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With the recent release of the Ultimate Edition, it’s time to pull out the full review for Injustice: Gods Among Us!
Back in May, we gave our First Impressions of the game, already out for a month at that point, and after all this time roasting on the backlog, we figured it was time to close out the account.
With a few months of retrospect and the Ultimate Edition already on shelves, it’s about time you picked it up if you haven’t thus far.
The Base Game
Allies become enemies, enemies become friends.
The Campaign is a series of fights connected by an overarching storyline, each chapter featuring a different character from the more than twenty on the roster. The story, written by a combination of NetherRealm and DC Comics writers, happens to be a lot of fun for comic fans. Non-fans will see the plot as oversimplified, 1.) It’s a fighting game, which is not a genre known for its great stories, 2.) It’s a fun story that keeps the cores of the characters mostly intact and 3.) Why would you pick up a comic book game if you don’t like comics?
As we previously covered, Injustice feels much like a Mortal Kombat game through its mechanics, mostly due to having the same developer. For players new to NetherRealm’s fighting engine, it tends to be a bit simpler to pick up than other games like Tekken or Dead or Alive, but somewhat limited in depth compared to those games, though some move lists can have their complexities. The fighting flows smoothly, though, and is one of the best efforts NetherRealm has produced in the last few console generations.
Graphics are pretty impressive, but it’s a lot simpler with a 2.5D fighting game. Character models have great animation, and the Super Moves show off some of the better effects of the engine. Just remember, this is a comic book game so some things may look weird just by design (We’re looking at you, Green Arrow and Flash costumes…) Also, the environmental interaction and stage transitions are fun to watch (at least the first few times) and notably well animated.
Sounds are actually pretty diverse here for a fighting game, which works well with the varied personalities of the characters and stage-based attack moves. The voice acting is top notch for the campaign, carrying the emotion necessary for a comic book game to really come alive. Though Mark Hamill’s Joker will surely be one of the best characterizations of the legendary villain, Richard Epcar fits in very nicely next to Troy Baker’s Arkham Origins portrayal. Looks like the next generation isn’t bad like we feared, just an absence of our favorite version.
The character specific S.T.A.R. Labs, an offshoot of the Mortal Kombat remake’s Challenge Tower, and happens to be just as successful a feature. Mixing up between combat scenarios with handicaps (like not blocking and not getting hit) and fun little mini-games like defending a civilian with Superman’s laser vision and ground pounding, keeps you playing this mode til its end. And also like MK, each task you complete rewards you with currency to unlock concept art, new costumes and other rewards.
Your 2013 DLC characters!
For those picking up the Ultimate Edition, not only are you getting a discounted price, you’re also getting all of the DLC that is available for the game. Unfortunately, the majority of this extra material is Skins, new costumes for the characters already in the game. Though this can be fun for players who also love the comics, it really doesn’t do more than that. Cosmetic changes are minor additions that are really just novelty. What you’re really looking forward to is the expanded character list.
The final lineup.
From earliest release on, you’ll get Lobo, Batgirl, Scorpion (yep, the Mortal Kombat fan favorite!), General Zod, Martian Manhunter (totally called that one) and finally Zatanna. Though I honestly think Batgirl was the best addition to the roster, other people will have different play types than me. Either way, the benefits are worth the little extra you’ll pay over a copy of just the base game.
Fighting game fans will have already picked this one up and loved it for it’s incredible amount of playtime. For those a little weary of fighting games for their complexity, this one makes a pretty good entry-level pickup over other games in the genre and is a lot of fun to play, if only for the story and none of the online features. At the very least you’ll have plenty to do with this one and a lot of things to unlock as you go. There are better games out this holiday season, but if you’re a DC Comics fan, or dislike Fighting game complexity, or both, this one is worth the expense. At least if you already have XCOM.
Injustice: Gods Among Us and the Ultimate Edition are Rated T for Teen for Blood, Language, Suggestive Themes and Violence, though the Ultimate Edition added the Use of Tobacco Content Descriptor. Injustice was originally released for the Wii, 360 and PS3, but is now also available for Android, iOS, PC, PS4, PS Vita and Wii U as well. All systems saw a release of the Ultimate Edition.