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Injustice: Gods Among Us [Xbox 360] Review

Posted on April 17, 2013 AT 10:04pm

When the mightiest heroes of the DC Universe clash in an epic adventure, only one developer can take the reins and take the shocking and expansive story and turn it into a fighting game. Netherrealm Studios, the creators of the iconic Mortal Kombat franchise have taken the biggest names in the DCU and pit them against one another in an epic brawl. Watch Superman punch the lights out of the Joker, see the Flash run circles around Wonder Woman and see Bane break the back of the Green Lantern in the latest comic book fighting game, Injustice: Gods Among Us.

The story mode revolves around an insidious plot that causes the Man of Steel to lose control and become a one man wrecking crew, taking a firm stance on all crime across the globe. Finally using the entirety of his powers, Superman uses his plethora of abilities to create a worldwide, totalitarian government where he is the almighty ruler, using heroes and villains alike to stop any and all wrongdoing. This results in the heroes from two different universes clashing to put down the almighty Man of Steel. This story uses several fighters as the main characters of the game and includes all of the 20+ character roster, resulting in an arching and compelling tale of loss, struggle and rebellion that really shows the complexity of the DC Universe. This is by far one of the biggest stories seen in a fighting game, and the huge backstory of each of these characters through their respective comic book franchises seems to be put to good use, something that hasn’t been seen in many of the other multimedia comic book offerings.

The tremendous story is the biggest draw of the title, though there are many other aspects to this game that are worth mentioning. As a fighter, the mechanics and gameplay are an incredibly important part of the game itself, and Injustice delivers. The controls are crisp and responsive, there are a variety of fighting styles through the various characters, and the “Super Moves”, a special attack gained after accruing a certain amount of meter, are entertaining, over the top and occasionally brutal. Watching Superman punch a character into outer space, or seeing Batman hit another DC Comics member with the Batmobile makes for an incredibly satisfying experience.

While the game mechanics are good, there are a few flaws that went into the development of this massive title. There is little in the way of a tutorial or training (though there is a practice mode), so new gamers to the realm of fighting titles might have a difficult time getting into the details of it. There is also the aspect of it only being one on one combat, which can make for a bit of a lackluster playing time after getting through the main story.

Another big draw to the game is the incredibly interactive environment that comes with each stage of the game. There are many destructible elements in each stage that can be summoned at the push of a button, and reacts differently to the type of character used (strong characters will pick up and throw objects, smaller characters will bounce off of them of make them explode). There are also multiple parts of the stage that can be triggered at either end of the fighting plane, leading to a painful introduction to a new area of the level.

The graphics is something that has been a cause for alarm for many, but it’s not as bad as it seems. They’re not the greatest in the gaming industry, but they’re not terrible. While there is definitely some room to work with, the graphics work well with the way the game plays, as well as during the multiple cut scenes that occur during the story mode.

There are also other modes, aside from the main story, including the incredibly lackluster S.T.A.R. Labs missions, which are basically mini-games and small missions that provide the ability to get into better detail with a character and play with certain constraints. Most of the time, the difficulty range jumps around from the incredibly easy to the nearly impossible, making for a frustrating time during gameplay. There is also the battle mode, which uses the classic Mortal Kombat style of fighting your way up a line of characters to the big boss himself, Superman. Once finished, each character gets a special ending that is unlockable and helps unlock other items in the Justice League Archives (costumes, profile backgrounds, etc.).

There is, of course, online play as well, with several different aspects, though nothing out of the ordinary. With ranked and unranked matches, a king of the hill style of play and many others, there is nothing special about the multiplayer mode, but it does work well. There is minimal lag during online play and matchmaking works quickly, so there is very little to work on as far as making it a well-done game mode. The attack responsiveness could be a bit better, but that is to be expected.

Summary: Most comic book games are either terrible, mediocre or incredibly terrible. Injustice: Gods Among Us proves this formula wrong by providing a unique and expansive fighting game that has a huge story, great fight mechanics and a solid online mode. While there is little in the way of training and the S.T.A.R. Labs mode is pretty useless, Netherrealm has a hit on its hands by licensing one of the biggest franchises in the history of media into a fun and entertaining game that should leave fans very satisfied.

Pros: Incredible story, great fight mechanics, expansive character roster.

Cons: Useless game mode, lack of replay value with 1v1 mode, lack of training.

Grade: A-



Russ Pirozek, known as "Noobcrawler" to some, is a gamer and comic book fan who sometimes gets around to writing for He's also awesome. If someone looked up "awesome" in the dictionary, his picture wouldn't be there, but that's because he's too busy being awesome to pose for a photo.

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