Injustice: Gods Among Us – Game Analysis and Review
By Christopher Jester
Developer: NetherRealm Studios
Publisher: Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment
Director: Ed Boon
Engine: Unreal 3 Engine
Platforms: Playstation 3, Xbox 360, Wii U, iOS
Release Date: April 16, 2013
With the assistance of NetherRealm Studios, DC Comics finally has a fully realized video game that showcases over-the-top cinematics and a fluid fighting system that rivals the developer’s previous outing, 2011’s Mortal Kombat. The game could easily be Mortal Kombat 2, but it takes its chances by giving players the opportunity to wield the power of DC’s amazing cast of favorite superheroes and villains.
Injustice: Gods Among Us story campaign asks a simple question. What would happen to the world when one of its greatest heroes became a maniacal tyrant? After being tricked into killing Lois Lane and their unborn child, Superman decides that humanity must be checked at all costs. The ensuing story is about the heroes travel into another timeline to face this exact dilemma; with Superman sitting at the highest seat of power.
The story mode is not as long as Mortal Kombat’s but it is in the same vein of its NetherRealm Studio’s predecessor. There are several chapters. Each that allows the player to control a hero or villain, illustrating their role in the story. To put it simply: the story impresses and it feels like something straight out of a major DC Comics story arc. There is humor, amazing choreographed fights, and even some sorrowful deaths.
Where Injustice succeeds is in its realization of comic book heroes battling to the death. Whether it is the story penned by DC Comics’ writers or the impressive battle system from NetherRealm Studios, the game showcases what it would be like to witness these comic characters duking it out. It is the in-game engine that displays this better than the cinematic cutscenes. The in-game fighting is something to behold. There is an amazing feeling seeing someone get smacked through a wall and then land into another landscape. Its comic in its truest form.
Each character’s move-set is highlighted much like fans of the comics would expect. Superman’s punches are lethal and his eye beams are deadly. The Green Arrow is agile and features great special moves with his arrows along with dependable close-quarters-combat. Bane is a massive powerhouse who often screams about how much he wants to “break your back”. It is a comic fan’s ultimate dream. Nevertheless, there are 24 characters to choose from and this should be enough for players. Whether fans of the comics or not, players should be able to find a character to their liking.
Combos are simple to pull off. A newcomer to fighting games could potentially find someone that has simple combos and make a run for it. It also helps that each character has a superpower assigned to a specific button. The Flash can slow down time, Batman calls out a few batdrones, etc. If used correctly, this can be beneficial to turning the fight around. The same can be said with the “clash” mode, where a combo breaker interrupts into a wager of the player’s special meter. Whichever players wagers enough special meter, they win the clash and earns a health regen or damage boost. The strategy with this helps players turn the tide or sacrifice a clash to save up their special meter for more dire times.
Mastery of this game will take time and patience. It was obvious in the review of the online community that player’s skills was all over the place. Joining rooms was easy and perhaps the best way to play the game. Players new to the game should join the Beginner’s Only chat room; be careful of skilled players looking to beat down on newbies. Grasping the technical aspect of this game may be a bit daunting for some. Even using the environment’s weapons will take some practice and getting used to. There was a player online who used nothing but the environment’s weapons to try to win. Since these environmental weapons are unblockable, it takes some strategy to avoid them.
As much as this game isn’t like Mortal Kombat, there are instances where it feels just like it. Injustice is just a less violent, no fatality version of the MK series. Sure, there are no gore but there are movesets that resemble actions from Mortal Kombat characters. Batman has a “Get Over Here!” action with his Batgun, where instead of bringing them to him, he charges them with a kick. He even has a “Get Down Here!” call when he catches someone in the air with the Batgun. It is even more apparent with the Green Lantern who has a levitation move just like Ermac, and not surprisingly if the player sacrifices some of his or her power meter the Green Lantern will slam the enemy twice just like Ermac does in Mortal Kombat.
Additionally, as a bonus NetherRealm studios has added plenty of opportunity to gain costumes and player’s playtime without going online. Players will spend most of their offline time playing traditional versus mode or the tower challenge adventure called STAR Labs in this outing. This challenging mode gives players opportunity to gain more XP and other goodies.
Injustice: Gods Among Us is a great game for fans of the fighting genre. Fans of the DC Universe will especially be pleased at the combat system and the ability to play with their favorite characters. As unique as Injustice tries to be, it still feels a bit too much like Mortal Kombat at times. The gameplay is extravagant and theatrical, but this is what should be expected from a game based on comic book characters. NetherRealm Studios succeeds with another astounding story mode but slides on by as they stay true to their fighting game formula.
Follow Christopher “sLapDatSuCKa” Jester on Twitter @sLapDatSuCka
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