Injustice: Gods Among Us is finally here and it was worth the wait. Sure, it’s far from perfect, but this game is a blast to play. DC fans will love the original storyline which includes many favorite characters from the DC Universe and fans of the fighting genre will love the fast paced and very strategic fighting. Injustice (Which I’ll refer to it for the rest of the review) was created by NetherRealm studios, the studio that made the last game in the Mortal Kombat series. If you loved that game, you’ll be right at home here. There aren’t fatalities in this game, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t any crazy and over the top moves. You can unleash a super special attack for maximum damage and it looks great.
The gameplay in this game is pretty straightforward. It’s just like Mortal Kombat. Two players go up against each other. They use light, medium and heavy attacks as well as their arsenal of weapons and powers to defeat enemies. The gameplay is fast and very fluid. There were a few times that moves didn’t work for me and it was entirely my fault. There is nothing wrong with the game in terms of gameplay. In addition to using the basic attacks, each character has special attacks, you can boost the power of your special attacks by using one bar of your power meter. The power meter has three bars. When you reach three bars, you can unleash an ultimate move and they’re all INSANE. You can also enter a clash mode. If successful, the attacker will do damage and gain health. If the defender is successful, they will do damage. Each map also has multiple interactive items that you can use. In one map, you can run someone over with a motorcycle, you can break tanks of water, throw missiles, slam cars on enemies and a lot more. In addition to interactive items, you can use transitions to get to other areas in the map. You’ll slam your enemy into a new area while dealing massive damage. I never had a dull fight and after completing each fight, I kept wanting to play more. It’s not the best fighter in terms of gameplay, but it’s still fun. Combos are hard to pull off, but are extremely rewarding when accomplished. It’s awesome to see some of the most iconic DC characters destroying each other. It’s totally for the fans!
Injustice takes place in a world where Superman isn’t the helpful and courageous hero we know him as. He’s mad and now he’s making everyone pay! Superman is a total villain and I think that’s what makes the storyline so interesting. Throughout the 12 chapters of this game, you’ll go to many familiar locations in your quest to stop superman. In each chapter, you control a different character. Sometimes it’s a hero and sometimes it’s a villain. It all depends on the story. It’s not that hard with the exception of the last chapter and the story isn’t that long as well. I beat the story in about 5 hours, but for a fighting game, that’s pretty long. With the exception of the recent Mortal Kombat games, fighters don’t usually have story modes.
I do like the fact that the story changes the character you play with because it helps you to familiarize yourself with most of the roster and it adds some diversity. There are 24 characters and you use half of them during the story mode. Also, always keep your eyes on the cutscenes because sometimes button command minigames come up. They can potentially give the player bonuses for the next match if successful. The only really downside I have for the story mode is the fact that the cutscenes don’t look that good. The gameplay looks great all the time, but the work they put in for the story cutscenes just failed to impress me. There are a few impressive moments, but as a whole, it’s a letdown. It’s dramatic, funny and action packed. You don’t have to do it first, but it’s a good place to start if you want to just learn the ropes.
This is the best mode in the entire game in my opinion, but it will also be the most frustrating. In S.T.A.R. labs, each character has 10 missions. In each mission, you can earn up to three stars. To obtain a star you need to complete a specific objective. Some are easy such as win the fight. Some are slightly difficult when it comes to getting a certain amount of hits in a combo and some are extremely annoying. Early in one of Superman’s S.T.A.R. labs missions, you have to defeat a Luthor controlled Batman who has Kryptonite batarangs. You must not get hit by the batarangs to complete the objective. It was REALLY tough and took be many tries to complete.
There is something great about S.T.A.R. labs though! It’s the ultimate test when it comes to really preparing yourself for the online battles! There are a total of 240 missions that come with the game. To unlock another character’s missions, you must get a certain number of stars. If you pre-ordered the game from a store, you don’t need to unlock the S.T.A.R. labs missions that come with the DLC. While the story mode took me about 5 hours to complete, I put in about the same amount of time in S.T.A.R. labs and I didn’t even come close to seeing the later missions. This mode is that difficult and I play tons of fighting games.
