Even Superman and Batman combined can’t make Injustice be the game that all the hype was advertising. Yes, Gods Among Us is a good fighter with lots of depth, but it’s just not the masterpiece we were led to believe it would be.
Injustice is the fanfiction story of DC’s biggest superheroes and villains fighting alongside and against each other in a series of unfeasible and completely asinine battles that somehow culminate in stopping an evil Superman from oppressing his universe. If you think you’ve heard this all on tumblr already, that’s because you probably have.
Needless to say, the plot of Injustice is downright ludicrous. This is all in service of providing a story mode, and while ultimately unnecessary, it’s a nice addition to the overall package that is Gods Among Us and provides an amusing, albiet forgettable, assortment of minigames, battles and cheesy dialogue. Props to Netherrealm Studios for at least managing to make a cohesive plot with such a large assortment of characters.
Past the story mode, there are quite a few single player components to keep you busy before you go online. Training mode, S.T.A.R Lab missions and well over a dozen battle modes provide a lot to do when you’re in the mood to destroy AI opponents. These battle modes range from classic arcade fun to abstract modes that add twists, modifiers and handicaps onto your gameplay. While all of them provide interesting spins and were fun once or twice just for the kicks, classic was still my favorite at the end of the day and was the mode I kept returning to, as it allowed for the most substantial fighting experience that Injustice has to offer. The S.T.A.R Lab missions are another area of Injustice worth mentioning. I’m betting a lot of effort went into making the 200+ missions offered, but the problem is that they’re just not very interesting. They add twists onto the combat and throw in minigames every now and again, but none of it feels fleshed out enough to really get into, unlike the core fighting modes.
Once things go online, Injustice becomes a playground for testing out the cheapest battle tactics imaginable. That, coupled with the lag that is literally unavoidable in online fighters, leads to a run of the mill online experience. I can say I experienced lag so serious the match ended once every five or so matches, and that’s not a very good ratio for a twitch reflex online fighter. If you do get into a match without lag, it can be pretty fun and provide a lot of tense fun, as long as you’re versing players that aren’t Shazam or Deathstroke. These two characters can spam their most basic attacks to the point where you might as well go get a drink and come back once the match is over. It’s that bad.
Online hosts the basic 1v1 matches, but also offers KOTH and Survivor modes. It’s all well and dandy in the name of variety, and spectator mode makes all of this even better when in crowded lobbies. The online fighting scene is a good one in Injustice, with the only real issues to look out for being some serious lag and cheap characters.
Completely unrelated to anything else here, I just want to add that Batman fans have a LOT to love in this game. There’s a total of six Batman characters and three maps dedicated to the Dark Knight, so as to appease the hordes of Batman fans. Even better, Netherrealm Studios directly references Batman: AA and AC, with one map having stage transitions that incorporate a plethora of Rocksteady-stylized Batman villains.
-Solid fighter with lots of depth, statistics and combo opportunities; insane move lists that cater to each character individually
-A solid roster filled with some of DC’s best characters
-Stage transitions and interactive objects are a great twist on what are otherwise pretty backdrops
-The supermoves are dumb, explosive and messy fun
-NO DEDICATED BLOCK BUTTON?!
-360 controller is just too damn clunky to pull off a lot of the combos in Injustice, I feel there could’ve been some additional catering to the controller inputs
-Story lacks an interesting narrative with depth to justify its inclusion in the game
-Online lag is a pretty big nuisance
-Graphics are good… by 2006 standards; downright appalling visuals
-Batman haters (or Superman fanboys) should just avoid this game
I wish I could say I loved Injustice: Gods Among Us, but I really didn’t. The demos I experienced at NYCC (and the downloadable public demos) highlighted the best parts of the game by far, and while they’re still present in the core fighting, all of the silliness surrounding said fighting such as the S.T.A.R missions and messy story mode just stop anything from sitting well after a play session. Couple that with the atrocious graphics that are almost painful to look at, and this is a game for hardcore fighters and DC fans only. There is a lot to love in Gods Among Us, but not enough to warrant a purchase outside of the two previously mentioned demographics.