Wot I Think: Gotham City Impostors

By Craig Pearson on February 11th, 2012 at 7:56 pm.

His secret identify, finally revealed.
First-person shooter Gotham City Impostors was released. I’ve spent a few days on the streets of Gotham, mopping up crime and causing criminal chaos. Is it ‘Zap!’, ‘Kapow!’, or more of a sad ‘Thunk!’? Here’s Wot I Think.

I should love this. The premise of Gotham City Impostors, Batman wannabes fighting Joker-ised thugs, is the first multiplayer FPS in a while that’s made me want to stick my head out of Badwater Basin. It sounded so silly, so camp, how could I not be slapping my thighs while smiling knowingly at the monitor? Because after levels of EULA hell to wade through, GFWL to navigate and update, and then being cajoled into signing into Warner Bros. in-game social nonsense to gain some extra bling, I finally discover Gotham City Impostors doesn’t know what it wants to be. It’s attempting to be a middleman between Team Fortress 2′s cartoonish action and Modern Warfare’s combative unlock-a-thon. It’s neither the Bats nor the Jokerz. It’s Two-Face.

You feel awfully like you’ve just bought into a free-to-play shooter. On one hand it offers a range customisations for you to trim the fat from the character, or add to it if you want a tougher head to deflect the bullets. There’s an overwhelming number of weapons, body types, and costumes you can tweak. But on the other hand it’s stingy in the way that f2p games are: levelling delivers tokens that you use to access new weapons, gadgets, support devices, and a separate system of tokens for visual customisation. It doles both out in the smallest possible increments as you play. I guess I could have bought the XP boost DLC that was released on the same day as the game, but there’s a limit to what I’ll do to deal with frustration. Judging by the high-level characters I bumped into only a few hours after launch, others didn’t quite have that worry.

THAP!

Making your character look like the sort of bad-ass Joker or Batman is hatefully boring. A slog. Despite both teams being equally matched in terms of weapons and body-types, you spend the dress-up money separately as well. Which wouldn’t be too much of a problem if you were given the choice of sides when you join a game. But you don’t, and that’s just one problem with the hateful matchmaking. Oh god, getting into Gotham is atrocious. There’s no human intervention other than choosing what game mode of the paltry three that’s on offer, voting for one of the five maps, and deciding when to quit out the lobby because the matchmaking has failed to fill its quota of players. It’s obnoxious and tedious to have to sit in the pre-game lobby and listen to the constant background noise of someone else’s PC thanks to GFWL’s auto-turning on mics, wishing, pleading for the damn thing to kick-off. The small teams means unbalances are noticeable: in the first hour I’d played against two utterly overwhelmed oppositions, and had one game where I was one person against 5. But at least was in.

Game modes and maps also feel like teasers for upcoming DLC drops and map-packs. There are three online modes, and although one is Team DM, the other two are inventive. One is essentially capture the flag with a single flag: it’s a battery both teams fight over to power their propaganda machines. The other is a twist on territory control, where teams are attempting to control gas machines that poison the enemies. There’s also an offline challenge mode. You can learn a lot in the offline mode, and there are lots of challenges that neatly teach you a few tricks and the layout of the levels, and you build XP competing in them, so there’s another route to leveling to accessing more tokens.

ARROW!

The token system for the weapons is at least willing to give you access to everything regardless of level: you’re never denied the option of what you can choose, as long as you have something to spend. And you’re given carte blanche as to how you build your character: there are set classes to pick from, but as you progress you can swap out primary, support and gadgets. In theory it meant I could make a heavy class with a sniper load-out; in practice it meant that I was never quite sure of what I’d run into on the streets of Gotham. But I was never up against people with truly unfair advantages. A careful or lucky player might be able to procure an ideal load-out relatively early. I was not that player, though.

ZAMM!

The primary weapons are a typical cadre of sniper rifles, shotguns, blah, bore, snooze. Although they can be modded (my custom class shotgun can sniff out enemies and mark them on the HUD), I almost resent their presence in what is a rather wonderfully realised daft world. One of the Batman masks is a cardboard box with a mask drawn onto it. The little loading icon is a happily animated, skipping batman firing pistols into the air. It’s silly. It’s genuinely somewhere I’d love to see built upon, and my first suggestion is to take the realistic weapons and smelt them. And while annoyingly I actually like using them – they’re weighty, meaty, damage dealers – I didn’t want them in this game. Play less Modern Warfare, ‘kay?

