Monday, April 22, 2013

Reviews: Injustice: Gods Among Us

Injustice: Gods Among Us is the newest fighting game released by NetherRealm and it shows. 

The last time NetherRealm used their DC comics license was with the love-it-or-hate-it title "Mortal Kombat VS DC Universe", but in the end, what the DC license really needed was a stand-alone fighting game. The way the combat in the game works just feels fluid and the scenery feels really interactive. 

With it's 'use enviromental attack' button and the ability to change combat arena by knocking your opponent into a whole new part of the map, the way you can vary and combine attacks, it has really outgrown Mortal Kombat 9. Just the mechanincs in general are leaps and bounds ahead of the previous Mortal Kombat. 

Having said that, the way the game feels and plays is easily recognizable to any elite Mortal Kombat player. In the beginning you'll be jumping to cover distance and fights feel very slow paced, but soon you will be dashing and juggling foes like you've never done anything else. 

A feature that helps make every character seem completely unique is the 'character ability' button that varies from character to character. Each fighter has a different ability; Batman summons three batarangs that can make a combo longer or disrupt a incoming flurry of blows, Wonder Woman swaps between flying-fighting-with-a-whip to sword and shield. Yet some are less impressive compared to others.

Adding in the 'bounce cancel' move and 'block escape' move allows Injustice to be more of an E-Sports game than its predeccesor. The bounce cancel move allows a player to cancel out of his combo and bounce his opponent for a reset and juggle opportunity, while on the other hand the block escape move cost one bar of your super meter and helps you out of a combo. 

Then there's the new clash mechanic: If one player is low on health, he can initiate a clash where both players wager a portion of their super bar. The winner gets a percentage of his health back. It just shows how strategic this game is and fighting game E-sports these days are all about strategic games. Hopefully we'll all be able to see this played in major tournaments soon. 

One thing we can rely on from NetherRealms is that they will always set new benchmarks for story in fighting games. And Injustice is no exception. Throughout the story mode this reviewer was glued to the screen. Coming into this with a mild interest in comics, we found the story to be both compelling and dramatic and found ourselves rushing past fights to see the next segment. 

Online mode is really the meat of the game. If you enjoy the fighting mechanics and want to keep playing the game, this is where you will be spending most of your time. In addition to the standard ranked/unranked matches, there's the "king of the hill" and "survivor" modes. 

King of the hill forms a group of up to 8 players where the winner keeps playing until he loses while the others spectate and wait for their chance to challenge the king. Not much is more exhilarating than finally beating the king or growing your streak of wins. Survivor is basically the same, but the 'survivors' character pick and health bar carries over to the next fight with very little health regained.

Overall we had a blast with the game, and cant wait to get back to it. There are minor nitpicky things, like the QTE's before some of the matches seemed out of place, but they're fairly quick and you can just skip them alltogether. Some people might not like the way combos or abilities work, but that's just individual preference.

Game score* : 4.2 out of 5

GameViews recommendation score**: 70% Fighting games are more of a niche genre that's hard to recommend to everyone, but the gripping story and newbie friendly game system makes this an above average recommendation.

*A general scoring system, 0-100 has been skewed to much so it counts more as 50-100, because 50 is considered a bad score when it's really average, and average these days is pretty good to be fair.

** This will be a % score based on how much we recommend you buy it with a short description of why we believe you should\should not buy the game

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