Other Miscellaneous Superman Stuff
Review - "Injustice: Gods Among Us" Video GameReviewed by Erkan Er
As an avid DC comics fan, I was very excited to hear the announcement for Injustice in May of last year. However, I must admit that I was quite skeptical at first, because the game was being handled by Netherealm Studios, the same team behind the Mortal Kombat series in previous years. After watching all of the trailers, weekly Battle Arena episodes and gameplay footage, I realized how much I actually wanted this game and finally, after almost a long hard year of waiting I got my hands on the all-star fighting game of every DC fan's dreams.
I had freed up my entire weekend to flesh out the game. The first thing I noticed was that Injustice did not have a mandatory install like most video games these days, and I was able to jump right into the action. I was greeted by a gorgeous main menu which was very easy to navigate. I decided to give training mode a try, as I was aching to give Nightwing (my favorite superhero) a bash to get a general feel of the game.
Before long, I had already spent a whole hour beating up the training dummy, and I had confirmed that the game was not simply Mortal Kombat 9 with a new lick of paint regardless of how familiar the awkward fighting stances and combo system seemed. Upon further gameplay, it was easy to notice that Netherrealm had really put effort into tweaking their tried and tested formula to almost perfection.
For starters, everyone's prayers had been answered. There is no longer a block button. Twenty-one years in the making, Injustice now follows the conventional Street Fighter and Tekken blocking system and high and low attacks are now guarded by holding the back and down-back directions. Another addition to the system is the trait system which is unique with every character in the game. This system is accessed by pressing the trait button. An example of a trait, using Nightwing as an example, is a stance change in which he switches from his usual escrima sticks style to his pole style stance, granting him a whole new move set and adding an entire new layer to the gameplay. Unfortunately, some of the traits are underwhelming, for example Superman only receives a temporary damage stat boost.
Another new feature new to Injustice is the Wager (or Clash) system. The wager system can be activated when you or your opponent are down to your final lifebar. It acts as a combo breaker, much like in the Mortal Kombat games, but with a new spin to it. During the Wager, players are pitted against each other and they must wager their own meter. Whoever wagers the most meter wins the clash. The effects and dialogue between characters during a wager can be very entertaining, however, from a competitive point of view, I feel that this system is ultimately useless (at the moment) and needs to be tweaked.
The amount of single player content is fantastic, there is a story mode to play through, an arcade mode style ladder of opponents you can verse with various rules you can choose from, 10 set missions per character in the S.T.A.R Labs mode and of course a vault to unlock extra costumes, artwork and music.
Surprisingly the story mode keeps the DC Comics characters true to their roots with well written and campy dialogue, bad puns as well as great voice acting resulting in an overall comic book "feel". The story mode should take you under 8 hours if you do not skip all the cut scenes, though It may not be among the greatest comic book stories told, it is still worth playing through. The most interesting single player mode is the S.T.A.R Labs missions. Each character has 10 missions and are given various unique objectives to complete. Among my favorites is a mission featuring Catwoman's... Err... Cat, named Isis, where you have to try and sneak past laser tripwires and security guards to make it to the goal. The best part about these missions is how addicting it is to fulfill all the objectives in order to unlock extra items. This offers an even higher level of challenge to the missions. For example; the same scenario required you to complete the mission without ever walking backwards to avoid the security spotlights. These extra objectives will serve as an added challenge and nightmare for all you completists out there.
My biggest gripe with the game has to be the models of some of the characters; in particular the female characters such as Wonder Woman and Raven. In the early gameplay builds shown to us I was quite disgusted at how much they butchered our favorite characters and unfortunately, all the masculine body, man jaw having models made it into the final cut.
The music is also a very forgettable aspect. Most of the tracks used sound like generic Saturday afternoon cartoons. I would've liked to see remixed versions of classic DC cartoon music such as Teen Titans or Batman Beyond.
Unfortunately, the time I was able to spend online fighting against others was limited, therefore I cannot give too much insight into the netcode of the game. However, for the games that I managed to play online, I experienced minor lag issues. It would seem that the netcode is not as polished as its Capcom and Namco game counterparts.
Rating - 4 out of 5: All in all Injustice is an exceptional game and I would no doubt recommend it for all comic book fans and fighting game enthusiasts alike. With its plentiful roster of DC superheroes/villains and various fighting capabilities along with all the single and multiplayer content, Injustice: Gods Among Us will keep players entertained for an amount of time whether you are a casual or competitive gamer.