At least you augment those with secondary, comic bookish additions: freeze rays, invisibility powers, goggles that see through walls, boomerangs. Yup, boomerangs: the poor man’s Batarang. That’s brilliant: simple, stupid, and it totally fits into the world of cut-price heros and villains. As do the gadgets: they’re the one thing really standing in the way of Gotham City Impostors feeling like a MW mod, as they allow players to scoot around levels in all manner of inventive ways: grappling hooks, roller-skates, super-jump boots, and more. I love watching three clumsy Bat-wannabes starting a level, all zooming off in different directions, bouncing, flying, zooming along wires . It results in interesting combat situations: how do you fight someone while you’re both zip-lining at right-angles to each other. Do you make a dramatic escape, dropping and firing your line to confuse your enemy, or do you drop and pull out a gun, firing mid-air?

TROLLOP!

There were harmonious little moments when those battles realised everything GCI could have been, but even then it’s tuned for fights to be speedily resolved. Just as things were getting interesting, one of us would die. They were good little fights, at least and when I finally hit upon a combination of rocket-launcher, freeze-ray, throwing axe and grappling hook, I at least got into a groove of freezing and blasting. But it was never a sustained level of fun. Someone would drop out, someone’s mic would be on (and it took me two hours to figure out how to mute), I’d kill or be killed too quickly.

I feel like a dour git hating on Gotham City Impostors, but it’s a misfire. It’s slipped on the banana peel when it should be placing it. It’s whack rather than wacky and it sabotages its own sense of fun.

Gotham City Impostors is out now.

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110 Comments »

  1. alice says:

    What a shame.

    • Metonymy says:

      This kind of nickel and dimeing is generated by money-types that know nothing about gaming, or aren’t driven to deliver fun.

      THOSE people will be ruined, which is good news. The designers (the only gaming job that matters anymore) who know what they are doing will not continue working on trash projects, which means that bad designers and bad producers will find themselves working together more often.

    • LionsPhil says:

      He was a bat man. What a rotten way to die.

    • Trillby says:

      If I may tip my hat to Consolevania:

      Batman? Shatman, more like.

    • Fierce says:

      It really is a shame such a fun premise had to be ruined like this.

      I mean, there’s really no excuse for this kind of matchmaking scheme, DLC wallet leeching and MW cloning, especially when it marketed itself as being a potentially hilarious take on comical TF2 gameplay.

      This should have been Saturday Morning Cartoons in game form, not Robin laying an egg. Oh well.

    • The Tupper says:

      Great review.

    • Suits says:

      The PC version is imposterous. Your typical broken port to GFWL.

    • masfdusaui says:

      I have no doubt that this was badly marketed and underestimated simple things like the Xbox/GFWL store filling up with 100s of DLC items. A lot of DLC systems aren’t even designed for this kind of mass. It was a poor communication from the company when it could be so much clearer. http://duan.ca/zo

  2. SkittleDiddler says:

    I was expecting a reaction like this from RPS, and I’m willing to bet other reviews are going to be similar. The game has never looked very impressive.

    It’s too bad they had to hop on the DLC bandwagon with this one. Another no sale for me.

  3. caddyB says:

    Games for Windows Live, enough said.

    • Premium User Badge

      Lars Westergren says:

      “Game for Windows Live: For when you really hate your customers, and want them to know it.”

    • Fierce says:

      Nope, that’s Ubisoft DRM.

      While GFWL is terrible, when it works it stays out of your face. Plenty of Arkham City players will attest to that.

    • Arglebargle says:

      GFWL? My experiance with it was, shall we say, very poor. Wouldn’t play a GFWL game now, even if it was free.

    • Skabooga says:

      I have a question regarding the platforms needed to play this game. Looking at the store pages for Gotham City Impostors on Steam, Origin, and GFWL, I couldn’t quite come to a definite solution, so tell me if the following premise is right or wrong:

      If I were to buy GCI from Steam, I would still need to have Origin and GFWL installed to be able to play the game: essentially, I would need to have all three platforms running simultaneously.

      If I were to buy GCI from Origin, I would need to Origin and GFWL running to be able to play it.

      If I were to buy GCI from GFWL, I would need only GFWL to run it.

      ——-

      If this is indeed the case, I do wish Steam would signpost these platform requirements a little more clearly. I would hate to buy a game that looks nice only to find out it needs to be precariously balanced on three digital distribution platforms to run properly. Bear in mind, I have had no interaction with either GFWL or Origin, but am a heavy Steam user. I have nothing against the former two, but so far have had no reason to use them.

    • subedii says:

      and listen to the constant background noise of someone else’s PC thanks to GFWL’s auto-turning on mics

      Oh yes, this was always one of my favourite features in DoW2. Especially when they updated GFWL that one time and it broke the system, literally causing anyone using a mic (i.e., everyone who had a mic) to crash the entire multiplayer game for all parties.

      Relic had to have a scrolling *WARNING* message across the bottom of the menu screen telling people not to use the VOIP. Good times.

    • vincio09 says:

      You don’t have to have steam running if you bought GCI there.
      I tried and it runs without Steam.
      And it doesn’t need Origin either (unless you bought it there i guess)
      I’m enjoying GCI, but the matchmaking really needs fixing.

    • Premium User Badge

      Tom De Roeck says:

      it worked for section8:p atleast.

    • Premium User Badge

      Lars Westergren says:

      >While GFWL is terrible, when it works it stays out of your face. Plenty of Arkham City players will attest to that.

      “When it works, it works” is a tautology. The thing is it very rarely works, and I’m glad you picked Arkham City as an example because I play that a lot. I first created an offline profile, because I don’t care about achievements. But I wanted to play the challenge modes, and these were withheld from me, though I had bought the damn game at full price.

      It honestly took me an HOUR to get the ****ing thing to accept and remember my password and autologin. And now after I’ve done that, half the time I start the game it fails to log in, or crashes, because I have a slow and flaky connection. I’m sure Khemm or someone will pop up and claim that this is the game itself and not GFWL, but it is. People who install the DLL which removes GFWL report the game starts up in half the time and becomes much more stable.

      I fear that if Microsoft go ahead and make GFWL integration mandatory in Windows 8 as some rumor, they will manage to nip PC gaming in the bud permanently, just as it is making a spectacular revival.

    • UnravThreads says:

      At least UbiDRM generally actually works. ;)

    • Navagon says:

      “At least UbiDRM generally actually works. ;)”

      Wut? I don’t think even Ubisoft PR would make a statement as bullshit as that anymore.

    • Zeewolf says:

      Well, it _generally_ works in the sense that as long as you’re actually online, and the servers aren’t down (yeah, I know), then you’ll be able to play without problems. GFWL, on the other hand, is fucked up all the time.

  4. Echo Black says:

    “XP boost DLC “. Ahaha. It’s like these premium XP boosters from grindy F2P games, except Gotham City Impostors is not at all free.

    • MellowKrogoth says:

      Oh gods, what has the world come to…

    • Eclipse says:

      I’m calling it guys, it will turn f2p in less than a year and people who got the game will be “upgraded” to vip status or something similar

    • Suits says:

      It surprised me that I couldn’t just download it for naught from Steam and log into GFWL and play this when it came out. Turned out it had a retail price o.O With all those “customization” one would imagine there being microtransactions. It almost seems like they planned a launch price and f2p in the future.

    • Freud says:

      I thought it was a joke, but it seems to be real. Of all the cynical stupid shit publishers come up with, this one might be the worst I’ve heard of. What the f are they thinking?

    • Jerakal says:

      Our game is so boring, you can pay us to make it go faster!

  5. sinister agent says:

    Sad to hear, but after seeing gameplay footage it’s not too surprising. It was a striking change from the excellent promo cartoons showcasing the clever, silly premise, to the videos showing generic guns doing generic deathmatch things. Still, it sounds like it has potential at least. If it can find a fanbase, maybe there’s hope in the long term.

  6. westyfield says:

    Goth damn it.

  7. Lagwolf says:

    I played it in beta and it was bloody awful. Too bad they didn’t improve it before release. It was laggy and ranged from dull to lame. Think Batman & Robin bad…

    • Gnoupi says:

      Yes, it’s impressive to read this. These issues of matchmaking, mics, weapons not silly enough and in general everyone dying so fast, were already in the beta, several months ago.

      At the time I thought that the number of maps and the matchmaking system was as placeholder only. Unfortunately, not.

