RELEASED: April 16th 2013
DEVELOPED BY: NetherRealm Studios
PUBLISHED BY: Warner Bros.
DIRECTED BY: Ed Boon
PRODUCED BY: Adam Urbano & Hans P. Lo
WRITTEN BY: Brian Chard, Dominic Cianciolo, John Vogel & Jon Greenberg
ART BY: Steve Beran
MUSIC BY: Christopher Drake, Dean Grinsfelder, Cris Velasco & Sascha Dikiciyan
Injustice: Gods Among Us is currently FREE on PlayStation, Xbox and PC (until June 25th 2020).
I first played Injustice some years ago, but never got round to finishing it. I was, however, a big fan of the sequel, which I played through several times. I sold it, due to switching consoles, but in playing this game, I may just have to get it again on PlayStation (which I imagine is exactly what Warner Bros. had hoped to achieve out of giving this away for free).
Injustice follows the heroes of the Justice League as they stop a plot by the Joker, Lex Luthor, and an assortment of other villains, to destroy Metropolis. However, in the process, they are transported to a parallel universe where they weren’t so successful. On this world, Superman has been tricked into killing Lois Lane, triggering the destruction of his city.
In response, he’s taken a more hardline approach to protecting the Earth; killing the Joker and imposing a tyrannical new regime over the planet. Now, as Batman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, Aquaman and Green Arrow, you must team up with the insurgents to bring down this Super-dictator.
Whether you’ll enjoy the experience or not will wholly depends on how much you enjoy fighting games.
NetherRealm Studios, the creators of Mortal Kombat, have designed this game in a fairly similar fashion to how they make the MK games. Brutal, excessive fights and various liberties taken with the designs of female characters (Harley Quinn near-enough fighting in her underwear and Wonder Woman giving off classic Lara Croft vibes – Batman’s here for comparison):
It’s all toned down a tad from Mortal Kombat, but still.
But if you’re on board for all of that, then what awaits is a thrilling exploration of the DC heroes’ potential. What happens if these characters disregard any prior moral restraints and let their powers loose?
It also makes for an interesting change of pace from other superhero games, as the villains of the story are the very heroes you so often root for. You can see the inspiration for some of Zack Snyder’s more questionable story choices in the DCEU, but here it’s executed in a way where you truly feel like anything can happen (especially in the tie-in prequel comic).
Of course, your main characters – the ones from the ‘good’ dimension – are all safe, but the fates of all the ‘heroes’ of the Injustice universe feel like they could play out in any way. It’s DC cut loose, and while, being an older game, it doesn’t always play as smoothly or look as perfect as it could do were it made for a better generation of console, the story itself still remains timeless and interesting, in spite of a couple of contrived beats.
Outside of the story, there’s also a wealth of things to do (again, with the understanding that you’re a fan of these sorts of games). Smaller battle modes each have their own unique stories and endings, and each character gets just as much focus as their peers. You may go in a Batman fan, but come out with a new appreciation of Green Arrow or Cyborg. Each hero’s moves has their own unique feel, and while, as these games usually can be, it does feel like its occassionally easier to just button mash, if you’re able to master the combos then it does really feel like each of these characters comes to life.
This is helped immensely by the voice acting, with nearly all the performances conveying a spot-on rendition of these characters.
There’s clearly an strong interest in DC comics from the developers at NeverRealm Studios, and there’s a definite feeling that this game could be the stuff of greatness with some better hardware. Fortunately though, what’s on offer here is plenty good on its own.
All-in-all, I give Injustice: Gods Among Us: