VIDEO GAME REVIEW: Injustice: Gods Among Us
Have you ever wanted to pit Cyborg up against Nightwing? Or see how horribly Doomsday would beat up Green Arrow? Or even just beat the aqua out of Aquaman? Well, then it’s a good thing Injustice: Gods Among Us came out last week, and a Major Spoilers Review awaits you after the jump.
With a fighting game centered around the DC Universe having both heroes and villains fighting each other two questions come to mind: Why are they fighting and how does Catwoman take a full-strength punch from Superman without becoming paste? Well, both of those are answered in the main story mode, and answered well at that. On an alternate earth (number not provided) Joker manages to trick (though the how is never really explained) Superman into killing Lois Lane and destroying much of Metropolis making him go insane and take over the earth, turning it into a totalitarian wasteland. In the same conflict on the normal Earth (also number not given) a handful of heroes and the Joker are pulled through realities and sent five years into the future of evil Superman’s Earth. That explains the why at least. As for the how, Kryptonian nanobots in pill form. It’s a simple hand-wave of the situation allowing any of the more human characters to step up and take the hits.
As the story progresses, you play mostly as characters that were teleported into this reality, with a couple extra surprises. The obvious plot is forgivable, as what else would heroes stuck in this situation do but try to help the world before attempting to find a way home? That doesn’t mean there aren’t some great twists to the entire thing, as more than a few characters are rather surprising on either side of the conflict and a few of the twists even caught me off-guard.
Visually, the game is rather stunning, but that’s to be expected of a game this late in a console run. That said, it still looked grand. The fighting animation was fluid and the cut-scenes stood out as top notch. The different stages were all visually appealing and any given location stood out with its own uniqueness, though a few stages, Atlantis and the Watchtower in particular, were well above many of the others.
The voice-acting was fantastic, with a number of very recognizable voices (Kevin Conroy as Batman, Tara Strong as Harley, and Khary Payton as Cyborg most notably) as well as some great newcomers, we were given quite the treat. And while I do miss Mark Hamill as the Joker, Richard Epcar does do a good job keeping the insanity alive. My only legitimate complaint here would be Raven’s voice, which has a weird double-voice timber to it that I wasn’t expecting and pulled me away from liking her.
Now we reach the most important part of any fighting game, mechanics. Balance and usability can make or break a fighting game. Unfortunately I had to play on the X-Box 360, which has a notoriously bad controller for fighting games, but Injustice didn’t disappoint and was able to overcome that obstacle. Being made by the same studio as Mortal Kombat probably helped out immensely on this front, but Injustice, while not being as technical as a number of other fighters, does a very good job of making the controls both simple enough to quickly pick up while encouraging a fair amount of depth from a number of the fighters to give challenge to the game.
As for balance, other than a few cheesy moves from some characters that can probably be overcome given enough practice, most of the fights seem to be capable of going either way. While I personally didn’t enjoy every character, most I had a problem with at least one of my friends found enjoyable. The only issue all of us had was Bane. He was to slow and lumbering to be playable while also lacking the reach and closing capabilities of any of the other bruisers.
THE VERDICT: Gods Indeed
Injustice: Gods Among Us has given me exactly what it promised, a solid fighting game starring the DC Universe. The roster is suitably large with 24 characters on the disk and many more promised in future DLC, including some entertaining surprises that I wasn’t expecting. Game-play is solid and the story was entertaining. All of this manages to get Injustice: Gods Among Us a very promising 4.5 out of 5 stars.
HAVE YOU PLAYED INJUSTICE? RATE IT!