    • Prolepsis says:

      I beta’d as well, and am disappointed that another beta went by that was wasted. Many of the issues mentioned in the review are things that the testers were vocal about, myself included. Too bad they couldn’t learn from others and realize that waiting until after launch, to solve something you know is an issue, can ruin you.

      How sad, because, aside from said issues, it really is a fun little game.

  8. wodin says:

    Well thats a surprise…not.

  9. ZIGS says:

    Can anyone confirm that this will be getting dedicated servers soon? I seem to remember reading about it somewhere

  10. TsunamiWombat says:

    This game has NINE day one DLC’s. 4 are little “pet” vanity items, two are “calling card packs”, one is a costume unlock, two are EXP boosts.

    It has a paragraph of instructions of how to ACTIVATE your DLC off -steam-.

    Notice: To activate the downloadable content after your purchase, launch Gotham City Imposters and copy the Product Code from the Steam overlay into your clipboard. Once the game launches and the Gamertag sign-in process completes, press the Home key to bring up the Games for Windows Live overlay. Click Gamertag, select Redeem Code, and paste in the Product Code to initiate the download process. Alternatively, Product Code for the downloadable content may be redeemed from a web browser at https://live.xbox.com/RedeemToken.

    Effectivly, this is the cliche “Devs gonna nickle an dime us!” doomsday game that has always been spoken of in exaggerated complaint when discussing Day One DLC, Multiplayer service focused gaming, or the future of DLC. It is clunky, designed by commitee, grindy, and packed full of Pay 2 Win DLC.

    Ladies, Gentlemen, I invoke the memory of Catholic Popes past and declare this game to be the Anti-Christ and enemy of members of the Gaming faith everywhere. Amen.

    • TotalBiscuit says:

      Why is cosmetic DLC an issue exactly?

    • DuddBudda says:

      If devs are gonna nickel and dime us GCI shows how to do so fairly: no pay2win items (XP is somewhere we can all go eventually) and a whole load of vanity trash that noone needs to spend money on but that some people [i]will[/i]

      The problem is the MW-alike mechanics; MW is slick, but slick is no substitute for character

    • qrter says:

      No problem with ‘cosmetic DLC’ as far as I’m concerned, but are you really trying to gloss over those ‘double XP’ packs as not being ‘pay2win’..?

    • TotalBiscuit says:

      qrter – He can because xp does not give you upgrades, it gives you side-grades. XP doesn’t make you more powerful, it only accelerates the process at which you get access to everything in the combination and colour you like. You start off with access to that stuff anyway via the default classes, which are more than capable of taking on anyone without a problem.

    • Untruth says:

      XP boost is worth very little. It’s time limited so you have to make sure you play the game a lot during that time for it to matter. Even when you are a higher level, it means little because all the weapons are balanced – you just get more choice of weapons. A good example is that at a low level, I can run rings around most players with the stock missile launcher.

      There’s really no Pay2Win in this game – just a lot of cunning (some might say immoral) DLC to eek money out of gullible people’s pockets.

      The gamble is – buy it and hope the phone doesn’t ring or your cat doesn’t die during that time so you don’t miss out on potential doubling rounds, or don’t buy it and play double the amount of rounds, but in your own time. Seems fair to me.

    • TsunamiWombat says:

      I apologize, I mistakenly believed that EXP was somehow tied to weapon or gadget unlocks. I have absolutly no problem with cosmetic DLC, god knows i’ve spent over a thousand dollars on completly free game League of Legends (SHEN BUFF NEXT PATCH F YEAH).

      Still, the fact that there are so MANY of them jumps out at me as a red flag, not to mention the fact that the character customization is touted as a game feature. For a game like league of legends, skins are icing – they aren’t part of the experiance, they’re purely cosmetic. For a game such as this though, where they have advertised the ability to create your own unique ‘Imposter’ character – I don’t know, at some point for me, pyschologically, that feature becomes a part of the actual game experiance, and choking it down with slow EXP progression and paid for boosts strikes me as a somewhat underhanded design methodology. There’s nothing strictly immoral about it, nor is the developer acting in bad faith, but I can discern the manipulation technique therein and resent it.

      Maybe i’m just crazy though. The squirrels tell me I am anyway.

