'Injustice: Gods Among Us' from WBIE.
'Injustice: Gods Among Us' from WBIE.
Have you ever wondered who would win in a fight between Batman and Superman? What about Aquaman and Wonder Woman? Joker and Doomsday? Well, questions like those have been turning into heated arguments since before Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster created the Man of Steel in 1938. Thanks to NetherRealm Studios and Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, those debates can finally be laid to rest - at least until the next time these iconic DC Comics characters meet in video game Injustice: Gods Among Us.
Like most all modern fighting games, Injustice is broken up into local single-player and local/online multiplayer. Unlike much of the competition - both are equally as desirable to play. This is partially because, unlike most of its competition, Injustice has a single-player storyline that isn't only serviceable, it's downright intriguing. It brings the Justice League of America (Batman, Superman, etc.) and a number of its associated villains (Lex Luthor, The Joker, and so on) and rips them out of their proper DC Universe and into an altered one in which Superman has created a new world order after being tricked by The Joker into laying waste to Metropolis and killing Lois and his unborn child. Ever the knight of justice, this parallel universe's Batman would have to part in this and sets up in insurgency. This is the world into which the Justice League we all know and cherish are thrust into and they must deal not only with that, but the usual suspects as well. Like Maxwell House coffee, it's good until the last drop and leaves players wanting more.
One thing that players will want more of (and not in the best of ways) is by way of playable characters. Like its largest competitor Marvel Comics, the DC Universe is ripe with seemingly hundreds of characters both good and bad, common and obscure. Injustice has many of the key faces, sure, but a roster consisting of only two dozen (12 good and 12 bad) characters feels rather limited - especially when you take into account that many more DC characters exist within the game in a non-playable/cameo manner. If the recently-released Naruto Shippuden Ultimate Ninja Storm 3 fighting game can have more than 90 playable characters, then Injustice surely could have fit at least a few more. Notable omissions on the hero side include Robin, Power Girl, and Wildcat, and on villain side include The Penguin, Bizarro, and Cheetah.
When it comes down to gameplay, Injustice is nearly perfect. Fast and ripe with excitement, NetherRealm did well to make the game accessible without making it feel like a clone of Capcom's Street Fighter. The controls are very simple to learn and quite easy to get the hang of well enough to hold one's own in most battles. Succeeding long-term or in the highly-competitive player-vs-player battles, however, will take practice mixed in with a hint of luck.
Presentation-wise, Injustice: Gods Among Us is quite impressive. Flowing nearly seamlessly during story mode from cut-scene to battle, and back again, NeverRealm's skill at making a game that not only plays well but looks quite nice is apparent. It's not all peaches and cream, however, as there are some inconsistencies with how some character models look in comparison to others and from cut-scene to cut-scene, but the overall presentation will leave players saying "wow" again and again. The same thing goes with audio, with excellent sound mixing between music, sound effects, and the game's excellent voice acting -- even if some of the dialogue itself is comic book corny.
Any gamer who is looking for the next big thing in the fighting game genre has it in Injustice: Gods Among Us. Nearly perfect in every way, the game is quite simply the cream of this year's fighting game crop and should be in the discussion for a possible Game of the Year nod come year's end.
Version tested: PlayStation 3 (also available on Xbox 360 & Wii U)
(WBIE supplied a copy of this game for review.)
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