Monolith Productions' newly-announced Gotham City Impostors is either incredibly ambitious or designed purely to enrage comic geeks.
With the success of 2009's Batman: Arkham Asylum, and the unending geek love for Christopher Nolan's gritty films, it's no surprise that DC Comics' parents company Warner Bros. would want to capitalize on the Batman license as often as possible. What is surprising however, is that they'd enlist Monolith Productions to do so via multiplayer first-person shooter.
Though the game, dubbed Gotham City Impostors, takes place in Bruce Wayne's titular New York City analogue, you don't actually play as the World's Greatest Detective. Instead, you take the role of a random Gotham citizen who has chosen to align his or herself with either Batman or the Joker, and, because comic books are all about thematic aesthetics, dresses accordingly.
A hands-on report from Kotaku characterizes the experience as "a bit like a Team Fortress game, with fast gameplay and quick matches." It goes on to detail the game's character customization options, saying players will be able to change "everything from the cowl, legs, hands and feet, to the logo and voice options."
If you're wondering how citizens dedicated enough to dress as Batman can justify the use of firearms, despite the Dark Knight having sworn off them in the early part of the twentieth century, you're not alone. I get how the Joker's nutso charisma could inspire a legion of violent followers, but wouldn't putting on a cowl and toting a machine gun around just make you a particularly annoying target for the real Batman to punch in the kidneys?
Is the Batman-themed side of every multiplayer conflict going to be hampered by the fact that their teammates are constantly having their load-bearing joints broken by a costumed billionaire?
You may scoff, thinking my questions the result of simple geek pedantry, but remember, these are comic book nerds we're talking about. People are still openly ridiculing Joel Schumaker for adding tiny rubber nipples to Batman's costume in Batman Forever, and that was 16 years ago.
Though Monolith has revealed plans to release Gotham City Impostors as a downloadable title via XBox Live, PSN and PC, a release date remains unknown. Hopefully that will give the developer enough time to figure out how to explain this whole thing.