Injustice: Gods among Us Review
Injustice: Gods among Us is a fighting game to all platforms developed by NetherRealm Studios. The game shows a lot of ingenuity on one hand and keeping the norms of the genre on the other. Injustice is like Mortal Kombat (or Mortal Kombat 9), the other game of the same developer and much more.
Injustice is a new experience and an ensemble of many concepts. The game is directed towards both comic-book fans, as the roster made out of characters from DC Comics, and fans of the fighting genre. It has an extensive single player and a lively multiplayer. It features high-quality story and diverse gameplay.
I first heard about the game after a huge internet campaign of the developer. The developers brought celebrities related to games, comic-books and others (many times tied to Warner Bros., parent company of both NetherRealm Studios and DC Comics) to commentate on a tournament between characters from the gaming roster. The winner is voted by fans on that week. It started 3 months before the release of the game. This is a great way to build hype.
This is the fighting game with the best story I’ve ever had a chance to play and one of the best in general. It is surprising it’s coming from a fighting game where the story is always a weakness. Yet, the game’s gameplay is complicated. Even seasoned players at the genre will need a few hours to master a few characters, and a few arenas.
In the game there are mechanics that resemble other game such as the usage of a meter bar for doing actions, and like in Street Fighter, there is no special block button but backwards button is blocking. The 4 buttons are divided into 3 attacks: light, mid and heavy. The fourth button is not used to launch somebody into the air like in Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3, but for a special ability per character. Superman gets a temporary strength bonus and Nightwing switches between weapons.
The meter itself is divided into 4 parts and fills up during the fight from doing and receiving damage. When the meter is completely full, you can activate the super ability unique to each character. They are mostly long for no reason, though pretty in the first few times you see them. You can also use the meter to stop a combo by sacrificing a quarter. The Clash System, where every player chooses how many parts to sacrifice, give the victor recovery bonus. Every player can for the Clash System once a game. Also interesting is how life is calculated, instead of the best out of 3, every player has 2 consecutive health meters.
A significant thing in Injustice is the arenas. There are many parts in them players can use. Characters on the roster are divided into power characters and gadget characters. For example, a power character will throw a car while a gadget character will blow it up. The arenas themselves are divided into a few parts, and you can pass between them by hitting a heavy attack near the edge. The opponent will receive a lot of damage from it. Same as the super moves, it’s too long. The developers made it so every player chooses an arena and the game picks one at random. The competition begins before the game!
The gameplay isn’t intuitive at all for beginners as Tekken is. The game still doesn’t block new players to genre completely like UMvC3. Injustice isn’t an easy game, yet it’s placed around the golden mean of the learning curve. In online games on top of normal battling, there are 2 multiplayer modes: King of the Hill, up to 10 players, 2 players fight as the others hold for their turn. Survivor: players take the remaining health bar to the next game.
The story is plain and simple. Not only the story is as a classic DC crossover event, it allows playing half the cast through. Unlike MK vs. DCU, the last collaboration, the campaign isn’t just an excuse to test the characters. Here, the campaign is to explain why good characters will fight each other and even themselves.
The roster of characters is obvious besides 2-3 characters to fill in the gaps between good vs. evil, power vs. gadget and specific nemeses of other characters. (I’m surprised Shazam is playable. He is the only character to not star in a comic-book of his own but appear in bot MK vs. DCU and Injustice). The arenas too are iconic places of the DC universe with one unique to the game. Many characters that didn’t make it in the game got into the backgrounds of the arenas or to the Star Lab Missions. The missions are minigames that allow you a better in depth look on characters. Some minigames have their variations in the game. The assimilation of NPC is done amazingly well in both.
The animation is perfect. The characters are drawn excellently in a sharp and serious manner such as DC is doing. All characters have gotten in cool original costumes. The dubbing is great in most characters. But, what the game really misses is good background music. It is too quite for a game so aggressive. Also, the sounds when the characters hit and get hit repeat themselves, and are usually not good on the first time too.
The developers constantly release new DLC’s of new characters, skins of existing characters and Star Lab Missions. I hope the game will get support as much as it needs. The advertising game for mobile still continues to be active because people like it. They really put a lot of work into the franchise to exist and expand.
Injustice: Gods among Us is a great game that gives a lot to comic-book fans from one hand and fans, especially competitive ones, of the fighting genre on the other. The story, the characters, the places, the atmosphere, it all breathes DC Comics. The Star Lab Missions add a casual facet to the game. If you want to relax from the competitive gameplay, you can pass time and playing the 200+ missions, many times not related to the fighting mechanics. The game gives you experience points and bonuses to everything you do. It is simply monetization of a game you already paid for to get more money from the DLC and keep players in competitive multiplayer. I defiantly suspect fighting games in the future will include many of Injustice’s innovations.