This game kicks bum. There you go. Done. Naaa! After the pretty epic Mortal Kombat vs. DC, This time around NetherRealm provide something fresh (if a little complex) on a DC-style fighting game with a dark, engaging and original story.
The cool thing about this game, is that NetherRealm figured out a really great way of building a storyline campaign around a traditional fighting game by having a three dimensional, layered narrative where the levels you play through are the actual battles. It’s actually a very similar setup to the Kombat versus DC Universe game and that makes it accessible and enjoyable. Throughout, the story switches perspectives from each character, and that character then fights different ones in the game, and then perspectives get switched, and the game moves forward naturally.
Typically with this type of game, you play as one character or set of characters all the way through and each character you win as might have their own unique ending which you work towards and look forward to. This process streamlines and gives one focused narrative for the entire game so you don’t have to worry about a bunch of different endings. The storyline itself is a weird one to get involved in at first; Injustice features an alternate dimension where Superman goes mad after he is tricked into killing Lois Lane and his unborn child by The Joker (pay attention to the opening!). He then takes over the Earth, institutes his own regime, and asserts total control. See, dark! Fortunately, there’s a rebellion, and this alternate dimension’s heroes are able to use a device to transport regular members of the Justice League (Batman, Green Lantern, Wonder Woman, Green Arrow, and Aquaman). On the whole, it’s just really interesting seeing the one and only Supes driven over the edge and what utter mentalness that would inspire.
There are loads of characters both famous and obscure (we all love Deathstroke and Harley Quinn, eh?) featured in the game along with many locations. Each character also has their own special ability or weapon they can activate by pushing the circle button, though we had a few problems finding out what it was for a few characters! No biggie! The signature power is unique for each character (and always very freakin’ cool). Really, it’s awesome to see the guys in NetherRealm Studios clearly putting a great amount of effort and care into each of these beloved characters, rather than simply recycling abilities old-school and moves.
The game is a lot of fun; worth noting is that, throughout the levels there are parts of the stages you can pick up and use as a weapon or throw at your opponent. There are objects you can jump or swing off of, as well as throw. In some stages you can even knock your opponent out of the arena completely into another area which initiates an entertaining cut sequence. We’ve never before had so much fun knocking around stages.
Besides the storyline mode, the game features various alternate modes for added challenge. There is the obvious Online and Versus play as well as a challenge based mode called S.T.A.R. Labs, which take a while to get used to. That being said, S.T.A.R. is actually very enjoyable as it provides some challenges such as saving civilians from debris or having to fight LexCorp drones. Other modes include Battle, Versus, and Online Multiplayer modes. Battle Mode features Classic play (which we enjoyed most of all…) which is more like a traditional arcade mode and even has some fun individual endings for each character. It’s worth noting that through these various modes, there is loads of stuff to unlock in the Archives bit including alternative skins, concept art and more. If we had one criticism, it would have been nice to have some unlockables to look forward to, but aside from that, it rules. Enjoy!
Words: Dominic Peter Roy Smith