The streets of Gotham and Metropolis are in chaos. Batman faces off against protege Nightwing, Joker squares up to Lex Luthor while firm friends Green Lantern and The Flash try to break the other. The fighting is brutal, old friendships are forgotten as the cities are literally demolished in the wake of these super-battles. Bombast and entertainment are at the top of the menu in Injustice; if you’re a fan of the DC heroes then you’re bound to be drawn in. Hardcore fighting fans might want to look elsewhere.
Injustice is from the same team as Mortal Kombat and boy does it show. If you have played any of the MK titles in the last 5 years, you’ll be immediately at home here – the mechanics, moves and looks are practically the same. Fans of “hardcore” fighting games like Street Fighter or Blazblue won’t find much to like here, honestly though this game isn’t meant for them. First and foremost it’s a love letter to comic books and the rich universe of DC characters; the story-mode is front and centre and the game is accessible for newcomers to the fighting genre.
It’s a good job the story is strong and works. Not wanting to go into spoiler territory here, but the writers deal with the problem of “How can the Joker beat Superman” question well. While the narrative stays loyal to its comic book roots, it also brings in some interesting ideas and twists on beloved characters that fans will no doubt get a kick out of. Similar to the last MK title, Injustice’s story-mode switches from character to character over a 5 hour campaign – giving you a good feel of which super-hero (or villain) you prefer. While you do spend more time with the “A Team” of the DC scene (Batman especially) characters such as Ares, Aquaman and Cyborg all get their chances to shine. Being a Warner Brothers Interactive title, there are some great cameos too – keep an eye out for some popular moments from the Arkham series in particular.
Away from the story, there is a wealth of modes to keep you coming back. Classic Battle does exactly what it says on the tin, though you can choose to fight villains or heroes only and unlock other scenarios, and there are the standard challenge and multiplayer modes. Most interesting though is S.T.A.R.S. Nothing to do with Resident Evil, this is an objective based “mission-mode” for each of the main characters; you fight through various stages as a various character in different scenarios – Superman may be fighting enemies with Kryptonite rings and must stay in the sun-rays to recharge, for example. While some of the objectives can be annoyingly hit-and-miss, we found this mode to be surprisingly addictive.
Unfortunately, as entertaining and polished as Injustice is – the animation, voice-acting and sound are all outstanding – it is only an average fighter. Some combo’s just don’t work in the way they should which can lead to frustration and button-mashing whilst the characters are horribly unbalanced. It is an issue that has plagued MK for years and it hasn’t changed with Injustice. However, if you ARE a fan of the DC comics and are put off by the lightning-quick reflexes needed for Street Fighter (and have enjoyed MK) in the past, then this is recommended. Entertaining, over-the-top fun, though not for the hardcore.
– Dave Green. He’s on Twitter @davidpgreen83