No “Injustice” to DC Comics

Courtesy of Warner Bros. Entertainment

Courtesy of Warner Bros. Entertainment

 

A review of this game would usually begin with a question like, “Who would win: Superman or Batman? Now you can decide.” However, since we already know the answer is obviously Batman, I can just skip ahead to the actual review.

Two weeks ago, NetherRealm Studios released “Injustice: Gods Among Us” for the Xbox 360, PS3 and Wii U, which features characters and locations found in the DC Universe. Although I am not a huge purveyor of fighting games, my interest in DC comics drove me to purchase this game, and I am enjoying it thus far.

The roster of “Injustice” features 24 heroes and villains from the DC Universe, with four more characters to come as DLC. The cast includes mainstream characters, such as Superman, while including lesser-known characters such as Shazam (Captain Marvel) and Killer Frost. I wish the game had more fighters to choose from, as the DC Universe is rich with many possible options, yet only 28 will be included. Unlike some fighting games, all characters are available to play from the start; however, extra costumes can be unlocked after gaining experience points through multiple fights.

In terms of the gameplay, “Injustice” allowed me to quickly grasp the basic controls and get accustomed to some of the features in the game. The new features include level transitions, interactive objects and super moves. The level transitions are definitely interesting to watch, but also slow down the pace of the fights. The interactive objects also change the fight from who can land the best moves to who can get to the objects first. The ability to perform transitions and interact with the objects can be turned off before any fight, so players who wish to win solely through moves will find this as a relief. Each character has a unique cinematic super move that can be utilized once the player has enough energy in their super meter. Even though they’re cool, the super moves can slow down the gameplay, and there is no way to turn them off for fights.

The single-player story mode plays as if watching a movie: cut-scenes explain the story, while the player takes control of the character during key fights. While the story is definitely engaging, I found it to be a little short, as I was able to finish the entire story in only a couple of hours. Granted, the game focuses heavily on the multiplayer aspect of the game, but having a good single-player option is key for any game.

“Injustice” also offers single-player side missions through a mode called “S.T.A.R. Labs.” These missions range from mini-games to fighting, where each mission is ranked on whether or not the player performs certain actions. I personally did not enjoy some of the mini-games, as they felt almost gimmicky; I feel a fighting game should have missions that are solely fighting-based.

Courtesy of Warner Bros. Entertainment

Courtesy of Warner Bros. Entertainment

The bulk of the single-player game is found in the Battle Mode, where the player will fight a random sequence of characters with an extra challenge attached. This mode allows a single player a lot of playing time for each of the characters, and the flair of the different battle types provide interesting matches. Personally, I have not played much of the multiplayer, but the game also offers online multiplayer.

Even though I wish there were more characters, stages or mode, I really do enjoy “Injustice: Gods Among Us,” and I will continue to play it for quite some time.

Recommended: Offers great gameplay, but could have more substance.