Holy Happy Monolith: Gotham City Imposters

By John Walker on May 16th, 2011 at 11:13 pm.

All we have so far is a logo.

Woah, this one snuck past me earlier. If there’s anything we like to do at RPS, it’s race our remote-controlled yachts around the castle moat. But we also like to have a good old grumble about how Monolith used to be this team who made brilliantly funny FPS games, and now all they do is make grumpy, grisly faux-horror. Well, hold onto your heads, because it looks like they’re making something silly again! Gotham City Imposters is a Batworld-inspired multiplayer FPS in a Gotham overrun by imposters of Batman and The Joker. Buh?

So explains Senior VP of Production and Development, Samantha Ryan,

“Gotham City Impostors blows apart expectations for superhero games with an exaggerated take on first person shooters, set in a part of the DC Universe players have never seen before. Monolith is creating a game that turns Gotham City upside down and we think fans are going to have a blast with this creative twist on multiplayer heroism and anti-heroism as they play up the classic rivalry between Batman and The Joker.”

Does it make sense yet?

It seems you’ll be able to customise your character, so you’ll either be Batmanesque or Jokeresque, which they seem to be called “The Bats” and “Jokerz”. This will be done with “unprecedented customisation options including insane costumes, homebrewed gadgets and a wide range of traditional and imagined weapons.”

Kotaku have a few more scraps of information, including a rather nice origin for the game. Apparently the idea of MP Batman was often rejected because everyone would want to either be Batman or the Joker. So Monolith figured out a way of making that happen. Apparently there will be different classes and body types, and a big range of basic weapons, and then home-made ones on top.

It sounds closest to Team Fortress 2 by design, although there’s not much to go on at this point. Two teams of vigilantes battling it out in a range of multiplayer modes, where everyone’s basically one of two people. But I do get this: It’s Monolith making something FUN! Hooray!

(Also, I’d just like to say kudos to worldwidewares.tk – illegal crack site – who already have their fake YouTube video up advertising a “CRACK-FREE” version of the game! They even made a little montage video of Batman pics! Baddie pirates are quick.)

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84 Comments »

  1. Hunam says:

    I’m confused as to why someone, somewhere thought this was a good idea. Random FPS dressed up as Batman rather awkwardly. I’m excited as anyone else for all things Monolith, but my first thought with this was that it sounds not silly, more stupid.

    • BathroomCitizen says:

      C’mon buddy, don’t be so negative about the idea! If you think about it, this is surely better news than the announcement of Modern Warfare 3. ;)

    • littlewilly91 says:

      Clue’s in the title and this is the same studio that made Arkham Asylum, who know their batshit (Edit: It isn’t actually so forget that point). Not that it won’t be a TF2 style shooter benefiting from the aesthetics and franny-chise appeal of ze batman, but what’s so wrong with that, and it sidesteps the “stupidity” of 10 batmans running round after 10 jokers that would come with normal competitive multiplayer bundled with the game, by making us play as the stupid fan imitators we really are. A la the guys at the end of this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Q-0Xk1-jAQ
      But I guess it’s legitimate to still think that it’s more stupid than silly, but you must admit it’s atleast stupid in a complex way.
      I hope that wasn’t flamey. Arguments aside, I hope it manages that mixture of lolz and tragedy where neither aspect detracts from the other. Then we will have success. And then they will have enough money to make another NOLFE yes?

    • DeepSleeper says:

      Actually Arkham Asylum was Rocksteady Studios.

    • Hunam says:

      I don’t think it’s stupid in a complex way. I think it’s an awkward way to meld Monolith with Batman. It smacks of the lowest of the low corporate committee ideas. Like the decree was the make an FPS Batman game and then they had to scramble around to find out how the hell you can legitimately get away with that in a universe where everyone punches each other in the face.

    • Josh W says:

      Especially when two of the biggest parts of the main character’s moral code are:
      “no killing”
      and
      “no guns”!

    • MikoSquiz says:

      Sometimes, anyway. Olden Time Black & White Batman used to carry a gun and shoot the baddies. Even the film versions throw them off rooftops and whatnot.

    • bglamb says:

      The other thing about MMOs is that all the quests tell you that *you* are the hero.

      They should have made it so each player plays as *the* Batman, surrounded by fakes or mentals who are all just pretending to be you. It would be amazing!