    • Untruth says:

      I have no doubt that this was badly marketed and underestimated simple things like the Xbox/GFWL store filling up with 100s of DLC items. A lot of DLC systems aren’t even designed for this kind of mass. It was a poor communication from the company when it could be so much clearer.

      The truth is, if you strip out how DLC is currently listed and dealt with, it’s not a pack of 100 items of DLC, it’s a load of content in a game that, incidentally, you can pay money to unlock. There is no reason to pay for all the DLC as a lot of it is different flavours of an item (and most prefer a certain flavour).

  11. SiHy_ says:

    Sounds like they’d have a half-way decent game if they removed the primary weapons.

    • torchedEARTH says:

      Agreed! It just plays like fancy dress Call of Duty with a rubbish mini-map.

  12. TotalBiscuit says:

    Just wanna say, this whole “MONEYGRUBBING DLCMONGERS!” thing is way, way out of hand. Under no circumstances is any of this stuff required to play the game, nor are they chopping up bits of the game to sell. It allows you to skip the unlocking process or get some cosmetic shit that the art team cooked up while everyone else was busy finishing the game. Quite frankly I have no idea why PC gamers are flipping their shit over this, much less claiming the game should be free.

    • Walter Heisenberg says:

      From the review I guess you didn’t bother reading it…
      “levelling delivers tokens that you use to access new weapons, gadgets, support devices, and a separate system of tokens for visual customisation. It doles both out in the smallest possible increments as you play. I guess I could have bought the XP boost DLC”
      That’s the issue in a nutshell, this not F2P game uses the same F2P system of stunting growth of players that don’t pay to get them to start paying. And as the review already said it encompasses items in the game not just hats.

      “much less claiming the game should be free. ”
      F2P era Team Fortress 2 says hi!

    • TotalBiscuit says:

      By the same token, you didn’t bother to read the comments which is what I’m referring to.

    • Detrian says:

      Could you confirm if the Catwoman pet is available through leveling? I’ve heard it’s not.

      Anyway, I think it’s not so much an issue of “this should be free” as much as it is an issue of perceived escalation. The fact of the matter is that usually FPS games like this are either free with exclusive content that you have to pay for OR products that you pay for and have the content available through gameplay. This game however is trying to do a bit of both and just by putting content that’s usually reserved for gameplay rewards on sale, it gets a bit confusing and weird and may lead people to wonder what else they can put on sale.

      Obviously at this point there’s nothing to do other than wait and see how they distribute new DLC but at first blush it’s not unreasonable for some people to wonder if they are going to get fucked.

    • clippa says:

      “Could you confirm if the Catwoman pet is available through leveling? I’ve heard it’s not.”

      It is, I’ve got it :D

    • Walter Heisenberg says:

      I don’t see your post referring to comments as much as it is lashing out at the general zeitgeist.
      You acted like you have no idea why gamers are responding negatively to it and I pointed out that the article here answered it.

    • Veeskers says:

      The developers/publishers of this thing have enough contempt for their intended audience that they release this thing, built around xp grinding, with a ridiculous amount of overpriced dlc trinkets on day one. They are counting on people actually being stupid enough to dish out for this stuff.
      What’s so strange about the fact that this kind of contempt is not met with unconditional adoration by everyone? Should people be flattered when they’re presented with this kind of cynical, depressing marketing exercise? They’re pretty much selling air at this point.
      It’s even funnier because it’s just such a random, pointless little thing, with a bit of licensed pop culture baggage as its only real selling point.

    • Sparkasaurusmex says:

      I’m glad there is a vocal majority here upset about DLC. I hate it in all forms myself. Don’t really care if you understand that either, but I hope there are always people ranting about it so I don’t have to.

  13. clippa says:

    The game is really good but the low fov and p2p matchmaking ruin it on the pc. It’s mind bogglingly identical to the beta version. I was in the pc beta and everyone and their ganny was telling them what was wrong with the game, and they did seem to be listening.

    If they fix the fov (which they say they’re working on), add dedicated servers (which they say they are) then the game will really start to shine.
    I disagree with the review personally, I think there’s a great multiplayer shooter under the problems.

  14. Untruth says:

    —-

  15. masiif says:

    A PC FPS with peer to peer hosting is an absolute no go.
    Furthermore if the match making is still as aweful as it was in Beta you should really stay away from this game.

