Injustice: Gods Among Us

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By, Justin Clarke
DC Comics and creators of the Award winning Mortal Kombat franchise came together recently to bring gamers one of April’s earliest releases, Injustice: Gods Among Us, which hit stores nationwide Tuesday the 16th (April 26th for Wii U).
Developed by NetherRealm Studios for Playstation 3, Wii U and the Xbox 360, Injustice: Gods Among Us has already totaled 173,789 pre-orders and expects, “first week sales in the USA at retail to be in the 250,000 to 350,000 unit range,” according to USA Preorders as of April 13th. Actual first week and weekend sales were yet to be tallied at press time.
DC Comics has seen a slew of hits in recent years with the 2011 releases, Green Lantern: Rise of the Manhunters, a tie-in to the 2011 film Green Lantern and Batman: Arkham City which was received with critical acclaim and awarded a Perfect 10 score from Game Informer’s Andrew Reiner. More In 2012 DC Comics followed their success with Gotham City Imposters and Lego Batman 2: DC Superheroes which was also well receive. This year DC Comics shows no signs of slowing down with Injustice: Gods Among Us being only the first of six games scheduled for release this year. Other DC titles scheduled for this year include Young Justice: Legacy and Batman: Arkham Origins.
NetherRealm Studios, a Chicago based game developing company, was founded in 2010 replacing the more familiar Midway moniker. Ed Boon serves as Creative Director for NetherRealm and is best known for his work as a co-creator of every Mortal Kombat game ever to hit shelves from the 1997 original where he was the voice of one of the game’s most popular characters to date, Scorpion, best known for his “Come here” and “Get over here” commands, to the 2011 Mortal Kombat revamp which is the first full-fledge game released by NetherRealm and won Spike TV and GameTrailer’s Best Fighting Game Awards in 2011. Despite over a decade in the industry, Injustice is Boon’s first non-Mortal Kombat related game.
“I think every time you step out of your comfort zone there’s a certain [perception challenge]. Like, a lot of people ask me when the next Mortal Kombat is coming out…But, that’s a great problem to have…. If Injustice continues to perform as it has been…and it warrants doing a sequel, then it will be really nice to be known for at least two games: Mortal Kombat and Injustice,” Boon said in a recent interview posted on April 19th.
Featuring over 20 iconic DC Comics heroes and villains like Batman, Superman, The FlashBane, Doomsday and Lex Luther, just to name a few, Injustice explores two DC universes simultaneously. One, let’s call it Universe B or UB, where Joker gets Superman to kill Lois Lane, and as a result, sends The Man of Steel spiraling down a dark path where playing the roles of judge, jury and executioner is no longer off limits. Another, we’ll call this one Universe A or UA, which bares more of a resemblance to the DC universe most fans are accustomed to where Superman always leaves deciding a criminal’s fate up to the justice system.
In UB, five years has passed since the death of Lois Lane and Superman has since taken over as the supreme one and only law of an earth that must answer to him. Some villains and heroes have united with Superman, some because they truly agree with Superman’s decisions, but most out of fear. To no real surprise, not all the superheroes agree with Superman’s changes and a small group led by Batman forms a rebellion aimed at overthrowing Superman from his position of power. To do this, UB Batman brings UA Batman, a handful of UA superheroes such as the Green Lantern and Wonder Woman and UA Joker (accidentally) to DC Universe B to aid him in his efforts.
Injustice: Gods Among Us

Injustice: Gods Among Us

UB Batman’s plans don’t go as expected and his failed attempt results in UB Superman deciding he wants to invade DC Universe A to eliminate its superheroes permanently. UB Batman finds himself left with the decision of either sending the UA superheroes back home to prepare for the impending invasion or keeping them there and enlisting whatever help is left for a final stand against UB Superman and his allies. What will UB Batman decide? Only time and a little fighting can tell.
Also, not that it’s needed to follow along with the NetherRealm game, but the story of Injustice: Gods Among Us actually begins where DC began, with a comic book mini-series that began in January of this year. The comic books serve as a prequel to the events that take place in the game, and as a tiny spoiler, it is where fans can discover how UB Green Arrow is killed by UB Superman.
The game offers a number of options for solo-play such as the story mode, Battles, S.T.A.R. Labs, Single Fight and Training. With Battles, gamers start by choosing from options like Poisoned where their health meter is constantly draining as they fight or Survivor where the health meter carries over from round to round. There are also roughly a dozen other un-lockable Battles. S.T.A.R. Labs focuses on a wide variety of specific missions like one where Superman must recharge his health by standing in the sun’s rays to defeat Bane and another where he must defeat Batman while avoiding his Kryptonite batarangs.
Multiplayer appears to have fewer options in comparison to solo-play with only a Verses and Xbox Live mode. However, when in Xbox Live mode, gamers can choose between ranked matches, player matches that include one-on-one fights and survivor battles and there are also private matches. Gamers can also join a room, create a room, view the leaderboards, view their hero cards and start an Xbox Live Party. Bonus Features in the Main Menu also offers gamers the opportunity to keep up-to-date on their progress with each character, which is just a nice feature to include both for on and offline game modes.
Each character has been designated signature moves and preforming many of these moves is not hard to do. Aside from training, a gamer can pause the match at any time to go in to the moves list and choose from basic character moves to things like combo attacks and special moves. There is also a number of moves that incorporate the environment the fighters are in.
Director of Art, Steve Beron, does a great job of creating an amazing looking, fun and interactive universe worthy of the DC Comics names and characters. Great detail goes into the open world fighting arenas like Wayne Manor which has a view of the Wayne Tech building from the yard and Arkham Asylum which shows patients wondering around in the background. The drawback to the graphics and design of the game is actually the characters. Wonder Woman has somewhat manly facial features despite a very curvy figure. I’m reminded of ex pro-wrestler, Chyna Doll. All the male characters look somewhat similar and even have alike sounding voices which leaves them often lacking a certain human quality commonly and increasingly associated with today’s advancing technology in games.
Overall, Injustice: Gods Among Us is a good buy and fun to play. Though it becomes hard to ignore how alike the character’s faces (even Wonder Woman’s) all seem during the lengthy story mode, how similar it feels to play both the 2011 Mortal Kombat and Injustice due to the way the fights are set up within the story and the somewhat predictable story, itself, one cannot ignore that it is a fighting game set up in the DC Comics Universe, and in terms of the characters and the fighting, Injustice truly does deliver in every way.
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Injustice: Gods Among Us