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Injustice: Gods Among Us PS3 Review

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Injustice: Gods Among Us

Injustice: Gods Among Us

Image © WBIE
It's unlikely that you'll play a better fighting game in 2013 than the ridiculously fun "Injustice: Gods Among Us," the brawler from the creators of "Mortal Kombat" that allows the kid inside of you who argued over which DC superhero would win in a fight to settle the debate once and for all. Who hasn't wondered if Superman or Batman would win in a fight? What comic book fan doesn't want to pit Aquaman against Harley Quinn in Arkham Asylum just to see what the heck will happen when it goes down? "Injustice" is like a superhero lover's fighting game Mad Libs. [Hero] vs. [Villain] in [Location]. And the combinations are incredible. Green Lantern vs. Solomon Grundy in Metropolis. Wonder Woman vs. Green Lantern in Gotham. "Injustice" features a robust DC comics roster, fantastic arenas that have multiple options for environment kills, and a deep variety of modes. Some of the animations, especially in cut scenes, are a little lackluster, and a few of the action-specific requirements of certain missions are poorly designed but these are minor complaints for a major fighting game.

Game Details

  • Publisher: Warner Bros.
  • Developer: NetherRealm Studios
  • ESRB Rating: T (Teen)
  • Genre: Fighting
  • Pros: Creative Character Choices, Perfect Combat Mechanics, Engaging Environments, Numerous Modes
  • Cons: Some Annoying Challenges, A Few Minor Characters

Classic DC heroes and villains fight to the death. At its core, "Injustice" is that simple. The first thing most people will do is start up a battle against the computer, someone in the room, or online and those who were raised on "Mortal Kombat" (or played the recent, brilliant reboot of the franchise from the same developers) will feel right at home. The foundation of combat is simple enough but there are also dozens of combo moves, special moves, and tactics that can separate one fighter from another. There may not be fatalities but the special moves (triggered with an L2&R2 after a meter is filled) for each hero and villain have a similarly goofy theatricality. Batman pushes some buttons and has his Batmobile runs people over. Aquaman's involves a shark.

Gameplay

Injustice: Gods Among Us

Injustice: Gods Among Us

Image © WBIE

Like the "Mortal Kombat" reboot, "Injustice: Gods Among Us" offers a particularly deep variety of modes. Unlike a lot of fighting games, there's actually a lot to do here besides kicking online ass. There's a deep, lengthy story with long cut-scenes linking together fight challenges. You get a story as to why Batman would be fighting Killer Croc, Harley Quinn, etc. and then that links to a story involving Aquaman and so on and so on. There's also a mode called "S.T.A.R. Labs Missions" that offers a series of single-player challenges built around a certain character. For example, play Superman for ten challenges in a row, learning different combos or having to work with certain situations (like being infected with Kryptonite to the point that your health is slowly depleting) and then move on to ten challenges with Batman and so on. Some of the challenges are downright annoying in the way a certain move has to be used to complete them but it's easy to skip the occasional annoyance. There is also a mode called "Battles" that replicates the Arcade experience from "Mortal Kombat" as you try to take one hero or villain through a series of battles.

One of the key elements that separates one fighting game from another is character animation. When a fighter punches, we want to feel the connection. When a combo move is initiated, it needs to be consistent. "Injustice" is remarkably fluid, whether it's Aquaman landing a trident blow upside Lex Luthor's bald head or Batman throwing a well-timed Batarang at The Flash. The fighting mechanics are brilliantly designed and perfectly executed in terms of graphics. And the environments are spectacularly conceived and executed. Not only do they look great but they're often incredibly interactive. If you see something in the background, you can likely kick an opponent into it or grab & throw it.

Graphics & Sound

As they did with "MK," NetherRealm Studios really delivers on a visual level. Some of the cut scenes are disappointingly thin in terms of visuals but the actual one-on-one battles are beautiful. Fighting games can fall apart if just one combo move doesn't look right. We've all played fighting games that lost us because of poor graphics, whether it was a punch that looked like it didn't connect or a kick that reached us from across the room. "Injustice" looks and sounds fantastic.

Overall

Injustice: Gods Among Us

Injustice: Gods Among Us

Image © WBIE
"Injustice: Gods Among Us" is the unexpected success of early 2013. We kind of saw the critical accolades for "Tomb Raider" and "Bioshock Infinite" coming as more footage and imagery was released from them but I'll admit to being pessimistic about yet another fighting game in a market glutted with them. I should have known better. Just as they did with "Mortal Kombat," NetherRealm has brought their creative edge and unmatched ability to craft engaging gameplay to the genre. And this time they've used it to expand on the playground of the mind of the superhero fan. I've got to go. I'm always wondered if Catwoman or Harley Quinn would win in a fight and now it's time to find out.
Disclosure: A review copy was provided by the publisher. For more information, please see our Ethics Policy.
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