Developer(s) – NetherRealm Studios & High Voltage Software
Publisher(s) – Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment
Director – Ed Boon
Producer – Shaun Himmerick
Following on from Mortal Kombat Vs DC Universe, Injustice: Gods Among Us is a fighting game conceived by Mortal Kombat co-creator Ed Boon, starring a cast of many different characters from DC Comics franchises, including Batman, Superman, The Flash, Aquaman and the Green Lantern. Since its US release back in April 2013, the game has sold almost 1 million copies and received many positive reviews based on its gameplay and level of graphical detail. However, whilst I think it’s not a bad game, I did find it to have drawbacks.
Graphics – 7/10
With this game featuring characters such as Batman and The Joker, I couldn’t help but compare to the Arkham series; and in drawing my comparisons, I found that whilst Injustice does have some detail in its visuals, It doesn’t have anywhere near as much detail as any of the games in the Arkham series. The characters in particular look pretty detailed during fights when they are seen from a certain distance away, but when cutscenes play during the story mode, and when characters can be seen from up close, they just don’t look as detailed to me. In particular, Superman’s facial expressions look less than convincing, and I thought to myself that if most other characters didn’t wear headgear or domino masks, they would all look as substandard as Superman. Although that may seem like a clever technique to some, I can’t help but feel that their facial clothing hides more than just their real identities. However, I can’t fault the diversity in stage design, which was very well thought out, and are pretty intricate for a fighting game in particular.
Gameplay – 7/10
I think Injustice plays out well enough for a fighting game. There are a lot of game modes to unlock throughout, which offer quite a bit of variety, and the RPG-like element of levelling up the player’s profile in order to unlock more things makes the game quite interesting to play. The gripe I had with it is that apart from extra game modes, alternative costumes and concept art, there’s not much more incentive to playing it. Chiefly, I don’t like the fact that there are no hidden characters to unlock, which for me is probably the biggest attraction of playing through a fighting game. Instead, there are 6 additional download-only characters, and the character Darkseid is only exclusive to the iOS port of the game. Even if players are willing to for out extra money to buy the ultimate edition of the game, the additional characters are not unlocked using conventional means, and to me, that just takes a lot of the fun out of it.
Controls – 10/10
As another one of these gameplay formulas, which has been developed on and modified over many years, there should never have been any issues with the controls; and there are none, thankfully. I actually found it particularly interesting to find how characters handle a lot like Mortal Kombat characters. For example, I noticed that Batman handles a lot like Scorpion; The Joker handles similarly to Reptile and the Green Lantern handles very much like Ermac.
Lifespan – 10/10
Although I’d say that it will take only a few hours to play through the main story mode, and experienced fighting game players could probably complete all the additional game modes relatively quickly, the fact of the matter is that Injustice, like any other fighting game, is one of these games that can simply be picked up and played at any time. There’s no worry attached to it, regarding making conventional progress or outlasting a certain lifespan.
Storyline – 4.5/10
Whilst I was playing this game, I could never fully understand what was going on, and I still wouldn’t be able to without the aid of an online synopsis of it. Basically, what happens is that the DC heroes and villains are plunged into an alternative reality, and pit against their alternative counterparts. Aside from it being more open to fans of the DC Universe, making it biased in that respect, I found that events seemed to move along far too quickly, and attention kept shifting from place to and character to character too fast for me to able to think about exactly what was happening. Everything just happens, and with very little explanation.
Originality – 6/10
Whilst I can praise Injustice for its uniqueness in conceptual design and some certain gameplay elements, I believe that it lacks originality in its shortage of gameplay incentive; as with a lot of fighting games, there is normally a lot of hidden characters to be found. Whilst most game don’t have a storyline, which is nigh on impossible to follow, that may make it unique, but in an extremely negative sense.
So overall, I think the game is fairly enjoyable, but it does indeed have its flaws, and I can’t think of a reason why NetherRealm Studios should expand any further on the concept of the story, as I think even DC fans will have trouble trying to keep up.