With Injustice approaching its release in less than two weeks, lets take a look at why this NetherRealm Studios and DC comics collaboration will not only be a great DC Comics based game, but possibly the best fighting game of 2013.
The story for Injustice is being co-written by NetherRealm Studios and DC comics with writers Justin Gray and Jimmy Palmiotti as consultants. The premise is that Superman has gone rogue and is establishing his own type of rule after the Joker destroys Metropolis and tricks him into killing Lois Lane. Why Joker would target Superman and his city will be interesting to find out as well as how Batman and the rest of the major DC characters will respond to it all.
For those who have played NetherRealm Studios’s last game Mortal Kombat, they will notice that while Injustice is running on the same yet upgraded engine, it has key differences that will help distinguish it from being just Mortal Kombat with DC characters. Immediately after staring a match players will realize that some if not all characters in Injustice have a better sense of weight to them compared to practically every fighter in Mortal Kombat feeling and moving as if their light as a feather. This does not mean that combat is slow however and once players get used to the new feel they will feel right at home and start dishing out those insanely fast combos in no time. More new features include not having a single block button( now having to hold the opposite facing direction button during fights) and a Clash system(betting part of your against your opponents in order to win) that brings a form a strategy into the game.
One of the biggest reasons why im looking foward to Injustice is that unlike practically every other fighting game released in the past five years, NetherRealm Studios actually puts enough single player content into their games, starting with the recent Mortal Kombat at least, to make players feel as if their $60 wasn’t just spent on practice rounds and long multiplayer sessions. With the inclusion of a upgraded story mode similar to Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe and Mortal Kombat, which NetherRealm Studios is dubbing “Story Mode 3.0” NetherRealm will be bringing an even more structured and cinematic feel that the fighting game genre is still struggling to not be a stranger to. While players can dabble in the story of Injustice, they can also participate in a challenge mode appropriately called S.T.A.R Labs which is similarly structured to Mortal Kombat’s Challenge Tower and features over 200 missions ranging from simple fights against NPCs with certain conditions and mini-games that focuses on specific character strengths. NetherRealm Studios is known for putting a little humor into their games and with the character roster of Injustice, I can’t wait to see some of the hopefully wacky challenges we will get to see in this one.
NetherRealm Studios will be building upon the multiplayer foundation that they set with Mortal Kombat and expanding upon it as well. Because of the occasional lag issues that plagued Mortal Kombat(and really any multiplayer game in general), NetherRealm Studios went back to evaluate its netcode and has stated that they have spent the last two years of development focusing on netplay. NetherRealm Studios will also be utilizing a new system that will allow all players, whether they purchased DLC or not, to be able to play against each other. New additions include a new leveling system and the return of the popular King of the Hill mode form Mortal Kombat.
While I do personally consider myself a DC Comics fanboy, I do like how NetherRealm is utilizing the DC license for more than just letting you play as some of the most popular DC Comics characters. Playable characters will have up to two alternate outfits that will resemble appearances in certain DC comics. One of Flash’s alternate costumes resembles his look during the “Elseworlds: Superwoman, Batgirl” storyline, and one of Wonder Woman’s alternate outfits will resemble her Amazon Warrior attire. Instead of just having the 24 playable character roster ranging from Batman and Wonder Woman to Hawkgirl and Green Lantern, NetherRealm has also included many cameos from other popular and lesser known DC comics characters that other fans will appreciate as well. The story will span multiple areas and will feature a hand full of major and minor characters from some of the playable character’s history as cameos for fan’s enjoyment but not just for fanservice. More cameos will be included durng most of the game’s iconic stages during dynamic stage change/use. For example I noticed that during one of the promotional fights that NetherRealm put together a character was knocked through a wall, through a teleporter, then suddenly thrown back by Darkseid himself back through the portal, then eventually back into the fight. These little cameos will help ensure that most if not all fans of DC comics will be able to get their fill of seeing their favorite character in the fray.
NetherRealm Studios surprised me with how good Mortal Kombat turned out to be, and with their access to DC Comics license this time around mixed with their fighting game experience, Injustice: Gods Among Us is shaping up to be the first true big blockbuster fighting game ever made. With a promising cinematic and engaging, enough single player content to keep players interested for months on end, an upgraded multiplayer component and large character roster ensures that Injustice could possibly become the best fighting game of the year.