Developed by NetherRealm Studios, Published by Warner Bros: Interactive Entertainment
Released in April 2013
Available on PS3, Xbox 360 and Wii U
This type of game has been around for as long as I can remember, and the genre has been held fast by the likes of Mortal Kombat and Soul Calibre for all of that time. Of late, those two games haven’t been up to par, and the genre has lost a lot of its shine. That all changed though, with the announcement of a new IP, one that pits our beloved DC Superheroes against one another in an alternate universe where good has become evil. Enter Injustice: Gods Among Us, a fresh take on the well loved fighting game.
In Injustice, you can play as one of 24 original DC characters. There is a story mode that was written by NetherRealm Studios in collaboration with DC Comics’ writers as a stand-alone story told through cinematic cut scenes. This is different to the normal ladder experience a player gets in a single player fighter, and the idea behind the cut scenes is to allow for a player to understand just why Superman and Batman are facing off.The story has also been released as a comic book that starts just before the game does. Its being released on a schedule (weekly or monthly) and when its complete will be released in a collected volume.
There are several chapters in the single player campaign, and you play as a different character in each one. You then face off against a few opponents and may encounter a mini game, which can be anything from button mashing to having quick fingers or good aim. Both players have a double layered health bar, and their own super meter. This meter allows for super attacks if it’s full, or you can bet a portion of the power in a clash against the other player which can result in a loss of life or a gain in health.
Injustice has a new take on the environments in which fights take place because instead of combat that takes place between the two contestants, so for instance you can now smash Batman over the head with an explosive barrel, or kick him into a statue in the distance. All environments are rendered in a three dimensional manner and have multiple tiers, so after you’ve beaten Batman down with the barrel and the statue and you have him on the very edge of the stage, land a heavy attack and you’re likely to send him flying to another area of the level, with a rather large dent to his health bar. These level transactions are smooth, and they add a nice touch to the game.
The campaign is medium length, but there are additional features that make up for that. There is a Battle Mode, Versus Mode, Training Mode, and finally the S.T.A.R. Labs, which includes 240 character-specific challenges, some really easy, and some hard enough to turn your hair grey.
As for Online multiplayer, King of the Hill is the most prominent mode. It allows up to eight players to spectate a match while waiting for their turn to fight, and Survivor, a mode in which the winner’s health bar and character selection continue over to their next match. You can also enter pools that meet your experience point level and play people who you are evenly matched against.
As you play through the game, in both single and multiplayer, you’ll be awarded experience points. These points can be used towards alternate costumes, music and concept art. The graphics in the game are acceptable. There were a few glitches in the cut scenes but nothing that broke the game or made it any less worth playing. Each of the characters that we know and love that appear on Injustice’s roster, are well modeled. They closely resemble their comic book counterparts and their abilities and powers in game are brought to life in a way that does the character justice.
The musical score of the game is well placed during battle, but the voice over’s for some characters were really poor. There was also a lack of originality in some of the one liners and annoyingly, the victory line in versus mode is always the same for a character.
All in all this game has so much content that a player can be kept busy for weeks. The difficulty level of the game remains challenging, and I do suggest that you go through the tutorial and some training before jumping in. The controls may seem simple but getting the combos that make you say “Wow!” take some serious co-ordinating. DLC is being released on a regular basis, with Lobo, Batgirl, Scorpion and General Zod joining the roster up until now as well as several packs with alternate skins for characters being available.
There was also a free-to-play iOS game released which when played in conjunction with the main game unlocks features across both platforms. You can see our review on the mobile game here.
Injustice is a worthy new addition to this classic genre. It’s fun, looks good, and features some of our favourite heroes and villains fighting a war against themselves in an alternate universe. What more could you ask for?
Rating:Reviewed on Xbox 360