A quick break…literally.
I thought we could take a quick break from the action-adventure series that is The Legend of Zelda, and I could review a different type of game. This is Injustice: Gods Among Us.
Have you ever laughed at Aquaman for his ridiculous outfit or his seemingly useless superpowers? Well, not this time. Injustice: Gods Among Us is a fast-paced, action-packed 2D fighting game made by the creators of Mortal Kombat using your favorite DC superheroes and villains. How action-packed you ask? Let’s start!
If there was a word that was more extreme and meaningful than action-packed, this is when it would be appropriate. The fighters come with new costume designs in HD. The battles take place on very detailed stages that have more to hurt your opponent with than you could use. The best part? It all looks great, except for the occasional glitch, one example being when Superman’s head looks like it’s going through his cape. Besides that, Netherrealm has created a world to remember. A big part of that world is what is known as stage transitions. When you push your opponent close enough to the edge of a stage, given that it has a stage transition, initiating this will take your opponent through a world of pain whether it’s being kicked through a wall and Bruce Wayne’s roof or getting beaten on by select few villains from the Batman universe. Another mechanic of the game that’s fun to look at is the super moves that can be performed when your meter is full. A character like Flash can use this move to run around the earth and land a jaw-breaking two-punch combo on his opponent.
There’s so much going on with the visuals that it seems Netherrealms didn’t pay much attention to the music. There’s one song for each stage that you most likely won’t notice considering everything there is to look at. The one song per stage wouldn’t be quite a problem except there’s only 15 stages with some slightly altered copies contributing to that 15. The creators most likely thought since there are stage transitions in some of the stages, this would make up for the small number. However, you will notice the flaw after several fights.
Unless you’re only committed to fighting games with a large stage collection, do not be discouraged by a small number of places to fight. The most important part, the fighting, is worth your time. A lot of fighting games end up having exploits that ruin the game for some people. A balanced roster is key. Injustice does a fantastic job with balancing each character and making each of them unique though the occasional player can still manage to spam you with an attack like eye-lasers from Superman. Even then, there are characters that have the potential to deter your opponent from a spamming strategy. A character like Nightwing can pull of an easier to dodge but faster projectile attack against a character like Superman right before he attempts to shoot lasers across the screen.
Where Injustice does so well is in the easy to learn, hard to master formula. Right from the beginning, you can go through the tutorial to learn the basics. Just doing this will give you a good basis for fighting with any character. You’ll be performing special moves and stage transitions with ease in no time. It gets better. Through a mode called S.T.A.R.S Lab, you can learn the specifics of each character through ranked missions. This mode encourages thinking about potential combos. Once you get the hang of specific combos, you can really become an expert fighter whether it’s inventing your own devastating 21 hit combo with Catwoman or finding a combo that delivers 30% damage with Bane.
Story Mode, S.T.A.R.S Lab and Other Modes
Besides local and online multiplayer, you can choose between the story mode, S.T.A.R.S Lab missions and variety of different arcade style Battle modes. The story mode progresses like Mortal Kombat, giving different characters that you have to fight with to go through the story. Though not bad, the story isn’t extremely compelling. Batman is on a mission to stop Superman from being the ruler of the earth. What drives Superman to the brink of madness? The Joker of course, who else? Batman uses a sort of dimensional transporter to recruit help. Though there’s not much to complain about, it frequently seemed like the plot was made just to give characters a reason to fight others and different dimension versions of themselves. There’s a lot of background that can be learned by purchasing Injustice comics. They’re only 99 cents per issue, so if you have a couple bucks lying around, it’s worth taking a look at for what it costs.
Though S.T.A.R.S Lab can be a great tool to learn how to use any character, it sometimes feels like a drag to complete all of the missions for one character. There are occasional rehashed mini-games that contribute to about one or two missions out of ten for each character. You don’t have to do them of course, but when you’re trying to complete the game you feel obliged. Besides those missions, the others are fun to give a try and attempt to get all of the stars that you can. There’s even costumes available for completing a certain amount of missions at certain levels.
Once you have gotten a hang of the game, you can test your abilities against the computers in the Battle modes. There’s a classic mode that has an ending for each character, but there are other types also. Each battle mode becomes more and more difficult until you’re trying to defeat every character on the highest level with only one life. Different Battle modes can help gauge where you’re at skill-wise.
|-Pretty well balanced roster||-Minor infrequent glitches with the visuals (that don’t affect gameplay)|
|-Each character has his or her own fighting style and feel different||-S.T.A.R.S lab missions can sometimes feel like a drag|
|-Environmental hazards, stage transitions and special moves are cool to watch||-The lack of stages become apparent once you have played them all|
|-Players can be introduced well into the general controls in tutorial and with specific characters in S.T.A.R.S Lab||-Not an extremely compelling story which seems to give excuses for characters fighting each other and themselves|
The Acosta Statement
What an injustice it would be to not give this game a try, whether it’s because you’re a fighting game fan, a DC comics fan or someone new to fighting games. Even if you don’t like fighting games, you could be surprised at how much fun you can have with this game.
DLC for the Wii U version of Injustice is promised to be coming soon, so don’t lose hope!
(EDIT) DLC for the Wii U version is now available!
You can find Injustice comics @ comixology.com