Injustice: Gods Among Us is just one of those games that I couldn’t wait to get my hands on. Ever since my very first hands-on look during San Diego Comic Con, I was hooked. After another hands-on look during New York Comic Con and an interview with producer Hector Sanchez during Pax East, we were convinced that we might have something good on our hands. While I never got to play Mortal Kombat vs DC, so I wouldn’t know if it sucked or not, I was addicted NetherRealm’s Mortal Kombat (MK) release. The way NetherRealm was able to meld gameplay into the overall story without the hassle of waiting for a load screen was the ultimate highlight of MK’s campaign. While you can’t directly compare the two, just being able to see remnants of what I loved about MK with the vast attention to detail being slowly revealed prior to Injustice’s release made the anticipation that much greater.
So how does Injustice: Gods Among Us actually stack up after the overall hype and anticipation?
For the purpose of this review, I will only concentrate on the Single Player Experience since online experiences may vary and I’m not an experienced fighter. I am a veteran button masher who is a sucker for a great campaign story line.
First up, let’s chat about the different Single Player game modes.
• Play Story
The best way to describe the Injustice: Gods Among Us campaign is to compare it to playing through an extremely dark DC original comic. It’s “an authentic DC Comics storyline created in collaboration between NetherRealm Studios, DC Entertainment, and writers Justin Gray and Jimmy Palmiotti.”† The story begins with millions of citizens in Metropolis being killed by a nuclear bomb set off by The Joker. The actual game has you start out playing as the DC Heroes who are trying to figure out how The Joker actually got a hold of the bomb which eventually leads to a much darker storyline surrounded around Superman. You’ll play through each character’s portion of the story and you’ll have to remember that not everything is what it seems. The only drawback is that this portion of the game is extremely short and relatively easy. We were able to complete the story in about four hours. When comparing this to Mortal Kombat, it doesn’t even compare. Mortal Kombat was overall harder and took much longer to complete for us but then again there is a whole other way to unlock more of the story as you’ll read a little bit later.
The story is an excellent way to get your feet wet and play through the story as every character available in the game. This is similar to what NetherRealm did with Mortal Kombat where the combat is seamlessly blended into the overall storyline. There’s no loading screens. No character selects. Just a compelling story filled with clique lines at times, just like in the comics (and even the cartoons).
This is pretty much the Arcade mode but with a twist. In Battles, you’ll play through 10 fights against a group of opponents with various challenges enabled like being poisoned, no health regeneration, etc. Playing through these battles challenge you to complete all 10 fights with the odds stacked against you. This mode is perfect for beginners like myself to practice. With every challenge, it really makes you think about everything you might have learned in the different modes as well as try to get you to think about your overall fighting tactics a little bit more. Brute strength and spamming moves do not always work here.
• S.T.A.R Labs Missions
S.T.A.R Labs Missions are “[character] specific missions that replicate a series of challenging circumstances to overcome”†. This is different from the Battles mode in which you are only fighting against a specific opponent for each mission. Additionally, this mode could also be thought of as an additional story mode since you will be completing a character specific storyline that spans multiple missions. This storyline is different from the overall campaign but work in helping beginners learn more about the DC character’s moves as well as their special abilities and learning useful character specific combos. Missions are unlocked by gathering a required number of stars that you gain from the missions completed prior. Whenever you three star a mission, you’ll unlock a bonus feature. This bonus feature could be anything really. For the ones I was able to notice, they were just unlocks for the Hero Cards (which I will discuss a little later).
This was the first mode I tried out was really glad I did. Here you’ll be able to learn all the basics. From the basics of High, Low to Mid Range Attacks to Special Moves, this mode goes through it all and then some. It covers everything that you’ll eventually see during the other modes in the game like the environmental attacks as well as the Wagers that can alter the overall potential outcome of a game. In heated battles, the Wager could be the difference between losing and creating the ultimate comeback.
Now that you’ve played through most of the Single Player modes, there are also a bunch of Bonus Features to investigate.
• Hero Cards
While playing through any of the game’s other modes, you’ll see something called a Hero Card that shows your gamer tag, current experience and level. In this section of the Bonus features you’ll be able to customize your Hero Card with backgrounds, logos and profile images unlocked by completing different challenges or reaching a certain overall level throughout the game’s various modes.
This allows you the ability to enable match boosts. Some are able to help you level up faster while playing through a certain amount of matches. Others unlock hero cards and probably other goodies. I was only interested in trying to level up quicker during my playthroughs. Most match boosts are either available with the right number of access or armory cards, while others are unlocked at a specific level.
Tells you what you need to do to unlock alternate character skins.
• Concept Art
Unlock and view concept art for the game with the right amount of Access Cards
Unlock and listen to music from the game, also unlocked with through Access Cards
View in-game backgrounds
More alternate character costumes to unlock using Armory Keys.
• Overall Thoughts
I definitely enjoyed playing through Injustice’s story. I was able to button mash my way to success while learning different tactics along the way. There was a lot of variations between the chapters to not make the overall gameplay repetitive. While playing any fighting, if all you do is complete fight after fight, you’ll ultimately get bored. Injustice throws in Wagers and quick time events to keep the momentum going along with the story. While I am lacking in overall DC comic knowledge, I did like the special nods I was able to identify for each character. There is a lot of content in here and it clearly shows that NetherRealm was paying close attention to initial feedback.
For those wondering if the characters play like MK characters, I can say that they don’t. I did see similarities to other fighting game characters instead. They are all varied and the environment often plays a huge factor in some matches. In the single player mode, the only character I really had difficulty battling against was Aquaman. They seriously went out of their way to make him a badass. But again no one was really over powering. Even during a couple of local player matches, we didn’t feel like anyone had an unfair advantage over the other.
If there’s anything that wasn’t covered here, feel free to leave a comment below!
If you’re looking for a number grade, please check out this link here. We don’t quantify reviews with letter or numerical grades. Ever. Period.
† denotes content cited from http://www.injustice.com/en/game-info