March 2, 2012

Review: Gotham City Impostors (PSN for PS3)

Article first published as PlayStation Network: Gotham City Impostors - Is this the real deal? on Blogcritics.

When I first heard about Gotham City Impostors, I was very excited. Fresh off the stunning Batman inspired games Arkham Asylum and Arkham City, my expectations were through the roof. So much so, that I actually signed up for the beta, and I got in. There were some problems there, and I shared my opinions with the publishers, and waited for the game to come out, reserving my judgment for the final finished product.

Well it's out now, and I have to say, my concerns were not at all addressed.

The game has a lot going for it. Excellent subject matter, intriguing premise, and good mechanics. The stylized graphics add to the fun, which pizza-box wearing Batmen and spray-painted Jokers running around blasting each other with shotguns and homemade grappling hooks.

Where it falls down for me is the much-lauded and hyped "Customization" which, after hours of gameplay, amounted to changing the "calling card" my character leaves when it kills someone, and the addition of a "Customized" player type, which was identical to a standard one with the solo option of switching one of its weapons slot to a single other weapon.

You have to invest WAY WAY too much time in the game before you can get any real customization. This is a huge mistake by the designers. You should give players SOME choice right off the bat to get them hooked and plugged into the game.  Dangling the customization hook out there for level after level after level does not work. You can only promise something for so long without delivering. And this game waits way too long to deliver.

Take away the joker costumes and bat gadgets, this is just another arena shooter. And not a terribly good one.  For $15, there are worse ways to spend your money, but there are also much better ways.

Gotham City Impostors is rated T (Teen) by the ESRB for Blood, Comic Mischief, Language, Mild Suggestive Themes, and Violence. This game can also be found on: PC and Xbox Live Arcade.

 Rating: Three out of Five stars

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