Injustice: Gods Among Us
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Written by Jesse Seilhan
Comic books have become the blueprint for modern media, with tired studios taking scripts straight from classic trades and turning them into modern dramas. The Avengers broke tons of cinematic records, shows like Smallville and movies like The Dark Knight Trilogy attracted millions of eyeballs, but only a few videogames have done the medium any justice. Injustice: Gods Among Us has solved that problem, delivering one of the most complete, fluid, and fun fighting games of this generation. Leave it to NetherRealm Studios, the geniuses behind last year’s Mortal Kombat, to bring together the stellar storytelling and complex combat to make a fighting game really stand out.
The cast of DC Comics characters is huge, spanning both iconic and newer heroes and foes and the story the developers have constructed is just as epic. Spanning 12 chapters and almost as many playable heroes, we are introduced to a world in which Superman has been tricked into killing Lois Lane, going insane after realizing what he has done. The Joker manages to set off a nuclear bomb in the meantime and Metropolis is toast. While Batman is attempting to stop the nuke from going off, a tear in space and time occurs and the heroes from “our” world get transported to another world, finding that not everything is at it seems. Superman has gone rogue and is using his Justice League friends to basically enslave the world and it’s up to our heroes to stop their evil alter egos. It’s over-the-top and crazy, but it leads to awesome moments like Green Lantern squaring off versus himself, but a version of himself that has donned the Yellow Ring.
Locales range from Earth to vast reaches of the universe, all with their own personality and interactive objects that can be turned into deadly weapons. Pianos and motorcycles are flung across the stage, while some objects release fire, lasers, or poison gas onto your foes. Each character has their own set of signature moves, special powers, and devastating “Super Moves,” gigantic attacks akin to Mortal Kombat’s “Fatalities.” The major difference being that in Injustice, you don’t kill your opponent, making the super moves more similar to the Street Fighter series. You can use these after building up a meter filled with each blow you land and receive. Throws are awesomely animated, as are “clashes,” moments where both combatants fly straight into one another, applying some of that super meter toward a massive attack. This risk/reward system adds another wrinkle into a deceivingly deep fighting system.
As for modes, there are a ton. Online features your standard versus contest, along with a practice mode for you and a buddy to try new moves, a King of the Hill mode, and a more grueling Survivor option, where players maintain the same health bar across multiple competitors. Offline, you have the same practice and versus modes, along with the awesome campaign, but it’s two other areas that give this game legs. First, S.T.A.R. Labs is this game’s version of the Challenge Tower from MK: a 300-level objective-based mission mode where players are asked to do a whole host of crazy things with each character. Battles mode is also nuts, where straight-up arcade ladder matches get modifiers such as mirror matches, villains only, and random fights. The entire package is filled with content, and with four playable DLC characters on the way, your $60 is extremely well spent with this fantastic brawler. Grab a buddy, a second controller, and solve this riddle once and for all: who would win between Batman and Superman?
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