It’s not often that I discover a new FPS I really enjoy. It’s even less often that I find and cover an FPS in CPCG, then do it again in the next edition. Yet here I am, flitting around to an FPS once again.
I was cautiously interested in Gotham City Impostors from the beginning but refused to really get my hopes up. After all, it was another multiplayer FPS and they’re all over the place, as always. I largely forgot about it until I noticed it for sale on Origin last week for £6 (half price).
I immediately bought it because, well, I’d be saving money. Somehow. As it downloaded I forgot about it and, between my re-playings of Mass Effect 1 and 2 in preparation for when I can afford ME3, I saw it there in my library, still being a little reserved about trying it out. I mean, what if it was bad!?[drop]I got around to playing it over the weekend and was immediately kicking myself. GCI is a superb, funny and polished multiplayer first person shooter. It is a fast-paced, as-far-from-realistic-as-possible game that verges on relative uniqueness in its genre thanks to a few choice areas.
The game is set in Gotham when Batman is away, where two ‘gangs’, one of which is made of vigilantes dressed as Batman and the other criminals dressed like the Joker, battle it out. Naturally, they can’t afford the swanky gadgetry that their idols make use of, so they improvise and operate with a less…moral way of doing things. That is to say; they just kill each other in arena-based combat.
There are some really interesting aspects, a very big one being how you get around. Sure, you can walk, or sprint, but that is for peasants. In Impostors you can glide, spring-jump, or even skate around the maps as you hunt your next victim. The game offers various ‘gadgets’, consisting of things like a glider rig (for gliding), roller-skates (for skating) and spring boots (for springing), amongst others. Not only that, but dotted around the maps are useful things to help some of these modes of transport out, such as a vent for lifting you up into the air on your glider, or a ramp for jumping over things on your skates.
Each gadget has its own features; the glider rig lets you dive bomb enemies, dealing decent damage from above, whilst landing on the head of an enemy after jumping with the spring boots will deal some damage too. They are wonderfully good fun and completely transform the way you play the game, whether flying around like a hawk looking for prey or quickly skating into a group of enemies and decimating them with a katana.
Oh yes, the weaponry. There’s a lot of that for you to play around with too. As you level up you unlock, uh, unlocks, for the categories in your custom loadouts (yes, like Call of Duty, the whole levelling system is very similar). Each unlock can only be used in a specific category (can only be used to unlock a new weapon, for example, or a new gadget).
There’s a healthy selection, from typical fare like machine guns and rocket launchers to katanas and even a gun that can freeze enemies. They can all be modified with sights, scopes, penetrator ammo (ignores enemy armour) and other things letting you customise your class even further.[drop2]Other unlockables include secondary weapons (which is simply another weapon, any you like, rather than being limited to sidearms), support items (things from pipe bombs – a thrown timed explosive – all the way to body armour) and fun facts (perks), amongst others.
As you have no doubt deduced, there is a lot of customisation here, and it even spreads into your appearance, too – you can change your face, your voice, and your whole outfit. The face and voice are changeable like regular weaponry, but items of clothing are bought using either coins that are earned in game or Microsoft Points.
Yes, Microsoft Points. This game uses Games for Windows Live which, depending on your own preferences, could be a big drawback. Personally, once you’ve logged in on your first run of the game and set it to automatic, it isn’t really too intrusive.
Whether or not you agree with using MSP to buy experience boosters (note: to earn more XP when playing rather than just buying XP) is up to you, too, but it is hardly a problem for me – I’m level 20 after starting playing on Saturday (3 days ago) without any boosters. Though the levels do go up rather high – all the way up to 1000.
The bottom line here is that Gotham City Impostors is a great game, one that surprised me by living up to exactly what I wanted it to be, just like so many games fail to do lately. It’s funny from the off, oozes character from every crevice, is incredibly good fun and it may genuinely rival Team Fortress 2 for me. It’s £12 on Steam and Origin. You should go and buy it right now, GFWL be damned.
Alternatively – and I don’t normally do this in Cheap PC Gaming – it’s also available from both PSN (£12/$15) and XBLA (1200MSP) should you be more interested in getting it on a console for whatever reason. Just bear in mind that it’s a fast FPS, a mouse is more suited in this particular case if you happen to have the option.