Who would win in a fight between Superman and, well, pretty much anyone? Superman obviously, it’s a problem that all DC products whether they be games or movies will run into. Why would Superman need a Justice League when he can pretty much destroy planets by giving them a mean stare?
Injustice: Gods Among Us, the latest from Mortal Kombat makers Netherealm Studios, does try and answer this somewhat in the Story Mode which see’s our worlds heroes transported into a parallel world where Superman has gone completely mental. While not on par with Mortal Kombat, the story mode in Injustice is still a whole lot better than most other fighting games. Once you get past the clichéd use of parallel Earths, a staple of DC Comics stories that needs to be put out to pasture, you will find yourself drawn into the story as you progress from fight to fight.
The fighting is, as expected, very reminiscent of Mortal Kombat. Combo’s play a huge part in building attacks and an X-Ray style super move is here, once again by pressing the L and R triggers simultaneously. These super moves amaze in their spectacle. Superman for instance punches someone into orbit before smashing them down to Earth, Batman runs your opponent down with the Batmobile and Aquaman submerges everything under water before unleashing a shark. They’re completely insane, but in a hugely satisfying way. Another element of the comic book insanity are the stage transitions. These send your opponent hurtling through walls, crashing through floors, usually with hilarious consequences. None more so than a cameo from Batman’s rogues gallery during the fights set in Arkham.
A new addition to the combat is the clash system. By pressing the correct button before being hit you’re able to enter clash mode. Here you’re able to wager parts of your super meter, coming out on top results in some health being regenerated, failing means you lose health. It’s at times a confusing system that really adds nothing to the game, it’s rarely needed, and after many fights online has rarely been witnessed.
Online was always a weak area with Mortal Kombat, and Netherealm have gone a long way in trying to rectify the initial problems that game had at launch. While games are easy to find, with enough modes and challenges to keep you occupied, it still falls short of what Capcom produces. As anyone who plays online fighting games will attest, any slight semblance of lag can scupper your chances of winning. And unfortunately for the player not hosting there is still enough of a button delay to frustrate. That said, if you don’t care about your win/loss ratio and are just here for the spectacle, there’s still tons of fun to be had.
Those not wanting to venture online will still find plenty of single player content to enjoy, and not just the Story Mode. Battle Mode is your standard ladder, made different by a number of different Battle types that can be unlocked in the armory, such as fighting all the heroes or starting each fight with a quarter health. On top of this you have S.T.A.R Labs features a set of challenges with each character, which will test even the most skilled fighter. And naturally costumes, concept art and the like are unlocked with XP earned throughout single player and online. Injustice is certainly a full price package.
Not just relying on the spectacle of having DC’s greatest villains and heroes square off, the gameplay at the core of Injustice shows that Netherealm are one of the companies at the forefront of the fighting genre. If you’re not into your comic books then a lot of the games appeal might be lost, but for fans of the genre and DC, this is a match made in heaven.