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'Injustice' makes heroes of us all

May 1, 2013

By John Powell - G4 Canada

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Injustice: Gods Among UsHow do you stop the unstoppable? How do you beat the unbeatable? Ask Batman.

Like the DC comics and animated movies, television series before it, ‘Injustice Gods Among Us’ explores what might happen of the world’s strongest hero – Superman – becomes the world’s greatest villain. ‘Injustice’ takes things one step further though having evil hero doppelgangers doing Supe’s bidding in a world he shaped in his own image.

Injustice’s plot might have been inspired by the ‘Justice League’ episode "A Better World". In the two-parter, the Justice Lords: Batman, Green Lantern, Hawkgirl, Martian Manhunter, Superman, and Wonder Woman take total control of a parallel Earth when Lex Luthor kills their beloved friend and Justice League member: Flash. Skilfully written like most ‘Justice League’ episodes, “A Better World” poses the questions: What gives a hero the right to dispense justice and what checks and balances exist to keep heroes honest and true?

Injustice: Gods Among Us The storyline of Injustice poses the same queries. In an alternate time-line, The Joker has nuked Metropolis and duped Superman into killing a pregnant Lois Lane. Batman tries to stop an enraged Superman from murdering The Joker but fails. The disheartened Man of Steel institutes a fascist regime and surrounds himself with lackeys consisting of heroes and villains alike such as Doomsday, Bane, Raven, Cyborg and a Yellow Lantern in Hal Jordan.

Aiming to depose Superman, Batman masterminds an insurgency with his own supporters. To get the upper hand in the battle, Batman uncovers a timeline where Joker’s plan failed. Locking onto it, he transports many of Earth’s heroes to his timeline in hopes of strengthening the revolution.

Produced by the great minds at NetherRealm Studios, the developers who successfully remade ‘Mortal Kombat’ in 2011, ‘Injustice’ is a simplified fighting game. One of the reasons I was never a big fighting game fan is I couldn’t be bothered memorizing all of those crazy moves. I just want to kick some butt without having to study an entire game guide. The character controls in ‘Injustice’ are all the same, the difference being where Green Arrow fires an ice arrow, Batman hurls his batarang, Wonder Woman tosses her lasso or Aquaman harpoons an enemy with his trident. Simple stuff.

Injustice: Gods Among Us When a hero’s super meter is fully charged they can unleash a devastating special attack as depicted by a cutscene. NetherRealm Studios has let their imaginations run wild with these. You really do feel like a powerful, formidable being. Superman’s special attack consists of him upper cutting his foe into Earth’s atmosphere and then sledgehammering them back down into the ground. Batman unleashes several batarangs before summoning the Batmobile, leaping over it and letting it run over his opponent. The Flash delivers a punch, runs all the way around the globe before striking again and again. It is all too funny and way too cool. Because of their over-the-top presentation, the special attacks are a riot to execute each and every time and with 25 playable characters to choose from, there is no chance of getting bored with the combat choices any time soon.

Mini-games like blocking Black Atom’s attacks with Superman’s heat vision or catching, blocking Green Arrow’s bolts as Batman are interspersed throughout the campaign which switches between characters as the story unfolds. Using a charged punch, players can also knock opponents into new areas in the same setting. These cutscenes are as entertaining as the special attacks. Characters fly through walls, get splattered by vehicles and bounce around like rubber balls. You get the idea.

Injustice: Gods Among Us The campaign is only the beginning though. Other “Injustice’ modes include Battle, Versus and S.T.A.R. Lab missions which offer 240 character-specific challenges.

‘Injustice’ is the kind of title that will appeal to comic book fans as well as casual gamers. Usually dumbing down games or controls for the masses really annoys the heck out of me but with a fighting game such as this, it just makes good sense to simplify things for everyone. You should never feel like you have to commit the Death Star schematics to memory just to play a video game. Fun should win out and does in ‘Injustice’ for all the right reasons.

 

Injustice: Gods Among Us Injustice: Gods Among Us
Format: Xbox 360
Publisher: Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment.
Developer: NetherRealm Studios
ESRB Rating: T for Teen
Official Site: https://www.injustice.com/en

Rating: 8.5 / 10


 
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