  16. Untruth says:

    I feel like I’m the only person in the world who enjoys this game.

    But, I like it. For all it’s flaws, it’s brilliant fun.

    • bill says:

      It’s really hard to make an FPS that isn’t fun. Even basic crappy FPS games are usually pretty fun at times, especially if played with others. The problem is that there’s lots of FPS… so being “not un-fun” doesn’t help you get ahead.

  17. TwwIX says:

    The shitty matchmaking alone is enough of a reason to not purchase it. Everybody complained about it during the closed PC beta but they wouldn’t listen. There’s nothing noteworthy about the game, anyway.
    It’s a Call of Duty clone with a gimmicky shtick.

    • clippa says:

      Let’s not forget that cod multiplayer, when it’s done well (cod 4, black ops) is very very good so being like cod isn’t necasserily a bad thing..
      I agree though, p2p matchmaking on pc is never good.

  18. Prime says:

    So, in summary…a promisingly oddball concept ruined by the entire pantheon of modern evils found in modern AAA game design? Cynical, greedy, soulless…the joke’s definitely on us.

    Pass.

  19. Peterkopf says:

    I don’t think you could miss the point much more than you have here Craig.

    The whole premise is that you’re playing a bored average joe on a rampage. That’s the whole concept. Using standard weapons is hardly anything but appropriate, and you’re basically saying they’re fun, but you decide to hate them out of principle.

    Fair enough, but that’s just neurosis, not actual criticism.

    It’s disappointing that they’ve launched a game that barely works, with a terrible account system, but it’s really mostly disappointing because it’s a great game, when and if it works.

    I can’t think of a single FPS that has ever offered me the same kind of freedom in terms of how I’m able to play.

    • Untruth says:

      This is where my trail of thinking goes on the game too.

      The guns are an unfortunate coincidence with popular games – they DO feel unnecessary as at first glance, according to the game’s theme, it could all be zany. But that isn’t comics, and it certainly isn’t the Batman universe, which has always been comic violence with real-violence intertwined.

      It fits in the end, and most important of all, it works. The missile launcher is the most fun I’ve had with my pants on.

      And your ‘ways to play’ comment rings true with me. You can play the game so differently depending on your load-outs. Flying is totally different to rollerskates, and the modifiers to characters make a difference.

    • Premium User Badge

      X_kot says:

      @Peterkopf

      While I haven’t had a chance to play GCI yet, much of the content here seems inspired in some ways by the PC/360 FPS Shadowrun. The combinations of weapons, implants, and magic, not to mention racial bonuses, really lent the experience a lot of diversity. A pity it died so quickly (not sure the hybrid userbase helped much), but I’m glad to see some of that eclectic spirit has lived on.

    • bill says:

      Lived on in an unfinished unpolished game that will die quickly just like shadowrun?
      Not so glad about that myself.

  20. dsi1 says:

    This review just made my day a little worse…

    -10 Happiness
    -1 Hope for the future of gaming

    • Premium User Badge

      Lars Westergren says:

      Go to the Double Fine kickstarter page and press F5 a couple of times, and you will feel better.

  21. TormDK says:

    Funny, My G4WL client didn’t get updated, it logged right in and let me play within minutes ( Although the first match took some time to start)

    Overall I find it decently priced fun (It’s 15 euro).

    It’s not something you’re ment to take overly serious. For instance the “medic” uses a loudspeaker and shouts propaganda to heal his team mates – Thats brilliant, and goes well with the setting. Not to mention the punishment for failing to remove the battery from your opponents team – You become helpless, and can’t use your gadgets although you can slap the enemy if you can get close enough while also hearing voices that tries to mess with your mind.

    I read others are having problems on the Steam forums though, and the developer is aware of a match making issue or two, but for me personally it’s worth the asking price as it is now – YMMV.

  22. Lazaruso says:

    It sounds like the developers batted this one out of the park!

    Unfortunately they’re robin us blind with all this dlc. When I first heard about it I thought they were just jokering.

  23. MeestaNob says:

    It’s ridiculous that this game requires GFWL yet doesn’t do matchmaking with XBox players. Why force PC gamers to use that junk when there is literally no benefit to doing so?

    No one wants GFWL. No one.

    PS Warner Bros, not sure if you got the memo, but we don’t like signing up for YET MORE services we will never EVER use again. Stick your WB account.

