Photo courtesy segmentnext.com
Photo courtesy segmentnext.com

All’s Fair In Love And Killing Your Wife

Things are bleak in Injustice: Gods Among Us, the newest fighter from Mortal Kombat developers NetherRealm. How bleak you may ask? Oh, just that Lex Luthor has given The Joker a nuclear bomb that he uses to completely obliterate Metropolis. So you think that would naturally piss off Superman. Were not done yet. The Joker also drugged Supes into thinking that Lois was Doomsday so he flew her out into space killing her and his unborn child.

Damn. Cold blooded.

So naturally Superman loses his freaking mind and does his best impression of Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom and rips out The Joker’s heart.

Kali Ma. Kali Ma. Kali Ma.

Wait…I hear you saying. I thought this was a fighting game. And you would be correct. Injustice has a full-fledged story mode like 2011’s Mortal Kombat and it is simply fun as hell to play. Crazy Superman has taken over the Earth and is forming it to the crime free society he desires…by any means necessary.

Don’t worry this is a comic book story so there is multiple dimensions to save the day!

Batman from batshit crazy Superman dimension transports Justice League members over to his version of Earth to fight the tyranny of Superman. You will play as the majority of characters in the story mode and each section will give you four or five fights per character making the story mode the most entertaining way to learn a lot of fighters ins and outs.

There are 24 characters that make up Injustice’s roster and that is not including the four additional fighters coming in future DLC. The variety that NetherRealm threw in the game is refreshing. Sure, you are going to get your DC mainstays like Superman, Batman, Green Lantern, Lex Luthor and The Joker, but they have featured characters that do not normally get very much time in the spotlight except to lifelong comic fans. Hawkgirl, Ares, Black Adam and Raven are not household names and NetherRealm has done a wonderful job making these “lesser” characters feel like they not only belong with the big boys, but can handle their own against them.

Injustice02
Photo courtesy gigaventure.com

Hi, I’m Batman. I Will Be Punching Your Face This Evening.

Combat in Injustice feels a lot like 2011’s Mortal Kombat and that is a good thing. NetherRealm created a good combat engine and they transferred that here while tweaking a few of the collision issues. Controls are boiled down to three buttons for attacks and a fourth for a hero’s special ability. This could be anything from Batman calling in three explosive floating bat-bombs to Aquaman creating a water based shield around his costume to reduce damage for a small amount of time. These abilities regenerate after a few seconds and can help to extend combos in some cases and add a new small layer of strategy to each fight.

Character special moves have very different feels to them for each character and fits the personality of each fighter well. Aquaman uses his trident, The Joker has his Jason Todd-killer while The Flash uses his super speed to whip you into shape. Playing through each of the characters in battle mode (your normal MK mode where you make your way through ten different fights in a row) will yield some pleasant surprises. This is the best mode to learn every aspect of a fighter, especially ones not playable in the story. You can not simply learn a character fully without spending time with multiple fights. Going outside your box of favorites may have you developing a new found fondness for a hero and villain you never thought would grab your attention. When I left my Superman, Batman and Green Lantern and began to focus on other characters I found just how awesome and varied that attacks were. Before I knew it I did not want to move away from Green Arrow, Ares, Shazam and others.

NetherRealm has absolutely loaded Injustice to the brim with so many modes, extras and unlockables. When you find yourself past the story mode and even after you have blasted through battle mode with all 24 characters there are the S.T.A.R. Labs section. The S.T.A.R. Labs will have you taking control of all 24 heroes and villains in mission based fights or mini-games. There are 240 missions total and each one comes with a star rating of one to three. Each fight has a set of parameters to meet and you receive a star rating depending on how well you do. The more stars you earn, the farther you can go into the S.T.A.R. Labs. Some of these can be easily attained and some of them had me wanting to kick my television in the face. That, to me, is the sign of a good fighter.

Photo courtesy polygon.com
Photo courtesy polygon.com

Let’s Get Interactive

There are a total of 15 arenas to choose from in Injustice and all of them have a list of interactive objects to use during your fights. These make the game feel truly more like a fight in the comic world than anything else. Want to hit your opponent with a motorcycle outside of Wayne Manor? Go for it! Roundhouse kick them Chuck Norris-style into Aquaman’s throne in Atlantis? Go ahead, Texas Ranger. Things get violent on an even bigger scale when you obliterate opponents through walls setting off an unfortunate chain of accidents which lead to another arena.

http://youtu.be/ZFwZd-Ur1_A

With every fight, no matter what mode you are playing in, you will gain experience points allowing you to level up. As you progress upwards you will begin to gain access code cards which you can spend to unlock character costumes and loads of other goodies. Character cards, booster packs and even unlockables that link from the Injustice iOS game that ensure if you want to 100% this game, you will be spending a lot of quality time bashing in Sinestro’s face. Do not take this for a simple fight ladder type of game. There is real depth here.

Make no mistake, Injustice is NO Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe. NetherRealm has taken the best things from 2011’s Mortal Kombat including an engaging, multi-dimensional story and given comic fans a true fighter that is a worthy successor to MK, but also (hopefully) a mighty new franchise. The sheer amount of modes and extras to unlock is a bit mind boggling. I applaud the developers for taking a chance and not simply churning out a Mortal Kombat sequel (which I would not be against by the way), but taking a different avenue. Comic fans and fighting game fans will be hard pressed to find something as fun…until Lobo is released as DLC that is.

 

 

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