by Nevs Coleman

Gotham City Impostors Review.For MookyChick.

So, before we get started, i have to confess a thing that will activate all kinds of hate in the comments section….

Batman: Arkham City really bores the crap out of me.

Yes, I know, I’m sorry. I’ve TRIED! I…just want to have fun playing games. I much prefer Lego Batman. Also, I like the Adam West Batman more than the Christian Bale one. The comic Dark Knight Returns is all fun and games, but after a while, all that grit starts to get in your eyes, you know. Unless it’s the insane genius of All Star Batman or Batman;Odyssey.

Frank Miller, exploring Feminism, here.

A comic beyond captions.

So, having tried and failed to enjoy Bats: Arkham City, I still wanted some virtual Gotham related fun to tide me over until Lego Batman 2 arrives.

Enter something that I’d read about last winter that i thought, frankly, was a joke: Gotham City Impostors.

Apparently not the work of mental cosplayers.

The history of Batman and The Joker has been traditionally presented as an yin and yang affair. The forces of Order and Chaos eternally at war with neither side able to truly vanquish the other with great confusion over why this must be so. For Batman, killing the Joker would go beyond a moral line he swore never to cross. In The Joker’s case, his greatest opponent would be gone, and he may just become bored with everything. Frank Miller’s suggested there even be a homoerotic subtext to the whole affair, both in The Dark Knight Returns and All Star Batman. It’s a fascinating relationship. Maybe the deepest one in all of comics outside Krazy Kat and Ignatz.

All of which is TOTALLY ignored, of course, in Gotham City Impostors..A mutliplayer online affair based on the notion that somehow, two gangs of nutters have got hold of cheap technology, and meet up every once in a while to try out various weapons on each other. A bit like Historical Revival Societies, but with The Batz and Jokerz instead of Cavaliers and Roundheads. As if The Warriors was sponsored by Poundland and The N.R.A.

Not Oliver Cromwell.Not even close.

Gotham City Impostors looks…insane, really. Like Brendan McCarthy designing The Corner. Grim streets awash with faded neon. Swarms of lunatics fly, bounce, roller-skate and suchlike the psychedelic waste ground of Gotham City. All kinds of madness ensues as you get to grips with the control system and slightly trippy camera angles. All this visual acid is added to the fully customisable character design. Want to be a fat fella in shorts armed with a bow and arrow? A skinny girl with a bazooka and leather trousers? Go wild. It REWARDS your desire to look like you fell out of Vivienne Westwood’s bin.

If you’ve played any other online FPS from the last few years, say Call of Duty, Left4Dead or such, you’ll be at home here. RT to fire, LT to focus, Y to switch guns, yadda yadda..

But lets be honest, aren’t you SICK of Call Of Duty’s ‘inspirational messages’? Of saving the world? Stirring strings, Men looking worthy? Haven’t you had enough of following a soldier’s arse for the last umpteenth versions of CoD, Modern Warfare, Black Ops, and Lord knows how many knock-offs. As a wise man said ‘Why So Serious?’

'Camu Is My Bitch!'

At 1st, GCI seems pretty generic. Guns and such, funny visuals, what really sets it apart from things is the reward system.. as you play more, you start to realise that the upgrades will only add to the glee inducing chaos. After an hour or so of gameplay, I’d upgraded myself enough that I was now a skinny Jokerette wearing a dustbin lid as body armour, armed with a rocket launcher and hovering through the skies by bouncing off mini trampolines. Laughing literally with joy as I fist divebombed a fat man in shorts dressed in a cardboard Batman mask, and then finished him off by shooting a R.P.G at him at point-blank range, sending him flying into the river.

So, the technical stuff. Gotham City Impostors is (thus far) a download only title available for PC, PS3 Network, and Xbox Live. There are currently Three types of match type: Fumigation, which involves you teaming up to take over gasblasters in order to pump out either a shedload of bats and green Joker gas on your hapless foes, Psych warfare, which is standard Capture-The Flag malarkey and the typical Team Deathmatch. None of which will be unfamiliar to hardened FPS players. If there’s one criticism of the game, beyond the intial bugs which seem to have been worked out now (At least whilst playing on my XBox 360) is some of the maps are a nightmare to deal with, being too darkBut for the incredibly cheap price, the Laugh Out Loud factor, and the general two fingers up to the super serious tine that the video game industry has taken on of late, it’s probably my favourite game of the moment.

Rating: Four Out Of Five Dead Sidekicks.

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