- Seattle socialist: Minimum-wage discussion skewed by ‘right-wing’ GAO analysis
- U.N. warns of Muslim ‘cleansing’ in Central African Republic
- Senate blocks change to military sex assault cases
- Drug mix may have cured child born with HIV, doctors say
- De Blasio’s wife irks former mansion chef with ‘servant’ remark
- Russia’s neighbors shiver amid Putin’s Cold War moves in Ukraine
- New SAT: The essay portion is to become optional
- Military group can’t march to honor the fallen at Boston Marathon due to security changes
- Senate passes bills deleting ‘retarded’ from laws
- China announces biggest military hike in 3 years: We are not ‘boy scouts with spears’
Zadzooks: Gotham City Impostors review
The Dark Knight’s worst nightmares come to life in Gotham City Impostors (Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment and Monolith Productions, rated T for teen, reviewed for Xbox 360, 1,200 Microsoft points or $15), a first-person shooter that acts like Call of Duty’s twisted little brother while infusing the game with a “freemium” financial model.
Based on DC Comics’ Batman mythology, adapted from Detective Comics issues 867 through 870, the humorous, hyperrealistic and violent action has no solo campaign, instead offering online cooperative team matches for up to 12 players (six versus six) fighting in the urban sprawl of the Caped Crusader’s home turf.
Teams are composed of either Bats (dressed in homemade costumes, down to duct-tape Bat logos and towel capes with even an assortment of disheveled Batgirls) or Jokerz (pasty-faced rejects often wearing green pompadours and goofy shoes).
The insane warriors battle in locations such as Crime Alley, Amusement Mile (think of a Santa’s Village theme park), Ace Chemical, the Docks and Gotham Power.
The actual online matches are broken into three modes — Team Deathmatch, Psych Warfare and Fumigation — with a suspect matchmaking system that can take time to complete and mixes players of all levels together.
The Deathmatch is pretty obvious (kill the most opposition to win), but Psych Warfare finds teams trying to control and plug a battery into a device that turns the enemy into slap-happy, weaponless sitting ducks.
My favorite is Fumigation, which requires a bit more strategy. Players must hang out by three gas blasters and work to turn the devices to their side. When at least two are primed, a meter starts filling in the team’s favor. When either side reaches 100 percent, the blasters either call a swarm of bloodthirsty bats or release Joker’s deadly toxin on opponents to wipe them out.
Through the use of experience points awarded at the end of matches and character leveling (at least 1,000 levels are available), options such as joining gangs, custom costume slots and Psych Profiles open up to add to the extended fun.
Players can first hone skills with an introductory tutorial and eventually can venture into an ample collection of timed challenges to collect points as they bounce (maps are littered with trampolines), glide and skate through courses to destroy objects or shoot targets.
Now, let’s touch on customization, a common attribute of shooters. Weapon loadouts offer the choice of seven classes (including homemade rocket launchers and a Bear Stalker bow), attachments for the two weapons chosen, a support item (such as an ax or bear trap), a gadget, two Fun Facts (perks such as quick reflexes), paint modifications, and a Rampage (kill streak).
Success in the frenetic, run-and-gun matches (that top out at about 10 minutes) will award the player some Costume Coins. Those are used to stylize their avatar down to voice, body type and some outrageous clothing.
No one can complain about the generous supply of humor. Help tips are offered at almost every menu screen and mix in some BioShock-style animated introductions with a hint of silly Sergio Aragones-style art. The ramblings of the Joker heard while leading his troops also add to the laughs, as well as costumes that can reach the level of bizarre — how about an angry, fat clown sporting a green mohawk and bikini briefs?
Now let’s discuss the “freemium” reference. Players can slowly accumulate enough coins to buy most of the new costume stuff — or just start dropping Microsoft points with reckless abandon to build up their personalized Imposters experience.
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
A graduate of Northwestern University with a degree in communications, Joseph Szadkowski has written about popular culture for The Washington Times for the past 17 years. He covers video games, comic books, new media and technology.
- ZADZOOKS: Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze review
- ZADZOOKS: The Last of Us: Left Behind review
- ZADZOOKS: The Lego Movie Videogame review
- Zadzooks: Justice League: War review (Blu-ray)
- ZADZOOKS: Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII review
Latest Blog Entries
TWT Video Picks
By Tammy Bruce
- Putin has transformed Russian army into a lean, mean fighting machine
- Bill Clinton cashes in on struggling nonprofit hospital
- DELAY: A revolution for the Constitution
- BRUCE: Obama's bizarre immigration rules
- Unemployment insurance vote could happen next week
- PRUDEN: Likening Putin to Hitler on Ukraine shows Hillary's shaky grasp of history
- Otter attacks, kills alligator at Florida wildlife refuge
- Calif. shop facing angry fire pulls 'smart gun' from shelves
- R-S-P-E-C-T: Find out what it means for Obama
- Back to the Future: HUVr Tech marketing video goes viral with hoverboard release tease
Pope Francis meets his 'mini-me'
Celebrity deaths in 2014
Winter storm hits states — again