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E3 2011: Hands-On: Gotham City Impostors

Near the back of the South Hall of E3, people with something clearly wrong with them gathered to play the Disney adventure Kinect thingy that I’m far too annoyed with to even recall its actual name. But in between Elmo laughing like an idiot, and Cookie Monster gargling down snacks, was the voice of Gotham City Imposter’s “booth babe” dressed up in full costume. She did a great job at building and maintaining a line for the game, and if not for her I may have missed the game altogether.

Truth be told I had only found out about this downloadable game days before E3. I didn’t really know what to think. It was both a good idea, and a pointless one at the same time. I had walked by the demos two days in a row before finally getting in the line-up on the third and final day. My initial thoughts upon watching it, was that it felt fast and twitchy like Counter-Strike. That for some reason immediately turned me off. It just felt all too generic. Once getting my hands on it, I warmed up to it a little.

There were about 6 to 10 consoles set up, to have even teams of Jokers vs Batmen. I was on team Bat. The actual game itself is fast and furious, as you run and gun your way around the map. The objective in the game I was playing was to locate a battery that could then be armed onto a brainwashing device. There was about a 30 second time period where the other team could try and disarm the device, but once triggered, the device would send out a signal that would make the other team’s characters go insane. Once in this frenzied state, they would run frantically around the map, and while easy to kill once this happens, if they were lucky enough to get close to you, they could take you out with a swift slap in the face. In the next round, the same thing plays out but you switch spawns to even the playing field.

I was actually able to score some points for our team, after taking awhile to figure things out. My favorite part of the game were the gadgets. My character carried a grappling hook which could be used to quickly get on top of roofs, and even used horizontally to travel across the map quicker. It added a decent bit of variety to the standard multiplayer mix.

It being a downloadable game will definitely give it an easier time with the critics. It does what it sets out to do well, but the question remains as to its relevance in the market. I didn’t get a chance to customize my character at all, so I’m not sure just how deep that aspect of the game will be, but I suspect that will play a major role in the final product. I’m also excited to see what other gadgets the game has up its sleeves.

Really, there’s not much negative things to say about it, but not much to make it stand out in a significant way. At the moment, it seems like a decent way to spend an evening.

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