This year has already seen a wide number of triple A titles release onto consoles, but there has been one game that has remained on my radar and is yet to hit – Injustice: Gods Among Us. This new fighter puts fan-favourite DC Comic superheroes and villains against one another, to finally decide who the ultimate powerhouse of the DC Universe really is. Luckily NetherRealms have quenched my thirst by releasing a Demo for their new fighter, so let’s take a look.
The only mode available in the demo is the traditional versus mode with three playable characters on offer. This is enough to highlight the potential and promise that this game has to offer and it is an enjoyable, albeit a short, experience. The playable characters that NetherRealms have chosen to showcase are all iconic, well known, heroes and villains with Batman, Wonder Woman and Lex Luthor all posing a threat to one another. You work your way through four stages with the final fight being with a non-playable character in the form of Superman enemy Doomsday.
As I dived into the demo, Batman was my first choice (obviously) and it was great to use the easy control system to grappling-hook Wonder Woman and fly kick her into the chest, to then pick up the bat signal and launch it onto her from the air. This was an added bonus and a great way to experience and realise the potential that the destructible and interactive environments will offer to each fight. With an easy click of the right bumper I was heaving containers across the screen and causing damage to the AI heroine.
The controls in the game are your normal fighting fair; kick, punch, grab, sweep etc. and the special move set will be easy for anyone to get to grips with. Previous experience with NetherRealms titles may help players pick up and play even quicker though, if they have had experience with moves such as the ‘back-forward-Y’ projectile attack that someone like Reptile would normally have in a Mortal Kombat title. In the Demo you are unable to customise the controls, but that is no bad thing, and without the help of the special move list (that is accessible from the Start Menu) I was pulling off specials and combos within minutes, demonstrating the game’s easy to use combat and control system.
One of the best moves I found was using the power bar, which is built up throughout battle. Similar to Mortal Kombat’s X-Ray attack, pulling both trigger buttons on the 360 controller sees your chosen character pull off a three-stage combo that looks horrific and causes a great deal of pain and damage to your opponent. Batman’s version of this includes calling in the Batmobile to run over your enemy. A little extreme but highly entertaining!
The disappointing thing after learning all the moves is that the difficulty settings do not pose a massive challenge, something that can easily be tweaked before the game’s release. With the option of five different difficulty settings I was expecting the normal difficulty to pose some sort of struggle, but the game was a walk in the park. Playing through the demo a second time, I amped it up to hard and chose a new character in the form of Wonder Woman…
…I died in the first match.
The reason I died wasn’t because the AI has suddenly become incredibly difficult, but because I spent the whole fight switching between one of two weapons that Wonder Woman had, a lasso and a sword. Once I had a quick look at the moves to ensure I didn’t continue to swap out my weapon, the rest of the fights on this difficulty were a breeze. Even when you get to the final boss battle against Doomsday, some simple jump, uppercut sweep jump away projectile combos can easily do the trick, which is a shame and something I really hope is fixed.
Whilst I am on the topic of progression of the battles, it is a shame that we only see two of the environments in the demo. There is a street level and a Gotham rooftop, both of which have interactive backgrounds, which are fun but do not show off the multi-tiered arenas that previous trailers have showcased. I guess we couldn’t have everything in the demo. I am hoping to have some Metropolis, and even better, some OA (home planet for the Green Lantern Corps) as some of the many backgrounds when the game releases.
Overall, the demo was a great sample of things to come. If you enjoyed 2011’s Mortal Kombat then you should enjoy this as well as it seems like NetherRealms have taken the magic and added some super heroic flavour to it. With a story mode (fingers crossed it is as good as the awesome Mortal Kombat story) and S.T.A.R lab challenges (what look to be little mini-games) to be included in the release, the demo has only made me more excited for the arrival of Hal Jordan, Barry Allen, Solomon Gundy, The Joker, Harley Quinn and all when the game launches in a couple of weeks.