Preview: Injustice: Gods Among Us is gritty, sharp and it looks incredible
I was walking across the hall at E3 last year, and my brisk pace was broken by the sight of The Flash punching Super Man square in the nose. Taken away from my serious business, no doubt, I noted right away that this was no crappy Mortal Kombat vs. DC game. It was gritty, sharp and it looked incredible; this game was Injustice: Gods Among Us. Last week, I finally got to see it again.
For those of us who gave Mortal Kombat vs. DC a shot, we were left utterly disappointed by an extremely tame game with an underwhelming cast. Injustice: Gods Among Us is an opportunity to get that terrible taste out of our mouths. I’m looking for a game that’s dark, deep and fine-tuned. Injustice seems closer, so far.
I can’t really speak to the characters that I saw, save staples like Batman, Super Man, Deathstroke, Bane, Lex Luthor and a few others. But I can say that they’ve got loads of great characters to choose from, and we got a sneak peak as to what they’d look like in the game. It was amusing hearing the characters awkwardly shout each other’s name for the sake of informing non-nerds who they were. But enough teasing – on to the stuff I can speak about.
After taking stock of the potential playable characters, I really took the atmosphere of the game in. It was campier than I expected. That’s not to say it was downright cheesy, but this is no Nolan effort. I have to say, I was a bit disappointed by that. I may be on an island, though. The game features an all original story arc that many comic book fans may be interested in. If you’re a fan of DCUO’s story, this game will far from offend, and it definitely does go dark.
As I was handed the marketing one sheet, I read the famous fighter line about how the game interacts with the environment. I kind of rolled my eyes and thought, Yeah, whatever. But, it’s true! Objects in the area can be used and manipulated during the course of battle, and they’re all appropriately contextual. Ripping off a hose to Freeze’s prison cell sprays ice at enemies to slow them down, and tossing explosives through ripped off assembly lines whittles down the opponent’s life. Purists can turn these options off, but they do provide a bit of nuance and bring set pieces to life.
Fighting is very similar to Mortal Kombat, which is to be expected from the very same developer. Combat feels to move at a comfortable pace, more or less, and combos are existent but not overly complicated. The round system is tossed aside, though, favoring a one round take all that feels much more sensible. I enjoy fighters, but for the sake of being honest, I don’t know enough about them to give you the nitty gritty beyond that.
Oh, but wait, there are special moves and what not. They’re easy to trigger by clicking both, well, triggers. Batman grabs the foe, tases their neck and has the Batmobile commit a hit and run, regardless if you’re actually on a street or in Arkham Asylum. Better yet, Bane does the old backbreaker, and it feels oh so right. These moves become available as the combo meter fills, but there are other ways to utilize the meter, such as exploding batarangs on impact and more.
To get me to buy a fighter is a tough sell. The only one I can really wrap my head around is Marvel vs. Capcom, because I love how fast it is, and the roster is amazing. If Injustice: Gods Among Us delivers on the latter and tosses in a sick story that I just can’t miss, they may have a fan in me after all.