Alright. The hero vs. villain thing goes around for what I think a long time. Everybody knows Superman, Batman, and the Joker (favorite) and go…
Injustice: Gods Among Us is one of our most anticipated games for this year. We’re totally fan of everything that’s made by NetherRealm. Especially me and my friend Mr. I love Green…. We’ve played Mortal Kombat 2 for six weeks straight in the summer of 1994. Yes. It’s pathetic. But it was still awesome, because we were really good at it and we beat ‘big guys who were already 25′.
Our love for brutal kills and corny violence grew and after playing the censored MK1 on the SNES (yes, that’s also pathetic) we wanted to have some real blood. Midway, the predecessor of NetherRealm, delivered. Unfortunately, they screwed up after MK3, and only got right until years later: Mortal Kombat (2011).
We finally got to play a new and very awesome version of Mortal Kombat. Old times relived in that game, they took the first three games and remade it next gen in one epic game, all to our satisfaction. We were like the same kids again, more and more excited to the release date, following Mr. Ed Boon on Twitter to see that NetherRealm really took the fan base serious.
It was a blast. Mortal Kombat (MK) is a game I still enjoy very much every now and then. No, it’s no technical high end game like Street Fighter, it’s more of an arcade action game with sometimes very difficult combos and follow ups which the average gamer would never be able to pull of consciously.
After that, the news was widely spread: Their next game would be about everything in the DC Universe: Injustice: Gods Among Us (IGAU). It wasn’t completely unexpected because of the clash of two worlds in 2008: Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe. This was a pretty good game for the hardcore fans but no tournament material.
So now, finally, we can enjoy the new piece of art created by Ed Boon and his members and the first impression is very good!
Video games and comics work out pretty well. We all know the super hero video games, although the Marvel universe (Spiderman, Iron Man, Avengers, X Men and so on) got out a lot more video games. For the DC universe, Batman is usually the one they create games around, along with the villains terrorizing Gotham City. Speaking of this, it’s a shame Superman never really had a mentionable videogame. Batman games were almost always very good games.
But, the love for these comics and their heroes is not enough for a game to succeed. While it’s priceless to see Batman and Superman brawling, feeling like trying to win the Paralympics makes the whole scenery totally insignificant. Luckily, the game is a success and really works out well.
While Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe was not a bad game, the old Mortal Kombat itself wasn’t high up at the time, this only happened when they got it right in Mortal Kombat in 2011. It never really had a chance to shine, and due to lack of a tournament worthy value and audience it was out of sight quickly.
As a fan, it’s hard to write about this without being too critical, but I believe I can. Injustice: Gods Among Us is one of the greatest games of 2013. Action packed, funny, challenging and hard to get to the real core of the technical part. There are some setbacks too, later on in this review, but they’re small compared to the fun this game offers.
There are some things which make it different compared to MK, in a positive way. It’s because they changed some things and fine tuned the game play.
First, there is the defense. Since the beginning of the MK series, they always chose to add defending (blocking) as a button, not the backwards direction we all know from Asian video games. It’s always been a point of discussion. In IGAU, they have finally stepped over to blocking by backwards movement. More explanation? When a character attacks another character, like in a normal fight, the opposite character can block the attacks. This way, he or she will get some damage, but since defending, a lot less. Blocking attacks while using a button (like an attack button) works a lot different than when blocking by backwards movement. It’s about the controls, really. While moving with the left side of the controller, and attacking with the right side, it can feel pretty unnatural to block with the right side. In other words: you want to move/block with the left side of your controller, and attack with the right. Blocking with the right side of your controller (by pressing a button) just feels a little off.
Now they have made that choice and this makes the game accessible for people who never played a NetherRealm game, because it’s a standard in all fighting games to use movement to block instead of an apart button. Get it? If you don’t, just ask in the comments. It’s not the only thing they made different like no fatalities and no rounds. Ed Boon talks DC and about creating a new feel at Hero Complex from L.A. Times here.