      “Nice to meet you, I’m Batman.”

      “No, I’m Batman”

      “Sure”

    • Vinraith says:

      Honestly, the “no killing” thing is just an excuse to keep recycling the same bad guys. If Bats had simply shot the Joker decades ago how many thousands of lives would he have saved? Of course it doesn’t help that Gotham’s entire criminal justice system is completely idiotic.

    • Mo says:

      Worth reading the Kotaku article* to see how the game came together, and the liberties they’re taking because the game isn’t about Batman himself. Sounds like something Monolith wants to do. Or even if it was forced upon them, they’re definitely making the most of it.

      * (first & last time I ever say that)

      It sounds really cool, pretty damn novel, and heck, I’ll take this over generic manshoot any day.

    • Chemix says:

      Towards Vinraith’s comment about killing the joker; Kingdom Come, it’s a good read and it deals with exactly why ‘superheroes’ refrain from killing big baddies whenever possible.

    • QuantaCat says:

      Reminds me more of the first scenes of The Dark Knight.

    • SneerRolts says:

      The “no killing” code isnt in all comics either, in The Dark Knight Strikes Again he organises the death of the joker. Also I forget which comic it was but one of them Batman actually ends up snapping the jokers neck but with just enough force to paralyse him rather than kill him…. thats worse by far!

      That said, I dont know if the FPS will work but it will be interesting to see someone take a character our of the usual situation we see them in. I mean can you imagine a spiderman game being an FPS rather than the usual 3rd person fest we expect?

  2. Zogtee says:

    If I can be a fat Bat, then I’m in.

  3. Mana_Garmr says:

    Exactly how customisable can characters be if I still have to be recognisably Bat/Joker-esque?

    • Space_Masters says:

      Batman has been re-imagined dozens of times and he’s always recognizable so long as he has the bat ears. I’m thinking it’ll be like those guys wearing hockey pads in the Dark Knight movie, which would mean guys who look sorta like Batman, but building their costumes out of different sporting equipment. This picture comes to mind, too.

      Joker’s goons are usually just clowns. Imagine how many different varieties of clown there are. I’m hoping for mimes.

    • Dances to Podcasts says:

      Monolith do like their mimes, so a good chance of that.

    • Devan says:

      It would be worthwhile only if I can be a really short mime on a unicycle with a trench-coat. I would also like to emit lines such as “ze pain is excruciatiiing” in a bad French accent whenever I’m hit :)

    • DeepSleeper says:

      If you’re emitting lines when you’re hit you’re not a very good mime.

    • Arglebargle says:

      ‘I punched that mime so hard, I knocked the sound right out of him!’

  4. DanPryce says:

    I’ll equip my Bat-Pinch-Of-Salt for this one.

  5. MightyR says:

    Just make NOLF 3 already.

  6. JuJuCam says:

    I hope the classes will be like entirely different takes on the characters throughout their histories. Adam West Bats vs Diniverse Hamill Joker or Bale Bats vs Nicholson Joker.

  7. tikey says:

    This better have Adam West on it.

  8. Ertard says:

    This sounds crazy. Considering how terrible FEAR 2 and 3 seems to be (haven’t played 2 much, 3 aint out), it kinda feels weird.

    • magnus says:

      Rubbish! F.E.A.R.2 was NOT terrrible. Well only if you belive in ‘Console-itis’ then that’s your fault.

    • jaheira says:

      Agreed. Fear 2 is under-rated. Great weapons, cool ending.

    • SneerRolts says:

      Haha if you like the ending, i think we may have stumbled upon a fetish you have :P
      That said it was an ok to good game, i dont know why so many people snub it so.

    • kuddles says:

      Agreed. FEAR 2 was a disappointment when you compared it to how new and unexpected the first game was, and they made some weird design choices like the most intrusive HUD in the world, but overall I still thought it was better than the average shooter I’ve played.

  9. Inigo says:

    “The Bats” and “Jokerz”

    It sounds like some kind of cross between The Dark Knight Returns and Batman Beyond.

  10. Michael Hoss says:

    Actually…. it COULD be great. It COULD. But… I know, it’s Monolith. I know what they can do. I really hope they know it too. Cause this COULD actually fuck up their image forever.

