Review – Injustice: Gods Among Us (PS3)

Time to take down Superman.

Time to take down Superman.

Introduction:

Warner Brothers, DC, and NetherRealm Studios decided to grace this world with a game that people have wanted since the dawn of the DC Universe. Yes, we are talking about a fighting game where you get to play as DC characters. If you want to think that Mortal Kombat vs DC Universe already gave us that experience, then you need to go sit in a corner and reflect upon your stupidity. That game sucked and I only own it for novelty value and the fact that they were selling new copies for twenty dollars at GameStop. This was one of the most anticipated games coming in from its reveal in 2012 and I know that it felt like an eternity of downtime between its introduction and release. There were some pretty cool bonuses that came with the game if you pre ordered it. They gave away various DLC packages and there were even two special editions that you could grab if you wanted to spend the extra cash.

Check out what you may have missed out on here!

Having said that, you can still find some of that stuff. The DLC codes and special editions should be on eBay. Heck, there is still a Battle Edition for the Xbox 360 at my local GameStop and there is new DLC coming out as we speak. Well, I guess I should tell you why you should buy this game.

The Justice League has seen better days.

The Justice League has seen better days.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Story Mode:

I think the story mode for this game is a really big selling point for the game. There is nothing innovative in the form of gameplay, but it is the fluidity of the experience that really impressed me. What you do yourself is mostly single fights like in most fighting games, but that isn’t a terrible thing. I would even say that it works really well the way that things were set up in this game. You seamlessly go from cut scene to fight and back to cut scene and that really makes it feel like you are watching a movie. Right, that is the important thing. The story is basically a Justice League movie. There are even YouTube videos that have just the cut scenes strung together. I would suggest that you try watching it after playing the game because it is a very fun watch when you don’t have the pressure of winning fights. Not like there is anything wrong with playing through the story as it is. In terms of the writing, I would give it pretty high marks. You don’t need prior knowledge from the DC Universe to enjoy the plot, but it would help you understand everything that is going on. It is that classic Alternate world has an evil Justice League story that we see pop up all the time in the DC comics. Although you are dealing with oppression, the game doesn’t take itself too seriously and that is a good thing. You get a lot of fun references and fun one liners that give it that old school comic feeling. However, I do have two complaints regarding the story mode. The first is the inclusion of action commands. They aren’t terribly difficult, but they tend to throw off the very smooth feeling that the story has at all other instances. Their simplicity is the real killer. I got bored while doing them. They didn’t even have them set up in a cinematic way like in Resident Evil 4. Just a guy take you have to interact with. There is one case in the last arc of the story where I feel like I spent a lifetime shooting down cars that were being thrown at me. You can’t even skip them by messing up because you lose a big chunk of your health bar if you mess up. Luckily, you only have to do that a few times throughout the story mode. The next complaint that I have is something that may or may not be a personal issue. The story gives you chapters where you go through things as various characters because you are playing through the movie. This differs from other fighting games because you would normally pick a character and just have a bunch of fights. In Injustice, you do have a bunch of fights, but it makes you play as the character that your chapter is focusing on. I did enjoy how the cinematic part of the story benefitted from this direction choice, but I was not a fan of the gameplay side of things. This is because you had to use a character regardless of whether or not you were comfortable with their play styles. Unfortunately for me, I am not the biggest fan of using Superman and Wonder Woman and those are two characters that you use towards the end of the story. How is this a bad thing? Your toughest fights come at the end. So I was stuck fighting the most difficult CPU’s with characters that I was bad at using. Needless to say, the last chapter of the game took a few tries. Overall, the story mode was a very good experience. I think that they could have done without the action commands, but my second complaint is in regards to something that the game kind of needed. The story would have been hurt had you done that classic fighting game thing where you only use one character the entire time. You just gotta suck it up and fight because you will feel very accomplished at the end.

