• Great articles on other sites
  • RSS Great articles on other sites

  • Renai's other site: Sci-fi + fantasy book news and reviews
  • RSS Renai LeMay

  • Gaming, Reviews - Written by on Wednesday, May 15, 2013 12:36 - 0 Comments

    Injustice: Gods Among Us: Review


    This review comes from Digitally Downloaded.

    review Warner Bros. clearly had this game in mind when it acquired Ed Boon’s team at NetherRealm Studios. It must have been a moment of celebration at the publisher’s headquarters when a premier fighting game developer went on the open market; here was after all an opportunity to bring in-house the development of a superhero fighting game that was finally going to do justice to superhero fighting games.

    So NetherRealm was acquired and Injustice: Gods Among Us is a Mortal Kombat game with a DC universe skin. As awesome as the game is, there is a problem with this setup that permeates the entire experience; Boon and his team have not fully been able to break away from their own design traditions and philosophies and this game is so slavishly faithful to the Mortal Kombat franchise that I was honestly surprised that I was not able to execute fatalities. And even then each character has an ultra attack that looks and feels like a bloodless fatality.

    Despite the difficulty in looking at Batman and not thinking “reskinned Sub-Zero”, the dark themes of modern DC characters slots in well over the Gothic horror of Mortal Kombat. As such, aside from a few awkward moments, thematically Injustice is a robust and intelligent character mashup – a far more pure take on the universe than anything Marvel has done in recent years.

    The vision is so pure that perhaps the most impressive part of the game has nothing to do with the combat but rather the plot. Perish the thought that a fighting game has a story worth following, but from start to finish the game’s plot is a fan’s dream come true. We’re talking about a story that manages to turn Superman bad, kills The Joker, and otherwise plays with people’s favourite heroes and villains without really breaking continuity thanks to a clever alternate dimension narrative trick. It’s short, but the breakneck energy in which it runs through the chapters is executed with such style that the game rivals the finest DC animated shows.

    It is just as well that the theming looks after the game as the Mortal Kombat combat structure is kitsch and clunky, not even close to the graceful depth of a Dead or Alive or BlazBlue title. It works and is completely glitch-free, it’s just limited compared to other fighting game systems out there. Here is a game where it’s possible to get stuck within entire health-bar depleting combos and the environmental effects that the developers have thrown in are able to wipe characters out of commission far too easily.

    There’s a couple of moments where the game throws in some strategy, such as a risk/ reward mechanic where a player’s super power is tied in with the same energy bar as a variety of defensive functions. Deciding what to use that limited energy on throw some thinking into a game that is generally more fun button mashing than in executing combos with precision. But other problems with the balancing don’t take long to reveal themselves; there are some characters that are far too powerful and others are too spammy. The game doesn’t really reward blocking – the wonderful counter system of a game like Dead or Alive isn’t present here and because of that the game is far too skill-free and aggressive for my tastes.

    Just to make this clear: I didn’t much enjoy the combat in Injustice, just as I’ve long moved on from the barely-there evolutions to the combat of Mortal Kombat. I enjoy the local multiplayer because it lets Batman beat the living hell out of Aquaman. In fact, beating up Aquaman with any of the 23 other characters is always going to be a hoot. And I enjoyed the story mode for the same reasons I liked The Avengers movie – it’s an adrenaline rush for anyone that likes superheroes. Between those modes, there was more than enough content in this game to justify its purchase.

    It’s also a gorgeous game on the eyes. Environments are filled with details and those environmental effects ensure every match is dynamic and exciting. So there’s a lot I did enjoy about the game. But I’ll never really get into this game’s online mode, and I doubt I’ll spend enough time with the non-story single player game modes to really complete them. It just does not have the depth or nuance that makes it, in my humble perspective, a legitimate serious competitive contender.

    It might seem a little strange that I am whole-heartedly recommending a fighting game that really is not up to the same standards of the great fighting games out there. But here’s the reality; the only people who will look at Injustice and think to themselves “this looks good” are the fans of the DC Universe. And for those people I don’t think it will really matter that there are better fighting games out there – this plays well enough, and it rocks because it lets Batman beat the living bejeebus out of Aquaman.


    Image credit: NetherRealm Studios

    Print Friendly

    Comments are closed.

  • Get our weekly newsletter

    All our stories, just one email a week.

    Email address:

    Follow us on social media

    Use your RSS reader to subscribe to our articles feed or to our comments feed.

  • Enterprise IT stories

    • Govt blows $14.4m on Windows XP, Server 2003 support nadella-1

      The Federal Government has paid Microsoft more than $14.4 million for custom support of the outdated Windows XP and Windows Server 2003 operating systems, in a costly move which further demonstrates the extreme cost of running operating systems which are no longer formally supported by their vendors.

    • [ad] Tatts Group optimises business performance with StruxureWare software schneider

      Tatts Group is one of Australia’s largest lottery and gaming companies, operating the majority of lotteries within Australia, as well as wagering, telephone betting and online transactions. Their online transactions make them one of the highest trafficked sites in the country.

    • Legacy health software lands SA Govt in court doctor

      In which the South Australian Government comes up with complex legal arguments as to why it should be able to continue to use a 1980’s software package.

    • Microsoft wants to win you back with Windows 10 windows-10

      The latest version of Microsoft’s Windows operating system will begin rolling out from Wednesday (July 29). And remarkably, Windows 10 will be offered as a free upgrade to those users who already have Windows 7 and 8.1 installed.

    • Qld Govt Depts have no disaster recovery plan brisvegas2

      Two sizable Queensland Government departments have no central disaster recovery plan, the state’s Auditor-General has found, despite the region’s ongoing struggles with extreme weather conditions that have previously knocked out telecommunications and data centre infrastructure.

    • ASD releases Windows 8 hardening guide windows-8-1

      The Australian Signals Directorate appears to have released a guide to hardening Microsoft’s Windows 8 operating system, three years after the software was released for use by corporate customers, and as Microsoft is slated to release its next upgrade, Windows 10.

    • ASG picks up $35m CIMIC IT services deal money

      Perth-headquartered IT services group ASG this week revealed it had picked up a deal worth at least $35 million over five years with CIMIC Group — the massive construction and contracting group previously known as Leighton Holdings.

  • News, Policy + Politics - Aug 4, 2015 16:12 - 21 Comments

    Turnbull revises history on NBN satellite demand

    More In Policy + Politics

    Enterprise IT, News - Aug 3, 2015 16:03 - 5 Comments

    Govt blows $14.4m on Windows XP, Server 2003 support

    More In Enterprise IT

    Industry, News - Aug 4, 2015 16:52 - 1 Comment

    Posse group picks up $5m in funding

    More In Industry

    Consumer Tech, News - Jul 29, 2015 17:14 - 11 Comments

    Telstra integrates Netflix, Stan, Presto into re-badged Roku box

    More In Consumer Tech