If you’ve played Mortal Kombat or any other fighting game, you know that battle mode is basically arcade mode. What Injustice does that’s so awesome is that Battle mode can be played so many different times with different conditions. You start with 5 different types of Battle modes and you play 10 matches that way. Some modes you can only use hero characters and other modes just villains. When you start Battle mode, you have the option to play the matches where your health slowly decreases over time and then they have survival. That has your health carrying over to the next match. By doing great combos and by fulfilling other conditions, your health will increase. By completing these battle modes, you’ll unlock more. There are tons of modes to unlock that will provide hours of fun. Trying each mode with each character will provide a true challenge because each character plays so differently, In addition to the 24 characters and all of the modes, you have 5 difficulties that will truly test your skill.
There are 24 characters in the game. This is truly a high point for Injustice because each character brings so much diversity. Each character has a specific character trait that will give you an advantage during battle. Superman can get a damage boost , Harley can throw bombs, Wonder Woman can switch weapons, Green Arrow can fire arrows and the list goes on. Experimenting with each character can help you decide which character you want to bring into battle. I LOVE that each character has a completely different feel because in most fighting games, multiple characters have the same skill sets, but it’s their appearance that’s different. I really like that because it shows that NetherRealm Studios really took their time with this game. All the characters are pretty accessible, but some characters have a learning curve. Killer Frost, Harley Quinn and characters that rely on guns/range weapons such as Green Arrow and Deathstroke all have a learning curve. In my opinion, I HATE Lex Luthor. He reminds me so much of Sentinel in Marvel Versus Capcom 3. He’s slow, but powerful. When you fight against a fast paced character, Lex is not a great choice and since most people online use fast characters, slow characters are tougher to use. The ONLY downside in terms of characters is the fact that there are some balancing issues, but that occurs in almost every fighting game. They might get patched, but if not, it’s not a big deal. There are at least 4 characters coming for DLC so hopefully they’re all unique and not just a palette swap!
It’s Online Time
Whether you played through the single player modes or jumped straight into the multiplayer, most of the time will be spent in Multiplayer. You can play in a ranked match which is basically just a 1 v 1 match. For the most part, most of my more intense matches came during the ranked matches! You can also play 1 v 1 matches in player matches or you can also try King of the Hill or Survival matches.
In King of the Hill, two people play each other. The winner stays and the loser goes to the back of the line. Each player in the lobby can make a wager on who they think will win. They’ll receive XP if they are right and the winner of the fight will gain more XP for each person that voted. In Survival, it’s essentially the same as King of the Hill, but there is no wagering and when the winner starts the next match, they start with the amount of health they ended the last match with. By completing objectives and by continuing the winning streaks, you will get a health boost in the beginning of the match. It’s a very intense mode.
You can also go to a practice arena online just to train with friends. You can do that offline, but it’s fun to actually train with real people. In my experiences with the online modes, I found that there was little lag. When certain people in a lobby play each other, there may be lag and when there is, it’s really bad, but for the most part there was no lag. Another downside is the fact that you must really play online with characters you are good with. The community isn’t really user-friendly when it comes to experimenting with characters you’re bad with. If you don’t mind a challenge, go right ahead and use characters you want to try out. I’m just warning you that it will be rough!
This is a short section. There are 100 levels that you can unlock with XP points. This helps you unlock new costumes as well as backgrounds and icons for your player card every time you level up. While it only unlocks items, it keeps you playing because you’ll want to see everything you can possibly get!
A Few Negatives
I don’t really have that many bad things to say about Injustice. Actually, this is a pretty great fighting game, but no game is perfect. Injustice’s cutscenes are a huge negative as I said. While the gameplay looks great, the visuals don’t carry over to the cutscenes and it really shows. While I didn’t mind, some people may not like the fact that the story mode is only about 5 hours long. My only other negative comes in the form of the lag when I encountered it. Hopefully, NetherRealm can improve some of the servers.
Injustice: Gods Among Us isn’t amazing, but it’s a really GREAT game. It’s the kind of game that you can just sit back and play. Sure, there will be some very frustrating moments offline and online, but it’s a game that delivers a fun ride. Fans of DC Comics and fans of fighting games will feel right at home. It’s awesome to see so many loved characters beat the crap out of each other and I’m excited to see what other characters come into the game with DLC. This is the right direction for Comic Book games and fighting games alike. Injustice is a blast and I hope it finds an audience. If it does, we can potentially have a fighting franchise on our hands. It’ll probably never happen, but maybe one day we can get a DC VS Marvel game. That would be awesome!!!! Anyway, if you want a fun game to pass the time with that is fun and rewarding, pick up Injustice, you won’t be letdown.