It's war on the streets (and the docks and in the amusement park... okay, everywhere) between the Bats and Jokerz!
Gotham City Impostors is a multiplayer first-person shooter (FPS) based loosely on the rivalry between Batman and the Joker. Instead of playing as super-powered heroes and villains though, you're more like the member of a wannabe super-gang. Armed with an assortment of wacky weapons and hastily-made costumes, you take to the streets in all-out war against the rival gang.
It's no secret that I don't play a lot of first-person shooters (especially multiplayer). I got my fill of that back in the Doom/Quake era and mostly moved on from the genre long ago. A friend recommended I give this a try for a Friday night stream though, telling me it's a bit different from the normal FPS and that I'd get a kick out of it. They were absolutely right!
While GCI contains the usual array of weaponry found in most shooters, it draws inspiration from the comic book theme by adding some creative items too. There are guns that freeze people, shoot balls of electricity or even launch attack parrots! It doesn't stop at just weapons, though. Gadgets can (literally) put some spring in your step, allowing you to glide, grapple or skate around the map. Likewise, costume pieces are Batman and Joker themed, but often look like they were made about 10 minutes before the fight started. Cardboard cowls, bunny slippers and body paint abound!
If I haven't made it obvious enough yet, let me spell it out for you: this game does not take itself too seriously (the Joker would be proud), and neither should you. Goofy gadgets, hilarious quotes and ridiculous outfits all bring the wacky level right up to the verge of being a cartoon but purposely not crossing it, which is just the right amount of crazy.
While the title has an over-the-top personality that can easily draw you in (if you like the humor), underneath that is a competent and enjoyable game. You can customize your character with loadout items, weapon mods, body type, "Fun Facts" and a few other options that alter how they play. You won't have many options available right off the bat, though (see what I did there?). Playing matches and completing single-player challenges earns you XP as well as coins to buy costume pieces with. Leveling up often comes with some type of unlock, allowing you access to more customization options.
Looking at the game's DLC, there's a variety of extra purchases available (including a 'get it all right now' option). At first, I was worried that the title might be pay-to-win, as you can immediately buy all weapons, gadgets and Fun Facts. Every non-cosmetic option for sale is attainable for free though, so at best you're paying to skip ahead. Additionally, all players have access to a handful of preset loadouts during matches, regardless of what you currently have unlocked. This helps to level the playing field quite a bit while also giving players a way to try many of the loadout items before spending their level unlocks (or cash) to get them permanently.
Sadly, this game's best days are likely well behind it. GCI hasn't had any new content for years and the pile of shiny new shooters (even just the free ones) grows higher every day to bury it. In the three hours I played (on a Friday night from 9pm - midnight ET, mind you), only deathmatch had anyone else in it... though there are at least three other game types. Even then I ended up doing a fair amount of challenges waiting on enough people to actually play deathmatch with.
At this rate, I can't imagine Gotham City Impostors lasting much longer, which is a damn shame really. It's one of the few titles in the genre I could actually see myself liking.