Injustice Gods Among Us
When Injustice Gods Among Us was announced as being in development on May 31, 2012, we had flashbacks…
On November 16, 2008 Midway Games released Mortal kombat vs DC universe which turned out not to be the game we all had hoped for. As the use of a DC license in MK vs. DC implied some restrictions had to be made to the characteristic violence in Mortal Kombat games. Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe thus was restricted to a “Teen” rating. Therefore, the iconic Fatalities that the series was known for, such as Sub-Zero’s “Spine Rip” were replaced due to their violent nature.
A lot of gamer’s where not happy, yes we had seen crossovers before like ‘Marvel VS Capcom 2’ but in those games you never saw any one get their head ripped off or burnt alive. So when long-time fans of the series who were used to the “insane amounts of gore” found out there was no finishing moves you could understand why they had their doubts when Injustice: Gods among us was announced as MK was known for it’s over the top finishers.
Though MK VS DC did get some praise from critics, the game’s story ”did a great job of giving players a cohesive, if far-fetched, story line that’s fun if not engaging,” as well as “comic book-like” dialogue. MK vs. DC’s Kombo Challenge mode was criticized as a thin and frustrating mode with combos that required very exact timing. The modes of Klose Kombat and Free-fall Kombat were praised as concepts but were criticized in their execution as they appeared to slow down the gameplay and took the player out of the experience.
The test for Nether Realm Studios with Injustice was t0 create a game outside of the Mortal Kombat universe that was dramatically different within the fighting genre. Injustice Gods Among us builds upon the tried and tested formula of the Mortal Kombat fighting mechanics and gives its own unique twist with the tool set and content DC universe brings to the table.
Batman VS Superman
Many comic book fans have debated on who would win in a fight between these two, after seeing a poster in ‘I am Legend’ yet most would think superman would win hands down the plot in Injustice: Gods among us is meant to rationalize the game’s fighting mechanics between characters that would not normally fight one another and explain how Batman can “stand toe-to-toe” with Superman being the man of steel.
But this is not the case as the story in Injustice: Gods among us is handle in a similar way ‘MK VS DC’ was. After the Joker destroys Metropolis and tricks Superman into killing Lois Lane and their unborn child, Superman murders the Joker in front of Batman in a fit of rage and establishes a new world order. A battle ensues between the forces of Superman’s Regime and those allied with Batman’s Insurgency. The Insurgency discovers an alternate universe where the Joker’s plan did not succeed and transport several of its super heroes in order to help them defeat Superman’s Regime.
The story in Injustice Gods Among us is an interesting one as you have a Super hero turned god, who decides free will is not allowed and that it’s better that he rules all and any who oppose him will be dealt with. This is superman as you have never seen him before, sure we have seen him be controlled by red kryptonite, or even step down… but in Injustice: Gods among Us. This is Superman at his darkest (or close to it).
The characters were designed with the intent to make each fighter unique. Fighting styles and move sets were all tailored to the lore and personality of each character. Nether Realm Studios stated that DC Comics had given them a large amount of freedom with their properties, allowing them to put their own spin on characters. Several other characters from the DC Universe also appear as non-player characters, making cameo appearances in story cuts scenes, stages, and other game modes.
Though much of the original voice over cast is in here, which really adds to the atmosphere. One of our issues with the game comes from how bland some of the textures look when up close, this is especially noticeable during the in-game engine cut scenes. Which unfortunately does spoil the overall look and feel of the game. Nether Realm were however able to take more risks with Injustice Gods Among Us, as they weren’t obliged or expected to make this a Mortal Kombat clone. It needed to have its own flare and personality unlike the restrictions on MK vs DC. They removed some key aspects from the Mortal Kombat formula such as removing the traditional dedicated block button. The use of the DC Comics license implied restrictions to the amount of violence in the game; however, Nether Realm Studios replaced the violence with “crazy, over-the-top action and it works so well. Punching the Joker around the Bat Cave never felt so good nore did it ever feel so real, what Nether Realm Studios have done with the DC license is amazing, showing that they are a very capable studio and have learnt from their mistakes.
As gone was the “Free-Fall Kombat” that was introduced into MK vs. DC. In such stages where it is allowed, two characters can battle in mid-air for the chance to land on top of the opponent and perform maximum damage. Now we have ‘level transitions’, were players can knock their opponent out of the said arena into another battle field, allow for some extra damage.
