Injustice: Gods Among Us Review
It’s a bird. It’s a plane. It’s a pretty fun game.
Two years after the successful reboot of Netherrealm Studio’s last project, Mortal Kombat 9, comes their latest fighting game: Injustice. Those of you into comic books or fighting games may already know that they had already tried this before with the 2008 release Mk vs. DC, which, to put it mildly, was rather bad. That being said, I was skeptical upon hearing them making another fighter with famed DC characters, as that would mean the combat would be toned down as it was before. However, after playing it for a while, I came away rather pleased. How good was it? Will you enjoy what it offers? Will I stop asking these needless questions? Read on to find out!
The game starts off in an alternate Earth where Metropolis, the home town of Superman, has been destroyed by some scheme perpetrated by the Joker. Stricken with grief and anger, Superman does what Batman could never do: take revenge on the Joker. With that done, Superman then establishes a totalitarian regime under the guise of the “One Earth Government” and has all remaining heroes and villains either pledge allegiance to him or face death. Through some haphazard mean, selected heroes from our own ‘Earth Prime’ are then teleported into the new Metropolis in an attempt to prevent their world from falling into even darker times. Sound confusing? It plays out a lot better than I make it seem, and by the end of the five hour or so story mode, I was thoroughly impressed.
The bigger question, however had to be the fighting engine. If the combat was lame, the whole game would suffer, for it a fighter game at the end of the day. However, Netherrealm did a great job with this by completely removing the combat system from Mk vs. DC and replacing it with something like a cross between Street Fighter and older Mortal Kombat games. It’s a 2D/3D fighter in that the 3D characters fight on a 2D plane. Each fighter has the same punch and kick buttons, with the addition of a special button unique to each character. Depending on when you press this button, you may turn the battle in your favor. Examples of these are Flash tapping into the speed force to slow down the fight for everything but himself, or Wonder Woman switching from her Lasso of Truth to her shield and sword for different battle tactics. The stages themselves also play a huge role. In each of the stages are various things in the background (cars, barrels, computers, missiles, and so on) that you can use in battle. Say you are trapped in a corner. If you are an agile character like Batman and near a ledge, you can hop on the ledge and flip out from the corner safely. Likewise, if you are a brute like Bane, you can take the same ledge, break it apart and throw the pieces at your opponent. However, you can also use a power attack to launch your opponent through part of the stages and, following a hilariously brutal cutscene of the person flying through the backdrop, be brought to another part of the same level (think Mortal Kombat 3 stage transitions).
Outside of the online/offline fighting are a load of unlockables for fans of DC lore to uncover and a slew of mini games ranging from gauntlet battles (1 against many) to fun, albeit silly, feats of strength, like using Superman to protect citizens from incoming missiles.
Bottom Line: This game is surprisingly a blast to play. I did not think I would like it as much as I did. If any of you comic readers ever picked up Irredeemable, this is essentially the same story, with almost the exact same events playing out. For those of you who have not, the story will definitely leave you wanting more. My only gripes with the game were that it’s kind of hard for those who are not already seasoned in fighting games to get the hang of combat, as the timing for certain moves is very strict, though there is a tutorial to help curb this. Aside from that, and the somewhat short story mode length, this game is a solid purchase for fighting game fans and comic book junkies alike, and a strong rental for those more casual players.