  11. zergrush says:

    I hope they don’t pull a Brink by having nothing but sweaty dudes to customize.

    If I can play as a Cassandra Cain lookalike I’m in, regardless of the quality of the game.

  12. Christian O. says:

    Sounds like a strange one, basing an FPS on a character that has vowed to never use firearms (disregarded one time, where he used one to kill the God of Evil and then subsequently “died”), but it seems like they found a way around that. Could be interesting.

    • dadioflex says:

      You don’t play Batman, you play someone dressed up LIKE Batman. Like in the movie.

    • Tanuki says:

      It should probably be mentioned for those that don’t want to visit the Kotaku link that this is based on a recent Batman storyline that ran in Detective Comics and no, the real Batman does not endorse the use of guns nor does he endorse the “Bats”. He kicks a few in the face if I remember correctly.

      EDIT: Whut. This was supposed to a be general post and not a reply. OH WELL.

    • pernake says:

      This was my first thought as well. What kind of Batman fans would use firearms, or any kind of lethal force for that matter? Especially ones who are batshit enough to actually go fight crime dressed in bat costumes?

      Maybe team bat only uses non-lethal weapons like stun guns and bean bag rounds? Or maybe Batman apprehends all the Bat-costumed Punisher-wannabes after any victorious vigilante murder rampages? I’d be okay with that.

      EDIT: Apparently I need to read more of them Detective Comics.

    • Saul says:

      Actually it says that the comic run was inspired by an early concept for this game. So it has created its own justification in the fiction. How meta.

  13. Hypatian says:

    Cue invasion from hordes of Angry Internet Batmen.

  14. Bugg says:

    I can already picture ways of having the actual Batman and Joker show up to harass all these knuckleheads that are taking LARP a step too far. This could be fun.

    • DeepSleeper says:

      The win screen for the Bat-team is just:

      “CONGRATULATIONS. YOU SHOT ALL THE JOKERZ.”
      *pan to Angry Batman*
      “BATMAN DISAPPROVES.”

    • Olivaw says:

      Oh man, that would be pretty great!

      Batman just shows up out of nowhere on certain maps and starts busting heads before leaping back into the shadows. Joker shows up and just starts shooting EVERYONE for no real reason.

      Fantastic stuff.

  15. bill says:

    Want single player monolith FPS. (that isn’t fear)

  16. Hatsworth says:

    That’s not N.O.L.F. 3 :<

  17. SirKicksalot says:

    Best thing about that CRACK-FREE trailer is that it was uploaded in January.

  18. Gabbo says:

    It sounds like APB with Batmen and Joker’s goons.
    I’d rather Monolith not make licensed crap for WBi, but if this isn’t the entire studio/only a small team, then I await more from Monolith.

  19. Dances to Podcasts says:

    … but can you add nipples to your suit?

  20. Moonracer says:

    this sounds entertaining and the costume side idea is great. I’m thinking Brink only Batman and Joker instead of Cop and Punk. I hope the costumes vary from slick to poorly done. Also an out of shap body type is a must!

  21. whydidyoumakemeregister says:

    You’re spelling “impostor” wrong, RPS.

    • MarloBrandon says:

      According to the two dictionaries I checked, both forms (“impostor” and “imposter”) are valid and synonymous. Firefox apparently has a problem with “imposter”, but that’s what “add to dictionary” is for.

  22. GHudston says:

    Unprecedented customisation options… as long as you look like batman.

    I actually think this could be a neat idea, though I think that puts me in the minority.

  23. Shadram says:

    All I can think is “Batdad knows no fear! Batdad knows no pain!”

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RtwqvtllIGs

    (Video is terrible quality, but can’t be arsed to search for better one)

  24. Olivaw says:

    This is actually a really cool idea!

    Both the comics and the movies have already touched on the idea of people taking up Batman’s mantle and trying to do what he does (without his permission, of course). And the Joker has always had a bunch of henchmen and thugs who dressed up like him as part of his posse. It’s a natural fit, really!

    A full, non-downloadable game would have Batmen fighting other gangs, though. Two-Face’s gang, or Scarecrow’s goons, or The Ventriloquist’s gangster-lookin’ dudes. Hell, they could even fight each other! It’s not as if the criminals of Gotham City are on good terms with each other.

    If this turns out good, this good be a very neat little series of games!

