Platform: PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Wii U
Reviewed by Darryl Linington
The world of video games has seen many fighting games in the past; however, the only games that truly shone in this genre recently have been Mortal Kombat, Tekken, Street Fighter, Soul Calibur and a handful of other titles. While these heavyweights have already racked up some impressive review scores, we now look towards the new kid on the block… Injustice: Gods Among Us.
Look! Up in the sky! Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No… It’s the erratic, psychotic Superman! What if the heroes we know and love become man’s greatest threat? What if Superman decided to kick the old goodie two shoes act in the face due to one catastrophic event that not only killed many citizens, but also killed those closest to Superman’s heart? Will the line between good and evil be obscured? Or will the consequences become too much even for the mightiest of heroes to face?
Yip, that’s right… Superman is on the warpath, which means that humanity is in massive trouble. To top it all off, Superman has pretty much forced a band of Super Heroes together in order to do his bidding, or suffer the consequences. Fortunately, there is a light at the end of the tunnel, which comes in the form of an alternate universe. In this alternative universe the catastrophic event that set Superman off the rails never occurred; however, it now falls on the shoulders of these heroes to step up and stop Superman’s reign of terror and bring back order and peace.
When it comes to the storyline of Injustice: Gods Among Us, NetherRealm Studios has achieved something that some developers in this genre have not – which is that they have created an actual storyline that not only fits the genre, but is engaging and entertaining at the same time. The only problem with it is it seems to be a little inconsistent. You see, at times Injustice: Gods Among Us will blow your mind; however, there are times where the story slips into a slight coma.
When it comes to gameplay, Injustice Gods Among Us reminds me of Mortal Kombat in many ways. The control structure is pretty much the same, which means that if you have mastered many of the characters in Mortal Kombat 9, you won’t have a hard time getting to grips with Injustice: Gods Among Us.
Slugging it out with your favourite character is done in a one-on-one fashion. Each match consists of one round; however, each character has two health bars. Additionally, each character has his/her own trait, a special move that separates him/her from the rest, which can be used in order to gain a slight advantage over your opponent. So for instance Batman has the ability to summon a swarm of robotic bats to his side, while the Green Arrow can fire off (pointing out the obvious here) arrows at his opponent. This allows each character to be unique and not just be a character model that has been duplicated in order to extend upon character selection.
Each character also has a special move, which can be performed when your Super Meter is charged to the max. Each special move is unique as well as completely over the top. I mean Batman completely devastates his opponent by electrocuting them and then ends things off by running his opponent over with the Batmobile. It is all rather epic to experience; however it still feels like something is missing. While I know this title is not Mortal Kombat, I still feel that Injustice: Gods Among Us could have benefited with finishing moves. Granted, Mortal Kombat’s finishing moves were violent and graphic, but even a toned down version of them would have been most welcomed.
One of the highlights of Injustice: Gods Among Us is the actual fighting arenas. These include: The Batcave, Fortress of Solitude, Watchtower and many more. The reason why the arenas are such great highlights is due to the fact that they feature interactive environments, as well as multiple tiers, which will allow you to smash opponents from one level to another, provided you hit your opponent hard enough at the edge of the screen.
Injustice: Gods Among Us also features a clash system, which will allow each player to wager a certain amount of their Super Meter in order to expand upon their own. Once the clash is initiated, the characters will interact with each other. Superman will say specific lines to Green Arrow and vice-versa. After this, both characters will charge at each other in a manner that resembles some rather familiar anime shows. Logically the person who wagered the most of their Super Meter will win the clash, which will give them a distinct advantage if they were losing the match in the first place. I must admit that my favourite character to clash with was The Joker as he looks hilarious when he runs towards his opponent.
Getting back to the story mode, Injustice: Gods Among Us features several chapters. These chapters are split up between different characters, which ultimately allows you to get some hands-on time with each character. Additionally the story mode features some rather interesting interactive elements, which come in the form of quick time events and some rather challenging mini-games. While some of these are great to experience, others seem to be a slight distraction and annoyance. Thankfully, you are not forced to finish them if you fail them, but just keep in mind that they will influence your upcoming match by docking health from your character.
Once you are done with the main storyline you can check out the various offline/online modes that the game has to offer.
Offline content features the following:
Battle Mode: Battle Mode is your traditional arcade ladder.
Versus Mode: Challenge your mates to see who will dominate who.
S.T.A.R Labs: This includes many character specific challenges which vary in difficulty.
Online content features the following:
King of the Hill: This is really fun to experience as eight players spectate a match while waiting for their turn to fight.
Two-player online practice mode.
Graphically, Injustice: Gods Among Us looks pretty good. The character models are visually appealing as well as the environments. Unfortunately, the cutscenes seem a little jagged at times; however, you will have to really focus of the visuals in order to see this. Occasional graphical glitches do occur, but none of this ruined the overall experience.
The voice cast has also done a great job voicing most of the characters. While some characters sounded great, others seemed to have taken a backseat when it came to the voice over talent involved.
Overall, Injustice: Gods Among us is a great game, it may have its faults, like its lack of proper finishing moves; however, these faults are few. At the end of the day, NetherRealm Studios has taken some of DC’s most iconic characters to date, placed them in an arena, and allowed them to slug it out with grace and style.
So, if you are tired of having epic battles with your plastic figurines, then I suggest picking up Injustice: Gods: Among Us and watching as the battles unfold on screen.
Lasting Appeal: 9/10
Reviewed predominantly on the PlayStation 3.