Ed Boon – also game director of all the Mortal Kombat games- has always had a thing for doing stuff to the stages you fight in. Like stage fatalities. Who doesn’t remember The Pit from MK 1, where we could uppercut our foes in to a deep pit crashing to their deaths? In MK3 they started to add stages where we could kick the foe to another piece of the stage. For example the top floor of a building where one could uppercut the other one to the roof. Very exciting!
One of the strongest points in Injustice: Gods Among Us are the stages. Mr Ed Boon wanted to add game play to the level design, and he also thought it would be significant to make the choice of the stage of importance for the match up.
I think it works out pretty good. For example, the car in the background can be hurled at your foe when he’s a heavy type (like Superman or Bane) and is used as an escape jump by light types (Batman or Catwoman). This makes the whole level thing more important and most of all: fun!
While fighting, you can kick your foe to another part of the stage. For example, in the Hall of Justice stage, there are two giants fighting in the background. A well put heavy kick (at the end of the level) will hurl your foe in the hands of those giants where they get a serious pounding before landing in the other part of the stage where the fight goes on. Awesome!
Playing the story mode is a must for the fan. You can’t be taken seriously if you haven’t finished the story mode. Too bad I didn’t like the story much. The story is basically put there to add a reason to let the heroes bout it out. It basically resolves around the main characters of the DC Comics universe: Batman and Superman and their villains. All the other characters just show up to get into the brawl. Almost all the heroes get transferred to an alternate future (yawn) where they have to fight the evil versions of themselves. It’s Metropolis (Superman’s home town) which is ruled by some sort of evil Superman who’s heart is broken and then turns into an order pushing ‘Darth Superman’. That’s not really what I wanted to see. I’d really sign up for a classic heroes vs villains type of story, but since the players should be able to fight against themselves, they created a story like this. It’s not awful, but I didn’t think it was great as well.
Next to that, the suits of the heroes (which look good in battle) don’t look good when they’re discussing serious stuff. It’s like a Halloween party of DC nerds dressed up like their favorite hero. It all seems to plastic to me.
Then there’s the S.T.A.R. Labs missions. I liked them better, because it offers training and getting to know the characters. For example, you have to kick an almost immortal Solomon Grundy with Batman, giving you the wide opportunity to train your Batman skills. It works out good. Every now and then you get really lame missions like having to break in the Batcave using Catwoman’s pussy. I mean her cat. So you have to break in using a cat. Sigh.
The most important thing of IGAU is the multiplayer battle, online and offline. It offers a great deal of fun to fight each other using Batman, Lex Luthor, Superman, Catwoman and all of the other heroes/villains. You get to know a lot of the DC characters which of course has a commercial value. It’s still nice to discover characters you’ve never heard about. Like Black Adam, Raven or Cyborg. It makes you want to Wiki them to know more about them.
Tournament wise, this game has some balance issues. It’s easy to ‘lame out’ the fights by simply shooting projectiles with DeathStroke. It’s a character mainly dependent on his guns and rifles. Overall, fighting gamers don’t like arms in a fight. Well, at least I don’t like it. It’s announced that Deathstroke has to be adjusted or else gets banned on tournaments. That’s a shame, because having arms in a fighting game does not necessarily have to be a bad thing. In Marvel vs Capcom you have Dead Pool who’s also a bomber and a gunner, but he’s not overpowered to other characters, although players have been critical about Sentinel, a giant robot using a lot of rockets and brute force.
Overall, this is a highly anticipated game and really did live up to expectations. Me and my friends are typical social gamers and we love it because of the great content, colorful characters, brutal action and hurling piano’s at each other. The use of the stages is a rightful addition to the game.
Injustice Gods among Us makes it feel like there will be more exciting stuff coming from NetherRealm and that they have really shown growth and finesse by creating yet another awesome action fighter, this time with even more tournament value then the last game they created.
This is mainly because of the new type of gaming and clearly not trying to copy MK. It’s different.
Okay, the characters may seem a little unbalanced, but because of the great variety of the characters you just have to think different.
And last but not least, using Batman to kick Joker’s ass, or using Superman to kick Lex Luthor’s ass is always a blast. Can’t wait till the second episode but for now I’m busy finishing the awesome S.T.A.R. Labs missions.
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