Injustice: Gods Among Us preview
by Ozzie Mejia, shacknews.com, Jun 7, 2012 8:45AM PDT
QUICKTAKE: Despite coming from the makers of Mortal Kombat, the new DC Universe fighter Injustice: Gods Among Us plays little like the fatal fighter. After that initial surprise, I quickly discovered that this game has the potential to live up to the high expectations of comic book and fighting game fans.
THE DEMO: This demo saw Superman facing off against The Flash in the middle of the Batcave before the scene shifted to the Fortress of Solitude with Batman taking on Solomon Grundy. Both fights featured crushing blows and both fighters using the background environment to their advantage. Once the private demo was over, I took the Dark Knight into my own hands.
DETAILS: Once again, this is not a Mortal Kombat game using DC superheroes. NetherRealm built a completely new system to suit DC's finest, forsaking the traditional MK formula in favor of more conventional fighting game controls. There are now light, medium, and heavy attack buttons. Players block by holding back on the control stick, something unfathomable in Mortal Kombat titles.
There's also one other button players will use frequently--the Hero Trait button. This button deploys a special character-specific move. For example, Batman will call down remote-control robot bats to fling at opponents or use as a rotating shield, while Wonder Woman will switch fighting stances and unleash her Amazon sword and shield. This attacks fits in with each character's personality, adding a feeling of authenticity.
Injustice's biggest draw is going to be the fighting arenas, each taken from a place in DC lore. The battles are so intense that each hit shakes the stage's background and causes noticeable damage to the environment. This leads to numerous opportunities to use the environment against your opponent. The Batcave, for instance, has glass cases housing the Bat-Family's classic costumes. When the force of a hit shatters the glass, grenades will spill out, which you can use against your opponent. When the fight spilled to the Batcave's depths, a generator hung precariously overhead. After Superman ripped the generator out to slam it over Flash's head, the live wires it was attached to became another available weapon.
With every arena able to take gobs of punishment, each of Injustice's fights played out like a war of attrition. Anyone that has seen a DC animated film in the last few years knows how intense those battles can be; Injustice manages to recreate that atmosphere. Superman and Flash can lunge at each other at full speed in an exchange called the Clash system. Here, players bet portions of their super meter to win this exchange, which always ends with a classic shockwave effect. The fight's intensity increases as the two fighters explore other areas of the arena. Superman punched Flash through the Bat-Computer to move to the Batcave's depths. When the fight moved to a nearby elevator, Superman slammed Flash's head repeatedly into the steel as the elevator went up. Over at the Fortress of Solitude, Grundy punched Batman so hard, he flew through a series of walls, smacking his head on several pipes along the way.
To top off the epic atmosphere, each character has one super move. The super meter is filled up throughout the fight, only depleting slightly for Clash encounters. Each super move fits its character, which should please faithful comic fans. The Flash zoomed around the Earth several times at super speed until finally connecting a superpowered fist against Superman's jaw. Superman hit the Flash with such a hard uppercut, it launched him into space, where Big Blue simply dashed up to the cosmos to punch him back down to Earth.
Injustice: Gods Among Us should not be mistaken for Mortal Kombat. It is its own game and it's loads of fun, to boot. Injustice is coming to Xbox 360, PS3 and Wii U in 2013.
Oh, and before anyone asks, yes, Batman was voiced by "Batman: The Animated Series" and Arkham City lead Kevin Conroy.