Injustice Gods Among Us is every nerd’s wet dream. You get to play as your favorite super hero beating up on other super heroes. Not only is the concept fantastic, but the gameplay is solid too. NetherRealm Studios is developing the title so you can easily expect a very similar gameplay style to Mortal Kombat. Though I am sure a lot of you are automatically thinking about the last DC/NetherRealm collaboration – Mortal Kombat vs DC – that sucked. Do not let the past scare you; Injustice is shaping up to be a promising fighter for both the causal and hardcore crowd.
Earlier today I got a chance to get a hands-on experience with Injustice as well as sneak a quick interview with producer, Hector Sanchez. Hit the jump for all you need to know.
Metroplis has been destroyed by the Joker. As a result, Superman suffers through the tragedy of loosing Lois, their unborn child, and his best friend. He rallies up a force that causes the super heroes to turn against each other. Add a few villains to the mix and we have a quick summary of what to expects from Injustice Gods Among Us’ story mode. The plot is being written by Justin Gray of DC Comics and Jimmy Palmiotti.
As mentioned earlier, the gameplay mimics Mortal Kombat but yet has some very unique twists to the fighting system. Each character has their own set of moves based on being grouped into one of two categories: Power Users and Gadget Users. Power Users focus on heavier attacks while Gadget Users use a limited selection of items that can be used either has a parrying mechanism or as a weapon. Each character also has a super that can be used once the meter has been filled.
Both groups can fully interact with the background even it is available. In the stag I played from Arkham Asylum (I played Batman), I was able to place an explosive on a TV hanging on the wall and make it explode causing the other player to take damage from it. You can also change to other parts of the stage easily. Transitions between one stage to another is quite smooth and comes complete with a cinematic showing how the player is taking damage. For example, I kicked the other Batman into a room filled with villains in the asylum that proceeded to beat him up a bit before pushing him into the kitchen area.
One thing that NetherRealm has made sure to do was to pay close attention to details regarding the DC Universe. Stages contain multiple cameos from other heroes and villains that did not make it into the final cut of the roster. “I would tell people that if their favorite character didn’t make it into the game we still have time for DLC later on,” Hector stated and is encouraging fans to reach out to the studio to mention what characters they wish to see. However, the detail does not end with their expansive cameos. Some levels are also “favor” certain characters – meaning that if a player is playing a specific character on a specific stage, they will get a slight environment advantage over the other.
If you do find yourself stuck in a bind, an interesting gameplay mechanic can be used to help you out. The Wager can be activated by hitting forward + ‘X’ (for the XBox360). It then slows down time where the two characters clash and triggers a brief dialogue segment that is also character specific. (Meaning Superman and Batman will hate on each other; Joker and Harley Quinn will make some dark, cute remark. So on.) After the 30 second or so long scene, players can bet parts of their meter against each other to try to gain health. The opponent can bet against you to try to prevent you from getting additional health or finish a combo.
Injustice Gods Among Us is a game that is universally being designed for both the causal player and the members of the fighting game community. “We want to bring it to a different audience. Not just the technical, hardcore type of fighter but anyone who just wants the power of Batman in their hands and kick Superman’s ass. Or vice versa if you’re one of those types of people,” Hector gloated. He continued to go on about how there is enough of a balance between characters that even rookie players can still pull off some stylish moves without knowing what exactly they are doing.
Though this does not mean that the game has been dumb downed or casualized. Injustice still caters to the fighting community by still being an open canvas for them to come up with chained combos. The game is even built to show frame data information along with the move list. It is also programmed to automatically update the information when patches are released. This gives them a chance to easily learn the character why want to master without having to take the time to time it all themselves.
I personally wasn’t very good at it, but I still had fun. The game looks phenomenal graphically. Animations are smooth without any lag during long combos or stage transitions, and the game’s novelty speaks for itself. So if you are not excited yet, you should be and get ready to pick up Injustice Gods Among Us on April 16. Though we still do not know who the last two remaining unannounced characters are..
“They are two characters who have yet to be announced!”
Awww…Really? That’s it?
“(chuckle) Let’s see…The last two characters are villains.”