    • TsunamiWombat says:

      …What are you on and where can I get some? This is a horrible idea. This smells of fish and marketing, and frankly the smell of marketing is overpowering the fish.

  25. TsunamiWombat says:

    My problem with this project is there’s nothing plucky or small about it, despite being a downloadible title- meaning a marketing team decided it was a good way to cash in. batman and Dc comics are just windowdressing, and don’t directly affect the gameplay or narrative- meaking a marketing team decided it was a good way to cash in. It does nothing new as a shooter, rehashing idea’s from Brink and Shadowrun- meaning some marketing team thought it was a good way to cash in.

    In summation?

    Some marketing team thought this was a good way to cash in. There’s no soul here. It might be a good game! I really hope it is!

    But without a soul? It’ll never be great.

  26. outoffeelinsobad says:

    Lotta links to Kotaku recently. Makes me cringe every time.

  27. Tetragrammaton says:

    Who else votes we ban superheros & forget they ever happened? No? Just me then I guess.

  28. brkl says:

    What’s wrong with you naysayers? This is a lovely idea! It’s a funny take on the Batman impostors on The Dark Knight. If the gameplay is good this will be excellent. Except — I don’t play TF2-like shooters :/

  29. Scandalon says:

    I love it, many many people here, including myself, decry grey-brown manshooter marine in space wot shoots aliens #238… “Wheres the weird ideas, where’s the risk takers?” we cry. Then we get some info on this which sounds rather mental, or dare I say it, batshit insane, and all I see in response is “but why aren’t they making a sequel to monolith game X?” (As good as some of those games were/are…)

    Now, I’m not saying it’s some sort of visionary game design, or it may be good design and end up horrible. Some part of it may have been kicked off by some weird marketing group and it could still end up good, maybe great. All I’m saying is, ease up a little dudes… It’s times like these I’m glad I’m not a developer…Damned if you do, damned if you don’t.

    • arccos says:

      Absolutely agree. Plenty of the best developers created something truly great while everyone else moaned “You can’t do that! You’ll never pull it off!”

      I wish publishers would let developers swing for the fences more often. It may not turn into a good game, but it will almost always be interesting.

  30. poop says:

    when you consider how like 90% of people who paly customisation heavy games like brink and apb dress up as hte fucking joker anyway this game starts to make sense as far as demographic appeal goes

  31. drewski says:

    Wow. Think of the accessories you could sell individually for this kind of game.

    Valve must be kicking themselves.

  32. Flint says:

    “it looks like they’re making something silly again!”

    Yay!

    “multiplayer FPS”

    … oh.

  33. Deadend says:

    So the batz use guns.. DUMB. hell a gang called Batz.
    As there is already a Joker gang in Batman Continuity.. and Batman Inc. a damn organization of BATMEN! This could have been so easy to keep cannon.

    Why not be interesting and make things a bit like the old Splinter Cell MP/AvP?
    Batmen using stealth and agility to take down guys with guns?

    Anti-heroism and rivalry with the joker? No, that isn’t it at all. It’s nothing like that, fuck.. has anyone there sat down and read a fat stack of Batman comics?
    Oh yeah, Monolith, they make games like F3AR.

    • AndrewC says:

      Ignoring continuity is the greatest gift a comic-property can give us.

    • Deadend says:

      Well, when coming up with a reason to have a million batman knock-offs, it’s kind of sad they didn’t look at the giant, obvious and awesome one staring them in the face. But then they would have to create something original instead of what sounds like Brink-copy-pasta.

    • AndrewC says:

      If you are implying that Batman Inc is giant and obvious you may be a touch too close to the comics to have perspective.

      If you are implying that some more assymetrical multiplayer would be cool, I’d agree.

      Also DC sucks.

  34. Tretiak says:

    Remember that project of Space Quest MMO game with Roger Wilco clones?

  35. Dao Jones says:

    I cannot seem to find my copy of NOLF anywhere. Hard to believe since it’s in one of those old huge ass PC boxes. :( Is it me or don’t any of the digital stores have it? :( WHY? More sad faces! :( :( :(

    On topic, Batman is a cool dude.

  36. NightTrace says:

    Monolith also made The Matrix Online. That game was so great they promptly got rid of it as soon as possible…

    I give them no benefit of the doubt.

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