Creating a separate fiction to the main DC universe, Injustice: Gods Among Us delivers a unique story along with a new take on the comic book heroes and villains. Taking the Mortal Kombat engine, Neversoft has managed to create a one-on-one fighter with a narrative excuse to allow all the iconic cast to stand toe-to-toe with Superman.
Injustice: Gods Among Us tells a different DC history. In an alternate timeline, Joker has tricked Superman in to causing the death of Lois Lane, his unborn child, and millions of innocent people. Wracked with guilt and anger, the caped hero heads to the police station where Batman is questioning the criminal clown… and kills him.
This event splits the timeline. In one dimension events continue as we know them, while in the other Superman begins to rule the DC universe as emperor. Controlling the people with an iron fist, the powerful icon gathers many of the other heroes to him - along with a few supervillains - in the name of peace. With this powerful army he creates a fearful society, dispatching any criminal instantly in a decidedly un-super fashion.
In this dimension Batman starts an Insurgency force to stand against Superman. With the help of some super pills, his group is able to grow their muscle strength and bone density to give them a fighting chance against Superman’s army - but still they are losing.
As always though, Batman has a plan. Discovering the other timeline, Insurgency Batman pulls in heroes from the alternate dimension in which Superman remained heroic. With them on his side, he hopes to find a way to beat his old friend and restore liberty.
This story plays out through a series of one-on-one fights. Built around the Mortal Kombat engine, it all looks fantastic with heroes and villains able to smash their opponents from one ionic environment to the next. The narrative excuse of the super pill puts the diverse cast on the same level, allowing characters like the Joker to stand against the god Ares.
Accessible for all
While most of Injustice will be familiar to fans of MK, it does mix things up a little. Strikes are divided into three strengths with a dedicated special button, rather than into four balanced attacks. This makes it a little more accessible without surrendering complexity.
It's fun to see how Neversoft have chosen to differentiate the various heroes and villains with their moves. Harlequin, for example, uses her speed and a selection of concealed weapons to even the field. This while more super-characters utilize all manner of manifestations (I’m looking at you Green Lantern) and powers to fight.
This extends to their incredible Super Moves that play to each character's strengths. These include Flash, who literally runs around the world before delivering the finishing blow to his dizzied opponent, and Aquaman who floods the screen and feeds his opponent to a shark.
Unfortunately, even with all of the magical pills to power-up characters, there are still some balance issues. Some characters demand total mastery to be competitive, while others are too easily abused. For example, Green Arrow is too well suited to just spamming a handful of rapid fire and long range moves.
This can make the occasionally patchy online even more frustrating as you try to learn and keep getting met by beginners spamming simple attacks.
Injustice: Gods Among Us is a fun and exciting fighter that allow fans of all DC characters to take control of their favorite hero or villain in a (fairly) well matched fight. Most importantly, it looks great and revels in the personalities established by the comics, to give everything a more dynamic and engrossing feel.