Publisher: Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment
Developer: NetherRealm Studios
Release Date: 4/16/2013
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Marvel vs Capcom is considered the official fighting game among Marvel fans. What about DC comics? There really hasn’t been a full-on fighting game except for the lukewarm Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe. It felt a bit stiff, Mortal Kombat fans felt the violence was too watered down, and it just lacked some polish. The MK team has come back, minus Mortal Kombat, and created a very solid full on DC fighting game.
If you have played 2011’s Mortal Kombat reboot you will be very familiar with this game. The 2D fighting plane remains with interactive environments, special moves, and various other things. The game plays a lot like Mortal Kombat with several special moves and small combos at your disposable. You must combine all these to create larger combos, it’s tough and really takes some practice. Some characters are harder to play as than others, but they are all fun to play in their own way. The interactive environments are very neat and I hope more fighting games pick up on it. You can press R near different objects and some are on offense while others are defense. In Batman’s Bat Cave you can press a giant red button to ignite the Batmobile’s thrusters and burn your opponent. Some items can be picked up and thrown. Some levels have items at the very edges to help you escape and keep you from getting cornered.
The fighting engine is solid and responsive. Each character looks great and has an awesome arsenal of moves that are faithful to their comic origins. Each character has a special power-up they have that is executed with A. No longer are there four attack buttons, but three. Wonder Woman can use her power-up to switch between her sword and whip. Batman can shoot three batarangs, while some characters have defensive and passive power-ups. These have to recharge of course so they can’t be spammed. They are helpful and can give you a slight edge over your opponent. The power meter returns, like in Mortal Kombat, but is used for different things. Instead of the gory X-Ray moves, you can unleash super special attacks that look awesome. Some are a little less awesome than others, but they all take advantage of the power that each character wields. You can also use the Clash system which allows you to wager part of your special meter once per battle for extra health. These are all tactical additions that can give you an edge and turn the tide of the battle which a lot of fighting games don’t have.
The fighting system takes a little while to get used to because it’s unlike anything else out there. It breaks the mold of traditional fighting games which the genre desperately needs. Injustice has some of the best over the top action seen in a fighting game thanks to the source material. Blood and gore are exchanged for comic book action which you can’t get anywhere else. I also like how NetherRealm made Aquaman cool again. He looks awesome and he’s one of my favorite fighters. He feels a lot like Jade from Mortal Kombat where he whips his trident around a lot and is quick and jabby. I just wish they didn’t use so many obscure comic characters like Sinestro, Grundy, Black Adam, Raven, and various others. I also wish the roster was a bit bigger. At least it makes up for it in content elsewhere.
The first thing you will dive into is the story. Unlike Mortal Kombat, you won’t fight as every character in the game. I was also highly disappointed in the story because it’s just a pointless mess. Superman is tricked by Joker to kill Lois Lane and this causes some sort of rift and everyone crosses dimensions. Superman on the other side wants to take over the world and suppress everyone, so everyone is fighting their doppelgangers…kind of uninteresting. The plot is just a bunch of DC characters beating each other up, and doesn’t really come to a head. I was glad that the story was as short as it was and was just over with. It seems the story was kind of slapped together and wasn’t given much thought, DC fans will be highly disappointed in it.
After you finish that you can go online or partake in the 240 S.T.A.R. Lab missions that are similar to the Challenge Tower in Mortal Kombat. Go to the Archives to unlock alternate costumes (not enough!), battle mutators, and concept art. This is similar to the Krypt in Mortal Kombat but doesn’t quite offer enough.
Overall, Injustice is a very solid fighter that tries to break the mold but offers a weak story mode, and the game just feels like it’s missing something. Is it because it feels so close to Mortal Kombat that everyone is expecting Fatalities or something similar? Is it that the roster isn’t big enough? Too much lesser known characters? I can’t really say, but I can’t quite place my finger on it either. What’s here is great, not to mention that the Wii U gamepad can be used to play the game off the TV or used as a display for special moves. The game does look good with the Wii U getting higher resolution textures and some nicer lighting effects than the PS3 and 360 versions. The Wii U version is definitely the best of the three. With that said there are dozens of hours of content here and you will be playing for months.