Gameplay, Graphics, and Sound:

The story was great, but the fighting engine had to be good in order to keep you playing. The developers chose to use the Unreal Engine 3 for the game. that is the same one that they use in Mortal Kombat. Overall, the game play itself is very nice. Each little move is pretty easy to get off individually as long as you take a look at your move list ahead of time. However, getting off major combos and stuff like that is available for higher levels of play. That is basically what a fighting game should give the players. Easy to get into, but challenging enough at a higher level to reward serious players. There was an official fighting stick that was offered with a promotional version of the game, but you don’t need one. The game feels fine on a PS3 controller in my opinion. That is the system that I play the game on, but Duc tells me that the Xbox 360 controller works well too. They offer a challenge mode that functions the same way that most challenge modes do. I know that it would help me learn how to play the game better if I had more time to spend on the game right now. On that note, there are five difficulty levels in this game and they are serious when they tell you that the CPU’s are Hard. I can only fight the Hard CPU’s on characters that I like and even then it is a challenge. I can’t even get a hit in against the Very Hard computers. I actually like that because it give value to the single player aspect of the game. Playing level 9 CPU’s in Super Smash Brothers Brawl makes me fall asleep. Online play is online play. Don’t go there unless you know what you are doing. There are some interesting lobby things going on where you can challenge a king and spectate fights. They did a really good job making the characters feel different. Each one has their own special abilities and they did this nice thing where they have classes. You are either a power or utility character. It makes sense because Nightwing shouldn’t hit you as hard as Doomsday would. This is enhanced further by the interactive stages. There are items that you can either activate to shoot something, jump off of, throw, or know someone into. These aspects to the stages help make each one unique. The Batcave has a Batmobile that shoots rockets, while the Atlantis stage lets you unleash a flood on people. They even let you knock people into an alternate part of the stage that is always handled in a fun and cinematic way. The interactive stages are definitely my favorite part of the multiplayer experience. Overall, it is a really nice 2D fighter. In terms of the graphics, I do enjoy them. They aren’t going to blow you away like a Bioshock Infinite would, but they are very good in their own right. I am a much bigger fan of the sounds that they used. The hits feel meaty and the voice acting is pretty nice if you ask me. Technically speaking, it is on par with other recent games in this generation and that is good enough for me.

This will be debated for as long as people still play the game.

This will be debated for as long as people still play the game.

Character Roster:

Here is probably the most important thing to both DC fans and fighting game fans in general. The question that everyone had been asking themselves while this game was in production was who was going to be in the game. All of the hardcore fans were demanding that they see their favorite characters make the cut, but you can only do so much. Since the story was about the Justice League, there were some obvious picks, but mystery still existed. What we got was a roster of twenty-four characters. Twelve heroes and twelve villains. What stands out to me about this list? There were a lot of safe picks. Raven is the only Justice League member that stood out to me because she is rarely ever written into the main story and, if she is, that is usually with the Teen Titans. When I look at the villains, I just see Batman’s greatest hits. After that, Ares and Killer Frost only exist to have villains for Wonder Woman and the Flash. The villain choices are even safer because I feel like only six of them really needed to be in the story. The others are just their for recognition. In terms of character design, I am pretty happy with most of them. I hate Wonder Woman and Raven, but I love Deathstroke and Green Arrow. Those four are the only ones that I really have strong feelings about. Although, I do miss the side cape on Shazam. Do I have any big complaints about the roster. Yes. I am very upset that Martian Manhunter is not a playable character in the game. It made so much sense for him to be in the game that the guy is in the background of the Watchtower stage. After that, I just have selfish requests that gradually make less sense in terms of the story for the game. Swamp Thing, Animal Man, Zatanna, Jaime Reyes Blue Beetle, Static Shock, Captain Boomerang, Black Manta, and Sports Master are just a few of the characters that I would like to see make an appearance that would not be obvious choices. Before I forget, there are four DLC characters set to come out for this game by August of 2013. At this time, Lobo is already out and Batgirl has been announced. Batgirl is a good choice, but I still would think that Black Manta could show up before Lobo. The only bad thing about Barbara Gordon making an appearance is the fact that this has to be the end of the Batman characters. If not, then they need to call this game Batman and Friends. There is one thing about the DLC characters that does bother people. That is the fact that it seems absurd that you have to pay more money for a game that you already bought just so that you can have the full experience. Normally, I agree with that. I thought that it was bullshit that you had to buy characters for Mortal Kombat, but I think that this game is a unique case. When you are dealing with something that has a fan base like the DC fan base, then I think you must have both DLC characters and skins available as often as possible. Why is this? Well, no matter how many characters and skins you make, you will always have fans wanting more. There will be lobbying for characters that people have never even heard of. Not only is it a smart business choice to make things that you know will get purchased, but I think that fans of this game will not be as upset regarding money as you may think. The DLC packs cost about as much as a new comic and you know how many of those fans buy. As a DC fan, I am begging for DLC characters because this game let’s me play as my favorite characters and that is an experience that you cannot undersell. I do think that the developers are really marketing to comic book fans because everything that they have done so far feels that way. They give you comic history for characters and skins from popular issues. Let’s just hope that they keep giving us more because I know that I may never be 100% satisfied with the roster and skin options.

