PS4 (12 month warranty) on amazon for £199.
SirDavies avatarSirDavies
my dilemma this black friday is a PS4 for bloodborne and little else or like half the games on my steam wishlist. I know in my heart which one I'm going to pick.
El Dango avatarEl Dango
"You had all the lasagna you could ever eat, yet you kept going!" "This isn't about the lasagna anymore, Jon, and I didn't come this far just to quit! Tonight, I'm making sure my name will go down in history!"
Pixie The Fairy avatarPixie The Fairy
Got DeSu2 Break Record from GS' Black Friday sale ($29.99). Love the Arrange CD. It's been far too long since I heard Meguro do something that wasn't tied to Persona. Also grabbed an extra copy of Freedom Wars since they were $5.
Jed Whitaker avatarJed Whitaker
Haven't been around a few days. Getting over a cold and working on a review for Superbeat: Xonic on Vita. Starting to feel better, I think / hope.
inspavo avatarinspavo
Solar Pony Django avatarSolar Pony Django
So I'm almost done with my first play through of Undertale and... It's okay. It's in no way bad (and I'm enjoying it more than Fallout 4 which in also playing) but feel... It was overhyped I suppose? Not sure really... Maybe a second play though will help
Agent9 avatarAgent9
Sometimes I wonder why I care. To simply have more vitriol and misery as my reward, to suffer ingrates and fools. That in all I do I'm never afforded the same respect or kindness. Let it be then, and let pain follow. I'm done with this shit.
Mike Martin avatarMike Martin
I was telling this dead baby joke at dinner tonight, and this lady I don't recognize says, "I'm sorry. That joke isn't funny to me, I have two dead children." At this point, I went over my options in my head and settled with telling her the joke twice.
CoilWhine avatarCoilWhine
I really wish the slowpokes at Microsoft would add Forza Horizon to Xbox One backwards compatibility.... It's my favorite racing game. And the soundtrack is honestly flawless.
more quickposts



Invert site colors

  Dark Theme
  Light Theme

Destructoid means family.
Living the dream, since 2006

Pssst. konami code + enter

modernmethod logo

Back to Top

We follow moms on   Facebook  and   Twitter
  Light Theme      Dark Theme
Pssst. Konami Code + Enter!
You may remix stuff our site under creative commons w/@
- Destructoid means family. Living the dream, since 2006 -