Game Review: Injustice: Gods Among Us

Story By Ryan Tipper

Ryan Tipper 2

Holy air combos and super moves Batman! After much hype and anticipation, “Injustice: Gods Among Us” has finally been released for the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, WiiU and iOS (iPad and iPhone). A DC Comics themed 2D fighter, Injustice offers some of the most popular modern super heroes duking it out for battle supremacy and ultimate bragging rights. Created by the same game studio that released Mortal Kombat, is this game a sure win? Or does it fall to its knees with kryptonite in hand?

Since the early 90s, Mortal Kombat (MK) has been one of the most dominant fighting games on the market. With 19 different renditions and spin-off games created since that time, the series has gained not only a solid community of players but also a pop-culture following. Originally using realistic 2D sprites (game objects) that resembled pixelated versions of real people on screen, the games have evolved as each new generation of gaming consoles have advanced in capability.

The most recent rendition is not a MK game at all, but follows close to the exact same look, feel and principles that make the MK series so popular. This time around, the gaming community gets to see what it would be like if that old question of “who would win in a fight, Batman or Superman?” was finally answered. “Injustice: Gods Among Us” has all the good that has come from the MK series with a fresh new spin.

Developed by NetherRealm Studios, Injustice released on major gaming platforms on April 16, 2013 along with its iOS version which was released 2 weeks earlier. NetherRealm Studios, originally known as Warner Brothers Games Chicago, was founded out of the remains of the gaming company Midway Games after they declared bankruptcy in 2009.Thankfully, NetherRealm is still led by industry veteran, and MK series co-creator, Ed Boon, who has been involved with the MK series since its beginning.

From the roster of super powered heroes and villains to the ridiculous, but ever-famous combo attacks and super moves, Injustice is a thing of beauty to look at. Almost as much fun as it is to watch someone play the game as it is to do so yourself, Injustice will dazzle players with its gorgeous graphics and fast-paced action.

With many of the most common of game modes to choose from in a fighter, Injustice brings something to the table not often seen in a fighting game: its story mode. When a single player takes on the roughly 2-3 hour (depending on your skill level) campaign, they are floored right into the DC world. Cut scenes that carry the story along and introduce each new character in their own way will make DC fans cheer when their favorite pops on screen. As the story unfolds, the player will watch as each iconic hero and villain has their own part to play.

The story mode is broken down into different chapters that focus on one DC hero or villain at a time. You take up the mantle of this character as they progress through different encounters and battles until their major role is over. It’s a nice change on the usual “just fight me” style that most fighters on the market offer. You feel as though you are watching a movie and then get to personally take part in its outcome through the 4 to 5 fights that each character is given.

While the story is short, it gives both DC fans and fighting game fans everything that they would expect to see. The narrative is a little too short, but the content that’s there is solid and entertaining as hell. It has you resenting a hero and cheering for a villain one minute while still holding true to what makes every character great.

The other single player modes are common to the fighting game formula. Battle Mode has you taking on a gauntlet of different characters that get progressively harder with each new match. Also present is the STAR Labs Mode that has you preforming different combos and challenges with each character currently present in the game. Both of these hold new unlockable items that can be used in Injustice, if you are successful. Finally is a Practice Mode that lets you fine-tune your skills with a single character.

Multiplayer is everything that is to be expected with a fighting game. You can join in a battle across the world with people that are as experienced as yourself or watch those that are so good it’s depressing.
With a bevy of unlockable items, costumes and stages, Injustice has a lot to grab for those who wish to collect and see every aspect of the game. This makes for some replayability (other than multiplayer), but loses its luster after a good while.

The combat is what makes Injustice such a blast to play. As a fan of one of the most misunderstood super heroes of all time, Aquaman, there is nothing more satisfying than beating the living crap out of someone as him. All the characters’ motions are unique and fluid and all their button mashing abilities and combos set them apart as well.

The super moves are what make people playing and watching Injustice say “Damn..THAT was cool.” A simple press of the controllers left and right triggers along with proper timing will let you punch your enemy into outer space, only to be smacked back down to earth with deadly force when playing as Superman. Another one is Batman’s flurry of punches only to have him remote call the Bat-Mobile to come and run his enemy over. These make for some really intense and awesome moments in Injustice.

To sum up, I give Injustice overall an 8.0 out of 10. From the graphics to the combat, this game is exactly what the fans of both DC and fighters wanted. The characters come to life as never before in the gaming world and the story (while too short) is one of the best ever devised for this type of game. The replayability is where Injustice does lose its steam, as not much is offered to really keep players hooked. With DC hosting almost a limitless amount of iconic characters, locations and costumes, NetherRealm will have their work cut out for them if they wish to keep the fans button mashing for a long time.

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