Take the creators of the legendary Mortal Kombat franchise, chuck in the DC Comics line up, add some kick ass and brutal fighting and what do you get? Something I’m really excited for that’s what!
Injustice is a fighting game starring some famous DC characters like Batman and Superman, some lesser known ones like Solomon Grundy and Cyborg, made by Netherrealm Studios of MK fame. It’s brutal, bone crunching action with a familiar kombatic flair, but with enough difference to stand out on it’s own. Ever wanted to see Batman get launched into the stratosphere by Superman only to get smashed back straight into the Batcave? Well this is the game for you. The game is played on a 2D playing field, just like last years MK9 and the game is better for it. I don’t think I would have enjoyed it as much if I could move around freely in a big arena. The 2D style benefits the game, with the action tight and focused without the need of worrying of moving around a big stage.
Doc and myself got a chance to run through all of the characters and each had a certain weight and feel to them. For example. Nightwing, who can quickly change from escrima sticks to using a giant ass stick to beat down dudes, all while retaining a sense of speed and agility. A character like Solomon Grundy however, who is a big hulking brute, moves slower and his attacks have a strong, powerful strike behind each punch. Characters like Batman also use their skills in gadgets to help fight in battle. You know how Scorpion screams “GET OVER HERE!”, spears a dude then drags him for a hit? Batman has a similar attack, but can also grab a dude while they’re flying through the air. Like I said before, each character feels unique and very fun to use. I’m interested to see what other fighters come out, with a roster of 8 already playable, with others announced just today like Green Arrow, Green Lantern and the Joker, it’ll be interesting to see how wide and varied Netherrealm go with the roster and how they are going to make each character feel true and unique to their comic forms.
The arenas were interesting too. We only got to play in the Batcave and in the Supes’ Fortress of Solitude. I loved the lead in to a stage, where you would pick a stage and the load screen would go straight from loading directly into a battle. No static screen or fade to black, but an image that would lead into each characters intro. It’s something small, but was very cool. In each arena, there’s environmental objects you can interact with, like using the Batmobile to launch rockets or smash dudes upside the head with, and I’d love to write about that, but Doc and myself couldn’t figure out how to do them, but if we could I assure you it would have been awesome. Maybe some more time needed on the actual game would allow us to do some sweet stuff. The arenas are detailed and for moments in fights, was drawn to background action before getting a punch to the face by whatever character Doc had picked. Videos seem to have confirmed fighting on top of the Daily Planet and more, but I hope they’re as cool as the two we played in.
Returning in a somewhat less violent and devastating way from Mortal Kombat, is a super attack of sorts. In the same vein the X-Ray attacks worked, where you built up a meter, only to unleash a skull/rib/back/leg/whatever crushing attack that caused major damage, the supers in this game allow the same thing, but keeping a somewhat comic book style to them. Harley Quinn would rush underneath a character, place an explosive cupcake underneath and pull the pin, sending the opponent up into the air. Superman would smash you into the air, right almost into space and chase you up and smash you back to earth, whereas The Flash uses his insane speed to run AROUND THE ENTIRE EARTH all just to come back to deliver a stunning blow to the face. While I loved the X-Rays in Mortal Kombat, these supers make sense in this universe with these characters so I’m all for it.
While I’m not a huge DC fan in any sense of the word, I’m really pumped about Injustice and what Netherrealm are doing with the game. It retains the feeling of one of, if not, my favourite fighter of all time, but adding more to it and doing something great with the DC license. Keep an eye out for this one, it’s going to be a cracker.