Published on April 26th, 2013 | by PJ Douglas2
Review: Injustice: Gods Among Us
“I’ve proved my point. I’ve demonstrated there’s no difference between me and everyone else! All it takes is one bad day to reduce the sanest man alive to lunacy. That’s how far the world is from where I am. Just one bad day. You had a bad day once, am I right? I know I am. I can tell. You had a bad day and everything changed…” – Joker
“WATCH IT, WATCH IT, WATCH IT, WATCH IT, WATCH IT, WATCH IT, WATCH IT, WATCH IT, WATCH IT, WATCH IT!”
Shouted my friend Tom across the table at Nandos, ruining my third bite of the double breast chicken burger (Extra hot, standard) and forever earning himself a place in the list of people I wouldn’t lend a kidney too.
The ‘It’ in question was a deathmatch battle on YouTube between Superman and Goku from Dragonball Z, not being a fan of Dragonball Z (Captain Planet was the limit) I wasn’t too fussed, but how his jolly face lit up as he explained each characters power, the back story of their origins, that schoolyard mentality of wanting to watch one of them obliterate the other simply because they can…
Enter “Injustice – Gods Among Us”
Coming from the brains of DC comics Warner Bros and NetherRealm Studios (Famous for Mortal Kombat) Injustice pits superheroes and villains against each other in a one on one battle using the DC roster of characters which has familiar faces like Batman and Superman, some you may of heard of like the Flash and Deathstroke and erm… Black Adam.
The game is remarkably simple, using a heavy attack, a light attack, a block, and throw as your main attacks, all mapped to one of the buttons, you combine this with a character specific move (Batman’s Bat Bullets, Superman’s limited super strength, etc) to batter the other persons lifebar down to zero.
What makes this different than a normal fighting game is the sheer scale of the battles, fighting through DC locales such as the Batcave, The Fortress of Solitude and The Isle of Themyscira you can pick up pieces of scenery, cars, statues, lampposts, with a single button press and use them to smash your opponent around as well as smash them from one area to another. These ‘transitions’ are fantastic as you smash each other through entire buildings and watch them get crushed by planes through ventilation ducts taking the kind of damage that only superheroes can.
Each superhero has some easy to perform special moves (Down, Forward, Y. Back, Forward, X. Etc) and by using them and taking damage you can build up your super meter and perform a fantastic over the top move such as Superman’s punch into the atmosphere, Bane’s famous back break and Batman running you down with his batmobile. It’s simplicity is fantastic allowing both new players to easily get into the game and feel confident, while scratching beneath the surface reveals a deeper combo system where professionals can bounce others around the level like a ragdoll.
The single player story is surprisingly good for a fighting game, exploring the idea of Superman losing his mind as the result of Joker tricking him and enslaving humanity in a parallel universe which our universe’s heroes head over to, to crack heads and sort it all out. Broken up with ‘test your might’ style minigames and divided into chapters so you get a chance to play as various characters and get a feel for everyone’s style. The game also has a ‘STAR Labs’ mode which is 240 tiny challenges to play through to earn experience and unlock new costumes as well as a classic battle mode where a character of your choice can fight through 12 random enemies arcade style so you can perfect your combos and unlock more information about them.
Online however is where the game comes alive and in my sad opinion falls down slightly. Using either classic versus modes, King of the hill and Survivor (Where you battle with one health bar) you are thrown out against the world to prove your worth. This is great fun when it works and you get an exciting and creative opponent, but more often than not (at the moment at least) it seems people only play as ‘zoners’ meaning they hide in one corner spamming moves that cross the arena so you can never get close to attack.
Other issues I found are that only the bigger characters such as Bane and Lex Luthor can use all the scenery as weapons while the smaller characters such as Catwoman and Joker can only use a few giving the already stronger characters a much bigger advantage, otherwise the inclusion of several lesser known characters seems a waste, and your characters have two life bars per fight, but as soon as one is whittled down your character pauses to quip or pull a pose. This is fine but if you pull off an amazing ten hit move when your opponent has only two small hits worth left in their life bar, that is all the damage you’ll do, petty? Maybe, but annoying online if you do manage to do something amazing.
Overall this is a fantastic bit of fan service from DC and one of the more enjoyable fighting games I’ve played, if only for the aforementioned amounts of destruction you can cause, the online needs to be controlled a little bit, but if they iron that out, we could be looking at one of the new big players in the fighting game genre.
“I won this fight before you even turned up” – Batman
Injustice: Gods Among Us
Summary: A great fighting game for comic book fans and beat 'em up afficianados alike