Injustice: Gods Among Us ReviewPS3
key review info
- Game: Injustice: Gods Among Us
- Platform: Playstation 3
- Reviewed on:
- Show system requirements
Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe, the 2008 fighting game released by NetherRealm and Midway, was a flawed experience that toned down Mortal Kombat's gory nature and didn't give enough room to the different heroes and villains of the DC Comics universe.
After producing the very successful Mortal Kombat reboot back in 2011, NetherRealm once again tried its hand within the DC Comics universe and has now released Injustice: Gods Among Us, a fighting game dedicated completely to the super-powered characters from comic books made by DC.
Does the new game manage to deliver a great fighting experience based on the popular universe or should NetherRealm stick to its Mortal Kombat franchise? Let's find out.
Stories in fighting games are pretty basic, with things like global tournaments, but they always try to fit in cheesy elements like betrayals and character development for fighters players don't really care about.
With Injustice, however, NetherRealm manages to craft a really impressive plot that features plenty of classic comic book traits, including multiple universes with different variants of certain characters.
Without spoiling too much, there will be plenty of great fighters and the game's single-player story is constructed in such a way to allow players to take control of certain heroes and villains for a few matches before proceeding to the next one. While you won't control all of the game's 24 different characters, you do manage to fight with or against all of them.
What's more, if you want even more plot elements, once you finish the campaign you get to take each character through a Classic gauntlet of matches against 10 foes in order to unlock special epilogues for all 24 characters.
Injustice: Gods Among Us is a fighting game made by NetherRealm, the same team behind the Mortal Kombat series, and this more than shows in the construction of the core mechanics.
Each fighter has a set of basic moves, which can be stringed together into devastating combo attacks. They can also execute different attacks when certain buttons are pushed, for example a certain combo triggers Batman to throw Batarangs while Green Lantern summons a virtual machine gun if you press the same buttons.
Characters also have various signature moves, ranging from ones that can be triggered with the press of a button, to super abilities that unleash devastating attacks but can only be pulled off once a meter fills up.
All fighters are quite impressive and their powers reflect not just their actual comic book abilities but are also pretty balanced, so you won't complain of unfair fights between heavy opponents like Lex Luthor or Doomsday and smaller ones like Wonder Woman or Harley Quinn.
The level design is also quite impressive, as Injustice takes players through all sorts of iconic areas, ranging from the streets of Gotham, to the avenues of Metropolis, as well as different trademark locations specific to certain heroes (Batman's Batcave, Superman's Fortress of Solitude, etc.).
The AI in the game is quite decent and gives players quite a challenge even on Normal in the story. Once you complete the main campaign, you can take characters through a Classic gauntlet and even compete in a special S.T.A.R. Labs challenge series that's quite similar to the Mortal Kombat Challenge Tower. Here, you need to complete different, much tougher goals with certain penalties and must reach certain objectives to earn special stars that unlock the following stages.
If you want an even bigger challenge, for every achievement in the game you also earn different Armory Keys, which unlock bonus outifts, and Access Cards for the Library, which can be spent to unlock various modifiers, ranging from those that give advantages, like bonus XP, to disadvantages, like constantly poisoning you during a match.
As with any fighting game, Injustice is easy to get into but extremely hard to master. Fortunately, for newbies of the genre, there's a comprehensive training system that includes a regular practice but also a special tutorial that walks players through all the different moves.
Even with the tutorial, new players will need quite a lot of practice before they begin to master the different attacks, combo moves, and the speed required to execute some of the trickier combinations of attacks and abilities.
While there are a few animation glitches and bugs when it comes to interacting with the environment, there aren't a lot of downsides to Injustice. The difficulty curve in the S.T.A.R. Labs challenges series is a bit unstable, as some matches can be quite easy while others are downright impossible.
Injustice: Gods Among Us, besides offering plenty of ways to engage in fights against the A.I., also features different multiplayer options, including a local versus experience and an online mode.
In the multiplayer, you can engage in ranked matches or in custom ones that include different experiences like traditional 1 versus 1, but also King of the Hill or Survivor. They're all pretty fun and provide a great experience although we had a number of disconnections during matches and a bit of lag from time to time.
The matchmaking is also a bit unpredictable, as sometimes we were paired with high-level opponents while in other matches we encountered people who barely started playing the game.
Visuals and Sound
Injustice: Gods Among Us looks pretty impressive, managing to keep a rock solid framerate during the actual matches. The points where the cinematics end and the fights begin, however, are always punctuated by slight slowdowns that take you out of the experience.
When zoomed it, like during celebration or taunt moments, you'll notice some low-quality textures, but overall the graphics are quite good.
In terms of sound, the game is very impressive, managing to combine booming orchestral pieces with actual songs from different genres.
The voice acting is top notch, as most of the characters are voiced by their traditional actors, including Kevin Conroy as Batman, although there are some exceptions, like with The Joker who isn't brought to life by Mark Hamill.
Injustice: Gods Among Us is a great fighting experience that manages to welcome not just lots of different veterans of the genre but also those who aren't that experienced through a comprehensive tutorial. The story impresses and the mechanics are very responsive.
While new players still need a lot of practice and some challenges can be a bit too demanding, the game impresses overall and will certainly please DC Comics and fighting game fans.