    This whole game is a waste of an opportunity.

    • Sparkasaurusmex says:

      That’s a cool idea though. If I could play games with my Xbox owning buddies I might like GFWL on some games.

    • UnravThreads says:

      The thing with PC vs Xbox is you have to impose balancing and technical fixes to make it “fair”. Any halfway competent PC gamer will absolutely slaughter an Xbox player due to the differences in control sensitivity.

    • Fierce says:

      Not really, many GFWL games tie PC and XBox players together. Lost Planet 2 is my go-to example for that. I think BlazBlue and Street Fighter 4 on PC does that too…. must be a Capcom thing.

      The issue really is whether or not the gameplay or visual options can be changed very much on PC to offer advantage. Lost Planet 2 doesn’t provide a further draw distance for PC players or anything, and mouse control in a 3rd person shooter is subjective as to whether it adds advantage over a gamepad. You’d be surprised what some console players can do on a pad.

  24. ResonanceCascade says:

    I have a question, oh RPS denizens. How the heck did Monolith go from making top-tier shooters like NOLF and FEAR (and even Tron 2.0, to a lesser extent) to this?

    • Echo Black says:

      Way to forget Blood. >:(

    • ResonanceCascade says:

      True. I didn’t mention AvP 2 or Shogo, either. Both of which I really liked.

      Seriously, what happened?

    • Hindenburg says:

      Probably something to do with Condemned 1 and 2 and FEAR 2 not selling as well as expected, great games though they may be. (well, the condemneds, at least).

      Then there’s that whole mess with The Matrix Online and Contract JACK.

    • Sparkasaurusmex says:

      In 2004, Monolith Productions was acquired by Warner Bros., a subsidiary of Time Warner.

    • LionsPhil says:

      IIRC, they also lost key members of staff.

      (FEAR? Pah. They were already deep on the the decline from the moment they dropped NOLF and instead did that awful Contract JACK thing.)

    • ResonanceCascade says:

      FEAR was vastly better than the inexplicably overrated clunkfest that was NOLF 2. Yep, I said it. And I don’t mean Contract Jack, that was even worse.

    • Dances to Podcasts says:

      ResonanceCascade has no heart or soul. :(

    • ResonanceCascade says:

      Hey, don’t get me wrong, I love No One Lives Forever, but the sequel didn’t quite work. The inventory was clunky, the stealth mechanics were broken…it had a lot of problems. Still a playable game, but a huge disappointment after the first game. And I don’t remember being in the minority for having that opinion when the game was released. I think the years have been kinder to the game than it probably deserves.

      I dug Tron 2.0 though, and it had some of the same problems, so maybe there’s just no accounting for taste.

  25. Sunjammer says:

    It’s a very good game wrapped in garbage. GFWL can die in a fire, the endless EULAs are a joke, the UI is the worst PC port job since Borderlands, and sitting through the matchmaking is enough to make you want to hurt a person.

    But when you’re in That Match, with the right makeup of players, skills and equipment, on the right map, it feels like the game you’d want CoD to be; Solid mechanics with none of the broness and a genuinely nice sense of humor and place.

    I hope they patch this game up goood over the coming month, because right now, on the PC, it’s basically a repulsive user experience. I got the feeling, as I did from the Eurogamer review, that the PC specific issues overshadow the good core at the center of it all, and it’s a very real, deserved shame.

  26. Grimh says:

    They should have just fully embraced the wackiness of the setting, and gone with a f2p model. I mean, the cosmetic customization stuff alone seem to be made for such a business model.

  27. Tei says:

    I will not condem selling Xp potion DLC in this game if we never ever again see this idea in a paid game. Is bad enough in fremium games. GFWL is a STD. And having to sign in 3 services is like the worst of the worst of modern day gamming.

  28. UnravThreads says:

    At least it has controller support right out of the box, right?

    Right?

  29. neolith says:

    Reading the article it sounds as absolutely nothing in the game has changed for the better since gamescom in Cologne – the game is still shit. And on top of that GFWL and another useless social club? How come so few developers actually want my money?

  30. Navagon says:

    That this game is bad was something that has long been obvious. But the whole DLC bullshit is just stunning. Okay so it’s not required as such. But it plainly states that the game is just a constant grind-a-thon. Really, really awful.