I love this game so much that I had to get the arcade stick.

I love this game so much that I had to get the arcade stick.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Impression:

I love this game. I love watching the cut scenes for the story mode because they make up what is by far the best Justice League movie that I have ever seen. I love playing the game with my friends because it is fun to play as DC characters. Dung has already gotten used to Green Arrow which has become a major problem for me. I should have never taught him how to load the quiver. That is one thing that I don’t necessarily like about the game. At the early stages, the ranged characters can get pretty annoying. I had to learn how to really use Doomsday in order to have a chance against someone who uses a guy like Deathstroke. Well, that isn’t really the biggest problem because every game has that ranged asshole character. I am referring more to Deathstroke when I say that because I think that Green Arrow is a great overall character. The really annoying thing about this game is the player card. It records your wins and losses, not just from online play, but from all forms of play. This sucks because I am self-conscious about my skill. I can be fat and ugly, but not bad at Injustice. There are a bunch of losses on my card that aren’t even mine from when I played with the guys. Oh well, that is me caring too much. Am I great at this game? No, but I do enjoy it. I really feel like DC fans are receiving the experience that they have been looking for. Batman fans have been sitting pretty with the Dark Knight trilogy and the Arkham games, but if you liked anything else about the universe, then you have been kind of hung out to dry. Luckily, this game has the potential to give fans a lot more. Although, I would not expect to see any of the more obscure characters anytime soon. Overall, I loved this game and I can’t wait to play it with the guys that are coming back for the summer.

Thank the gods for this game.

Thank the gods for this game.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Final Say:

Buy this game. You can pick it up for $49.99 for a limited time at GameStop and the special editions are not so rare that you can’t find them somewhere, but that window is closing fast. The base experience is good enough for fans of games in general and I think that fifty dollars is not the biggest investment for fans of good games. For DC fans, you better pick up that DLC because it has a lot to offer. I can see this game having a very long shelf life for fans if they keep cranking out DLC the way that they have been and that is a good sign. The game is available on PS3, Xbox 360, and Wii U. I definitely think that anyone playing it on the Wii U should have that pro controller because I have a feeling that the game would suck to play on the gamepad. I don’t really give out number or letter grades because I feel like it is difficult to quantify the quality of something like a video game. People like what they like and that is just a thing. People tend to latch onto specific fighting game franchises and I will admit that this game lacks what Mortal Kombat fans are looking for. Specifically, Mortal Kombat characters and gore. However, I know that this game appeals to DC fans and there are plenty of you out there that need to buy this game. They make great comic references like using the Killing Joke comic to introduce Batgirl. The comic fans are their target audience and DC fans really need to latch onto things that are good because they have given us a lot of crap over the years. They are catering to us, so let’s partake.

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