Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Shatterblog!: Gotham City Impostors Beta Impressions

As those of you who follow gaming or Batman closely may know, there is a game coming out this year called Gotham City Impostors. It is a CoD style FPS, but you dress up as the Joker or the Bat. One important note before I begin: I despise Call of Duty. I hate it. Fuck that game.
At first glance, GTI is a CoD clone. It features almost the exact same control scheme, and level up system. There's nothing wrong with that. Borderlands uses CoD controls, and I adore it. However, after playing the tutorial, I began to notice serious differences.
These idiots guide you through the tutorial. They're kinda funny, and the cardboard box is a sweet touch.
They introduce shooting, which is CoDish. LT aims down sight, RT fires. Standard stuff. Next they introduce a "strange" weapon, which is actually just a chargeable grenade launcher. 5 minutes into the demo, I'm hugely unimpressed. However it gets better. Consumables are a little interesting. You have a stick of dynamite, which functions like a grenade. Meh. Boomerang lets you lock on to a handful of targets. YES. I approve of this. Still, CoD vibes are killing me. I'll finish the tutorial and stop playing.
Wait. What? Grappling gun you say? You mean I can grapple all over the map? Even more yes! Every bit as fun in actual practice as theory. Rollerskates, with ramps all over the maps? Charge-up spring shoes? A gliding machine!? All of the yes! Brink's highlight was the parkour system, and while flawed, I loved it thoroughly. This may be better. The most satisfying kill of mine so far was to hit a trampoline, glide onto an updraft, and divebomb some poor fat Jokerz thug.
Which brings me to my next point. Customization is limited in the beta (and to low level characters), but what I've seen has me interested. Different body types have different health amounts, punching power, movement speeds, etc. The first loadout I used was a big fatty with a HMG. I was a walking tank. Then I tried a lighter build, with an assault rifle and a grapple gun. I felt much more mobile, and got a few good kills from high vantage points. Unlike CoD, when you level up you get a weapon unlock. That doesn't mean you get X gun at Y level. You get to choose to unlock 1 gun. I wasted my first unlock on a bow and arrow. It's pretty accurate and powerful, I just apparently suck at it.
The game modes, at least in the beta, are standard. In one you have to capture and hold 3 points, slowly gathering resources until you win. The other is a bit different. First you grab a battery and take it to your machine. Then you defend it. Nothing special here. Suddenly, as you score, all your enemies are demoralized! The opposing team loses all weapons and powerups, left with only the ability to slap! This lasts until the battery runs out, around a minute. You can speed up the process by slapping the machine. Mopping up the slap happy enemies nets big points. Points are awarded just for shooting someone, even if you don't get the kill, making it easier to level up as you first get into the game. There's not much of a learning curve, except where the good points on the map are, how to best use your mobility gadgets, and a bit of an odd grenade throw. Features I haven't experienced include the full character customization, weapon attachments, and the other classes not mentioned above. I only tried out a few guns, which weren't hugely original, but weren't bad. Overall, as a CoD hater, I still really enjoy this game. It feels like a perfect blend of CoD, TF2, and Batman. Quite fun, original but familiar to any FPS or CoD fan, I found it a blast to play. 8.5/10

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