When Injustice: Gods Among Us was first announced, many fans were skeptical how a Mortal Kombat-esque fighting game would mesh with the DC Universe and its deep catalog of recognizable characters. In what world would Superman willingly fight fellow heroes such as Batman, the Flash or Wonder Woman? And how would characters like Harley Quinn, Green Arrow or the Joker be able to stand up to the god-like abilities of Superman, Shazam or Black Adam? Luckily for the fans, NetherRealm has crafted a satisfyingly fun game with a deep story able to sooth even the angriest fanboy.
Anyone familiar with NetherRealm's 2011 Mortal Kombat game will be able to pick up Injustice easily. There's a few subtle differences: characters have three "basic" attacks instead of four, there's no dedicated block button (forcing players to react quicker) and each character has a simple "special power" that can be activated with the touch of the button. The stages also are interactive, with characters able to fling boulders, activate missiles or even fling characters into a different part of the stage with a few well-timed button mashings. The controls are a bit more complex than Mortal Kombat and it can be difficult to remember to use the nearly overwhelming set of moves each character possesses.
The bonebreaking combos from Mortal Kombat have also been replaced with "Super Moves", which are gloriously over the top. Whether it's Batman running over an opponent with the Batmobile, Green Lantern dropping airplanes on an opponent or the Joker shooting a rocket launcher into someone's face, the Super Moves will bring a smile to your face.
The story mode is one of the largest draws to the game. NetherRealm worked with DC writers Justin Gray and Jimmy Palmiotti to craft a story that's explains why the heroes would fight one another so readily (Spoilers: the Justice League gets transported to an alternate world). The Injustice tie-in comic is also referenced frequently, helping to flesh out the game's backstory and explaining away some of the "over the top" scenes shown in the comic book thus far. The cinematic scenes are a treat too, with dialogue snappy enough to make even my dour wife laugh.
Fans of the DC Universe will also appreciate the depth of the series. There are hundreds of DC cameos and references hidden throughout the game. While it can be a bit distracting (when Mr. Terrific made an appearance, I lost track of my character and allowed him to get brutalized pretty badly), it's clear that NetherRealm is as big of a fan of the DC Universe as any longtime follower of the characters.
If you're a fan of fighting games or DC, do yourself a favor and pick up the game. Injustice: Gods Among Us is a game with plenty of replayability, remarkably few flaws, and offers a whole lot of fun.
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