I am a difficult person to please when it comes to fighting games. The fighter is one of my favorite gaming genre’s (just behind action adventure); however, unfortunately I despise certain franchises, which I will not name here. The biggest hurdle for any fighter is to balance the learning curve to master the game for competitive play. I think many would agree that most fighters are easy to pick up to play casually amongst your friends, but the challenge is to draw in new fans in higher level play in online matches and tournament play, this is where I believe differentiates the quality of fighters. In my opinion, the best experience is always found when two skilled players fight it out. But if I find the title too difficult to master then the game automatically loses its value and merely becomes a game that is played on rare occasions.
As a fan of the genre, I was genuinely curious about Injustice: Gods Among Us, not only because it is a brand spanking new fighting franchise, but it also features a star struck cast of DC Super Heroes and Villains. What more could you want? Fortunately, the curiosity killed this cat, and consequently was not able to resist the urge to purchase Injustice: Gods Among Us.
Injustice: Gods Among Us puts many demons that continue to haunt the genre to rest. For starters, Injustice is the first fighter that I have played that doesn’t have a god awful story mode. Convoluted, nonsensical plot lines typical of the brawler genre are not found in Gods Among Us. You won’t find no devil genes, Soul Edge or crazy tournaments here – no sir. What you have is a game that uses its source material to its full advantage – creating a universe both interesting and engaging. The design choice is quite ingenious really, instead of tacking on individual stories for each character – the story mode is cohesive narrative incorporating each playable Hero and Villain.
The story mode is quite literally an animated movie very reminiscent of the Saturday morning cartoons you would watch as a child. Think of it as an Interactive movie, with the movie part more dominant than the gameplay section. I say this because the majority of your time will be spent watching cut scenes then actually playing the game. Of course, there are ample opportunities to join in the fight, however, I quite enjoyed putting the controller down to watch the Green Lantern fight himself.
I did find one negative out of this design choice and that is, that the mode forced you to play characters that you are unfamiliar with. Let’s be honest with ourselves here, I am not bothered to master all characters in the game – so you can understand it can be frustrating when you are forced to play a character you are unfamiliar especially against difficult fights. However, this problem can be offset if you are willing to go through the 150+ STAR Lab challenges, which are essentially challenges that allow you to improve your skills with the characters (that’s what it said in the description). You earn stars to progress forward by completing objectives in matches. For example, the easier challenges will ask you to avoid taking damage for 20 seconds or perform a 4 hit combo.
Thankfully, the game isn’t all that hard to grasp. It’s like that saying; once you played one of them – you have played them all. This certainly remains true with Injustice Gods Among Us. NetherRealm does not stray too far from the typical fighting formula and from what I can gather – is that this dev does have a good understanding of what makes a good fighter. The basics are all here; Light, Medium and heavy attacks, special techniques performed by directional inputs such as down forward and so forth. However, if somehow you are struggling to get a firm grip on the concepts – NetherRealm has kindly implemented an easy to follow tutorial mode that goes through all the necessities to be a master of the dominion – I do believe this is the greatest tutorial for a fighter (from what I have played). I appreciated that NetherRealm was courteous enough to add a tutorial for those new to the franchise (or Mortal Kombat) or in general is someone whom has found fighters difficult to get into – Injustice: Gods Among us is perhaps one of the most accessible games in the genre since Super Smash Bros Brawl.
Obviously, the biggest draw of Injustice Gods Among Us is the multiplayer and the superb cast of playable fighters. If you happen to be a looking for a solid DC game featuring your favorite Super Heroes such as Super Man, Batman and Flash or even your favorite villains, then Injustice is the game you have been looking for. With a cast consisting of 30’ish characters – I found my curiosity tickled by experimenting with each and every character until I found that one that suited my playstyle. Like all fighters, the best fun is to be had with a group of friends sitting around the television, taking turns fighting one another – there are no better ways to enjoy Injustice Gods Among Us. My favorite fighter is without a doubt Batman, which in my opinion is a well rounded fighter. But noobies will no doubt pick the broken Man of Steel.
Besides, with the Wii U version you do not have a choice, but to play with friends. To no fault of the game, but online play is literally nonexistent as you cannot find players in lobby rooms. I have spent hours – scuttering through lobbies looking for a match, but that was to no avail. If you have a PS3 or a 360, I would recommend these versions over the Wii U simply for the reason that you might get an online match. But if online is a non issue, then by all means buy the Wii U versions.
Since I am completely unfamiliar with the Mortal Kombat series (NetherRealm was responisible for the 2010 Mortal Kombat title), I cannot make a certain judgement that Injustice: Gods Amongs Us plays in similar fashion. However, in my opinion, the style of gameplay is more akin to Street Fighter as oppose to Tekken, Virtue Fighters or the BlazBlue series. To be honest, I have trouble describing the style of fighter Injustice is – perhaps it is the sort of genre that is best understood by playing rather than reading a string of sentences. But the biggest distinction for Gods Amongs us, is the importance of stage interactivity and the neat wager system…… Oh, and of course the fantastic cast of playable fighters.
Considering the Wii U current limited library, Injustice: Gods Among Us is a solid contender for a fighter to join your collection. The most laudable aspect of Injustice: Gods Among U is most certainly the story mode, which is a superhero movie on its own right. However, that’s not to say it isn’t a good fighter – on the contrary it is. But the lack of online play on the Wii U version is a downer. However the pleasure of viewing Superman kicking in Batman’s skull is well worth the admission