  31. Flappybat says:

    After 5 hours of gameplay I have 4 custom class slots and quite a lot of unlock tokens. The speed of progression seems to be decent, despite spending levels 1-10 with very little unlocks.

    Between the decent default class loadouts and not bad amount of tokens it hands out between 10-25 you get up and running quite fast.

    The crazy amount of DLC is on the console, where XP boosts are time limited and every clothing item is a separate unlock.

    The actual DLC on PC is: All costume items unlocked, calling card backgrounds, XP boost, vanity pets.

  32. Zarunil says:

    If GFWL wasn’t included and the matchmaking was better, I might just have tried this. I don’t feel like troubleshooting GFWL yet another time. Every single game I’ve bought with that malware results in me having to google, reinstall and mess about before I can play the game. No thanks, I’ll pass.

  33. frosty216 says:

    Remember when “DLC” was either a **free** release or a full expansion pack that added considerable content for your money?

    The funniest aspect of it to me is thinking that along the way at least SOMEONE involved in its release had to look at the fate of APB (and others), connect the similarities of their development, and say, “Yeah.. this seems legit.”

  34. Zankmam says:

    Lol, I was thinkinking about checking this out, hoping that it would be good…

    But, first off: It’s not free?!
    Secondly: It’s a port?

    lol

    Tribes: Ascend here I come.

    • Iconik says:

      It’s not a port. It’s multi-platform.

      Why don’t people understand the difference yet?

      Have fun with Tribes. I’m in the BETA, and it’s basically just a luck game. The hitboxes are weird and seem to change depending on the gun. Oh and the guns….don’t bother. Just play whatever class has a Spinfusor. It’s the only gun you’ll see because of its overpoweredness.

  35. omegavondoom says:

    I was sort of looking forward to this as an alternative to TF2 over the weekends, and from what I hear it still kinda looks like it might fit that particular bill well.

    as an alternative.

    But buying out of Fiji always makes me really debate what I purchase (cause of exchange rate) … and this just went down a few notches on my list :(

  36. Premium User Badge

    Cantisque says:

    I had a feeling this would be bad before it was even released, simply because it was multiplayer-only. Most games like that are dead within a few weeks. Add to that all the DLC and extra DRM (whether people agree or not, GFWL is an annoyance, especially on first launch).

    • Iconik says:

      Most games that are multiplayer only are dead within weeks? Where do you live?

  37. Iconik says:

    This review is fairly good. A lot better than some of the others I’ve read here that make me scratch my head wondering what the hell it was I just read. That being said, I think the review is a little underhanded and more than a little unfair.

    The game, when it’s all said and done, is a blast to play. It’s silly, inventive, and an absolute blast. That is, once you can find a game. Although, those things will be fixed soon enough.

    The EULA crap is spot on. But, the macrotransactions are cosmetic. Everything else is bought and unlocked in-game. And at a good clip. If you can’t buy the XP Boost, you should probably find a job that ISN’T at a gas station (petrol for you wonderful limey’s across the pond). It’s inexpensive and definitely worth it. Get the game. It’s actually quite a bit of fun.

    • mondomau says:

      “That being said, I think the review is a little underhanded and more than a little unfair. ”

      Why.
      Clarify, expound. So far all I can see is –
      ” Well, I like it (fair enough) so the reviewer is wrong and dishonest (nope, back this up please). Also, it’s fine for the game to make levelling deliberately tedious because I am gullible enough to hand over more money to the publisher to bypass it (hmmmm).”

    • Iconik says:

      Because anyone that actually gets in and plays it is overcome by the sheer amount of fun to be had. It’s fast paced, silly and there’s tons of action.

      The leveling goes at a steady pace. It’s not tedious or slow as the reviewer states. Wading through the EULA and WB log-ins is a one time offense. It hardly detracts from the amount of fun to be had. In fact, almost every game these days does this, so why not bitch about them?

      The most important factor when reviewing a game like this is fun. And there’s fun in heaps. Absolute heaps. Enough so that I can forgive the fact that I have to make a WB account ONCE or deal with the pacing.

  38. Dances to Podcasts says:

    Oh, Monolith. Such talented developers, such horrible business decisions…

  39. Dhatz says:

    what’s this shit, so you claim its released, but pirates aint heard of it. So it might as well not exist.
    Like “the 3rd Flatout”.