‘The Transition period’
Watching Harley Quinn beat crap out of the joker in a lift in the bat cave, feels like well-deserved justice indeed. The controls are close to that of ‘Marvel Vs. Capcom 3’ as you have three attack buttons and a Special Move button for which each character has a different Special move. As said before there is no dedicated block button, which are now replaced with; Throw, Interact. You can change your stance, which really only allows you to see the character from a different angle. One of the newest additions is the ‘Interact Button’ which makes for some great fights, ever wanted to smash a sign on the other opponents head, throw a pig’s meat carcass into your opponent. Or even jump off a tank to get you out of a tight spot. Well Injustice Gods among Us allows you to do this seemlessly without ruing the flow of the combat.
We also get a mechanic called Meter Burn, this is what you would come to expect from a Beat-em up game. This mechanic allows you to cancel moves, as well as use during combos. Using the Meter burn will use up some of your Super Meter, you can use the ‘Meter Burn’ during some moves allowing for additional damage and the move can look quite different. Using the ‘Meter burn’ can make for some interesting combos, and can’t wait to see what gamers will come up with using this mechanic.
Nether Realm Studios have also added a gameplay feature called ‘Wager’ which during certain parts of the battle the player has the chance to regain some of his health back. However the opposing player can also use this opportunity to inflict more damage. This move can only be used once per match, per character after losing a bar of health (You have two bars on default settings). During this time each player has time to set how much of their super meter to wager against the opponents amount. With the super meter players can pull over the top Super moves, which do result in inflicting a lot of damage, but can be blocked or even countered.
As with all fighting games within their release window, there are some issues; we did have some with Injustice Gods Among us, that at times it did feel like some characters were un-balanced. Its only when the game is in the hands of their intended audience you can see what is un-balanced or doesn’t work. This could be easily fixed with some tweaks here and there.
The gameplay is nothing short of amazing fun. There is so much on offer here it would be an Injustice Gods Among Us not let you know about it. Nether Realm Studios is never one to not fill their games out with content, they did with MK in 2011 which was the krypt filled with unlockable items such as alternate costumes and concept art. A similar service is present in Injustice, which is called ‘Archives’. There are at least 24 more unlockable costumes for you to unlock (take note Capcom). Then you have the typical concept art and music content. There is also an extras section which allows you to unlock; Xp cards, which gives you doube XP for the next 5 matches, or you get cards that allow you to have fights with you starting at one-quarter of your health, or you have to defeat each of your opponents in 30 seconds. You can also unlock more Hero card packs for your ‘Hero Card’ to show off when you’re online.
We haven’t even mentioned Stars lab, or even battles mode. There is so much content when it comes to Injustice Gods Among Us. It’s hard to list it all or even mention it. Injustice does have an online component as you would expect from Nether Realm Studios, The online mode was built upon the foundation laid from Mortal Kombat. Due to complaints about severe lag in the online multiplayer portion of Mortal Kombat, Nether Realm Studios reported that the development team had looked back upon their past mistakes and created a “new, more elaborate system” for an improved online experience. The game connects to the Internet during use and download the information required for players who have bought DLC characters to play against others who have not.
Injustice Gods Among Us has what you have come to expect for an online beat-em up.
Me Vs. You
There are daily challenges for you to complete. Online lobbies have also improved, with the players being able to bet XP on who will win the next match – and even issue challenges for how they’ll win it. It helps keep lobbies fun and interactive, and to add something to online aspect of things. We did experience some lag or some input delays but this is something that is rare during our online play.
Nether Realm Studios keep on building upon the foundations that they build, they did it with MK in 2011, and they have done it again with Injustice Gods Among Us. When Nether Realm Studios said they want to keep MK and the DC licence as two separate entities, they have done just that. As they have kept the fighting mechanics in there but also added a layer of magic to things, allowing for a great game and fun for almost all level of gamers. Nether Realm Studios has managed to make a unique fighting game at an easy level, and a deeper, more interesting one for advanced players or those who will take the time to learn the combos and move sets.
Anyone expecting to see a re-skinned MK is in for a shock as it would be an Injustice not to give your time to Injustice Gods Among Us. After all how many games allow you to be gods? Injustice Gods Among Us, offers so much in the way that there is a lot of content for gamers to enjoy. Yes there are some balance issues but as we said this can easily be adjusted. We do need to say though with all the content on offer with the game from the offset, we are shocked to see again you only get 4 DLC characters as part of the season pass. We hope that more content will be announced soon as we can’t get enough of this game.
We can hope for Supergirl, Scarecrow, or even Lucius Fox!