Holy haberdashery, Batman!
Gotham City Imposters is a silly idea. Let's take a bunch of kooky Batman cosplayers, slide them through the video game machine, and see what comes out its rear. Oh, and give them some guns too—that always makes things better. It's the kind of sadistic merriment that only the Joker can conceive and construe between his wickedly boisterous chortles. In that way—and what a way that is—Gotham City Imposters makes more sense than it ever should.
Objectively, Gotham City Imposters plays similar to Counter-Strike, or Team Fortress 2 if it weren't as class-driven, but that description falls flat on its face into a pie filled with goofiness. Monolith Productions obviously has a twisted sense of humor and humility, and they have no trouble concocting a download-only multiplayer first-person shooter that pits Batman vigilantes, who occasionally wear T-shirts with the word “Pizza”, against Joker wannabes who have as much time to put on white makeup as drag-queen geishas.
Everything you might expect from the typical team-based multiplayer shoot-fest has a layer of the unconventionally preposterous. Sure, you could walk and run through the hallways and loading docks of a warehouse arena, but that's hardly as amusing as dashing through the empty roads on a pair of rollerskates, hookshotting your way along the rooftops, or jumping on a trampoline to reach a higher platform. Flash grenades turn into ninja smoke bombs, claymores turn into bear traps. Power-ups and special items appear on the battlefield in nicely wrapped presents. If it's not comical, it's probably not in this game.
Don't get distracted by the tomfoolery, though. Despite the game's cartoony exterior, Team Deathmatch shouldn't be treated like a walk in the park, and making sure your team of four communicates and commits to their roles remains an upmost priority. With a primary weapon, a secondary weapon, a thrown weapon, and whatever else you can shoulder, it's seductive to believe you can act like the lone wolf, like I did for several matches with melee kills. But eventually, the other team will wise up and attack in groups, gaining an advantage in match modes like the “capture the flag” Psychological Warfare, which temporarily brainwashes the team that allows their opponents to carry a battery back to their base.
Though the game recommends certain weapons and items for specialized classes, you can customize your character as you see fit. As you gain experience through multiplayer matches, time trials, the campaign which has a loose story, and other optional challenges, you will earn unlock cards and access to a wide arsenal of artillery and costume options. Nothing like wearing a pair of bunny slippers as you wipe out the opposition with an exploding jack-in-a-box. Harley Quinn would be proud.
Gotham City Imposters swoops into action on January 10, 2012 as a downloadable title on Xbox 360, PS3, and PC. You can register for the open beta for a limited time on the game's official website.