Injustice: Gods Among Us Review – 8 GPPs
Ever wondered who would win a fight between Superman and Batman? Or Wonder Woman and Green Lantern? Well, now you can find out with this great new fighting game from the makers of Mortal Kombat 9. With 24 DC and 4 DLC characters available (later in the year) all the favourites are there…. and more.
Like MK 9, Injustice features a story mode with cinematic sequences tying in fights and featuring all of the characters; there is no choice in who you control in this particular mode. Personally I don’t think a story is really necessary in a fighting game, but it does give you a rest after most fights, treating you to some wonderful animation before the next battle starts.
The story revolves around the heroes being transported to alternate universe by the Batman of that world in order to get them to help him defeat Superman, who was tricked by the Joker into killing Lois Lane and their unborn child and is now hell-bent on destruction. An interesting story but not amazing as its real job is to introduce all of the characters and justify why they are fighting each other / teaming up with the villains, when they wouldn’t normally. Still better than stories featured in the Street Fighter and Tekken games, so no reason to complain for me.
The character designs are as I would expect them to be and as this is also published by Warner Bros, some of the story ties in with the Arkham Asylum/City games and the Batman character designs are the same. If any DC comic featured here is top-heavy in terms of characters, it’s Batman, but why not? Don’t worry if you have the same favourite as your friend; you can always play as the same one and use a different costume design if you want.
As this was developed by NetherRealm Studios, the fighting controls and styles are quite similar to MK. Personally, I find the control method a bit tricky to pull off, especially when using analogue sticks, as it’s harder to get quick left and right or up and down to trigger accurately, than it is to with a half/quarter crescent movement used in Capcom‘s games ( though some moves in Injustice are triggered this way.)
Moves are generally a lot simpler to trigger than MK though, as you don’t need to press half as many buttons (even the most impressive actions) but it may take quite a bit of practice to master some of the combos. Each character has one super move, which incorporates a jaw-dropping, over-the-top animation; these can be triggered by just pressing 2 buttons simultaneously, which sounds a bit too easy but you need to build up a meter by blocking attacks or taking hits first. It’s just a shame that this action is limited to one per character, as it can be a get a bit dull using the same one every fight; a bit of variety would have been nice.
For me the best thing, and one which makes this game stand out from the others, is how interactive the fighting arenas/stages are; throughout each one there are a number of objects, which can be used either to rebound off, to get behind your opponent without getting hit, or simply to throw at them; also the background crumbles as you fight. My favourite part of all, is the fact you can kick your opponent out of the arena, triggering an amazing animated transition to another level of the stage causing damage to them on the way. All of this really gives you the feel of fighting with superhuman might.
This trailer gives you some examples of some of the moves, stage destruction and transitions in the game:
Online mode is very much like MK9 as you either search for players to fight individually or enter game lobbies and find them that way; some lobbies will have a number of players lined up to challenge each other in a King-of-the-Hill mode. This means you may have to wait for a while before it’s your turn but you can spectate the other matches while you’re waiting and see what you’re up against. Suffice to say I was beaten pretty badly most of the time as there are some pretty skilled players out there and I’m more suited to Street Fighter style controls . Was great fun though and I did a little dance of joy when I actually beat somebody.
There’s so much to unlock by completing stages, pulling off a number of moves and other achievements: extra modes, costumes, artwork and profile backgrounds and icons; but sadly no extra characters (until the DLC of course). This all gives you motivation to play over and over again and coupled with the fact that there are quite a few variations of battles; all heroes, all villains, survival, timed, just to name a few gives the games a lot of longevity.
Saying all that, I feel Injustice is lacking in a few areas. As well as each character being limited to one super move, they only have one intro and outtro, which again gets a bit repetitive. Also, although there is an abundance of game modes…. there’s no tag-team mode?! I think the developers have missed a trick there as it would have really added so much to the game and this alone would have motivated me to score it at least another point.
Overall while Injustice is lacking in a few areas, it’s still a very entertaining, addictive game, which should satisfy DC and Mortal Kombat fans alike. But although simplified, SF fans may find it a little tricky. All of the negatives I’ve mentioned are pretty minor and do not outweigh the positives; everything is done well and looks and sounds great. It’s the best fighting game released in a long time and my favourite, along with Marvel Vs Capcom 3. So go and get this for your chance to feel like your favourite superhero and determine who’s the best of the best.