DC Comics fans will have a vested interest in this next game. The guys at the Warner Bros. Australia booth were super awesome to us and gave us a hands-on technical demonstration (with commentary) of the upcoming game that is sure to have fans drooling, Injustice: Gods Among Us. And it was very, very good.
Not being much of a fighting game fan (mostly due to the fact that often I have the reflexes of a sloth and hence tend to suck at the genre), I initially wasn’t going to give this game much attention at all. Thankfully enough the guys from the WB booth insisted I try it, and damn am I glad that they did. On first inspection, this seemed like it would be “just another fighting game”, but it didn’t take long at all for it’s exciting and spectacular features to make an appearance.
For starters there are different character types, which include strength-based fighters like Superman or Solomon Grundy, agility-based characters like The Flash or Nightwing, and tech based-characters like the Goddamn Batman. Obviously, different styles of fighter is nothing new in a beat-em-up, but what is unique to this game is the way in which each character incorporates various pieces of the environment into their attacks. In the Batcave, I was playing as Nightwing and my opponent Joel was playing as the Last Son of Krypton. As Nightwing, jumping to reach an overhanging electrical conduit and pressing the left bumper would make him spring off it and deliver a satisfying smack down on Mr. Kent. However when Superman utilises this conduit, he takes the more direct approach of ripping off the metallic casing and hurling it at Nightwing, leaving the exposed wires dangling to inflict damage on either character unfortunate enough to be smacked into them. The same happens in the level called Future City, where again Nightwing chooses to use his athleticism and bounce off of cars while Superman simply slams them down onto his head. Even being on the receiving end of this extreme road rage, I couldn’t help but grin like an idiot. Other background props such as grenades and even Batman’s vehicles themselves can all be weaponised from the scenery to immensely satisfying results.
Multi-level stages are also present, and when combined with the extravagant destruction of the environment, the resulting game play really feels like being a part of an epic superhero battle. Characters are thrown through windows, pummeled inside moving elevators, smashed through walls and floors and so on. Watching Superman uppercut The Flash from a city street and seeing him get hurled through the 20th level of a nearby building never gets old.
Furthermore, in tone with making every fight feel like a true superhero battle, each character has their own incredibly over-the-top super move that can be triggered once their super meter is full. Superman flies his opponent into space before pummelling them back down to the earth, Batman remotely summons the Batmobile to run over his enemy, and The Flash does a complete lap of the earth before administering a brutal punch to the face. Again, this is all classic comic book action that fans of the universe should get a huge kick out of.
In terms of the characters themselves, what will be instantly noticeable by fans of the comics is the costume design. Superman, Batman and The Flash are all wearing armored versions of their costumes that aren’t quite the same as their New 52 counterparts yet are also different from their classic costumes. Apparently the reasons behind these new-look costumes will be revealed through the game’s storyline, as well as revealing how a character like Nightwing is able to defeat the Man of Steel.
The game will be available on PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and the upcoming Wii U. Warner Bros. told ComicsOnline that European and U.S gamers can expect their own unique collector’s editions. The U.S version comes with a statuette of Wonder Woman strangling Batman with her lasso, while European gamers get to retaliate with their statuette of Batman taking his revenge by holding Wonder Woman up by her throat. Consider me very excited for this release.