The simple Fan, a person who is simply very enthusiastic about whatever topic they are passionate about. A Fan will defend his chosen passion to the death. Try not to argue with a Fan, worse yet never try to upset a whole community of them. So for a game developer to take on two mediums that have some of the most loyal, die-hard fans and merge them together into a single video game. That takes some guts!
Of course, I am talking about Injustice: Gods Among Us, which takes the beloved DC comic book universe characters and puts them toe to toe in the world of fighting games. NetherRealm have been down this path before and know that if you get it wrong, the fans would eat you alive. Initial reaction to their Mortal Kombat Vs. DC Universe game was very sceptical as to the whys and hows of the idea of Scorpion fighting Superman. The game was actually not bad, not the greatest fighting game ever, but it was the best Mortal Kombat for a long time. The fans were divided though.
Injustice goes all out Super-Hero and selects of 24 of DC's Finest heroes and villians for you to fight as. The roster line up is much better than the previous DC fighting game, with someone there to please every comic fan. Of course you get the expected classics such as Batman, Superman, The Flash and Wonder Woman. Also though are more unexpected characters such as Shazam, Black Adam, Ares and Hawkgirl. It is worth giving the characters you may not know a try (rather than just picking Batman all the time) as each character is rewarding and has their own style of play.
Characters fall in one of two categories power or tech. Power users have super powers and can rely on their strength and other abilities in a fight. Tech users rely on gadgets and their own training and skills. This means they will not be able to perform in the same way as their more powerful counterparts. This presents it self in the game in a few ways. The most obvious way is in the use of environmental objects. Littered around each level is various interactive objects that can be used against your opponent. For example, Batman (Tech user) could trigger the Bat Cycle to fire missiles at his foe. Superman (Power user) will simply pick up the bike and throw it at them.
Throw in stage transitions, where you perform a powerful move at the edge of a level and you can punch/kick/propel your opponent to another section of the level, usually involving them being smashed through several buildings. Super moves that are out of this world. Literally, Superman's super move sees the Man of Steel punch his opponent into space, flies up to catch them and then punch them back down to Earth. With the removal of fatalities and their over the top gore, NetherRealm have really gone to town and created some of the coolest super moves I have seen in a video game. Personal favorite has to be Aquaman spearing you with his trident, summoning a tidal wave and then hoisting you up to be eaten by a passing shark.
The 2011 reboot of Mortal Kombat proved one important thing... You can make a fighting game that is rewarding for the single player. Taking the if its not broke then don't fix it stance, Injustice features a wealth of single player content. Starting off with the main attraction, the story mode. Taking place in a series of chapters, focusing on a individual character. The storyline follows what happens after the Joker destroys Metropolis, killing millions including Lois Lane and her unborn child. Superman goes at but nuts, kills the Joker and establishes a new world order under his control. Heroes and villains are forced to choose between alligence to Superman or torture and death as a traitor. Luckily though, the resourceful insurgents (led by Batman) find a way to bring back their fallen comrades from other dimensional realms (Still with me? Good). Now, that you have your plot device in place you can back to kicking seven bells out of each other. The beauty of a storyline like this is that it even manages to suspend the disbelief when you end up fighting yourself, its just the other dimension version of you.
As well as the Story mode, single players can enjoy the battle mode, which features a more traditional ladder based arcade mode. As well as nineteen other types of battle such as Injured mode where you have to defeat all opponents with only a quarter of your health bar or how about Impossible mode, where players have to defeat the entire cast of Injustice with a single Health Meter. If that isn't enough for you then you also have S.T.A.R Labs to get to grips with. S.T.A.R. Labs is a single player mode where players can take on 240 character-specific missions, yes, 240 missions. These missions are made of battles and mini games, in which players are awarded stars for meeting the requirements of the mission. Finally the Archives allows players to unlock hidden extras such as Costumes, artwork, music backgrounds and more battle modes. Its very similar to the Krypt from Mortal Kombat.
With the single player done, there is just enough time to focus on the multiplayer side of Injustice. Online modes feature Ranked or Unranked matches, daily challenges and a fantastic King of the Hill mode. King of the Hill is the star of multiplayer. Whilst two combatants go head to head to determine who is king, the rest of the lobby watch the match whilst waiting for their chance to be king. Whilst waiting player can wage bets on to the outcome of the match or set a challenge for the duration of the match. Multiplayer is good fun and a lt more stable than in Mortal Kombat. I just feel that after the wealth of single player content, multiplayer feels a little underwhelming.
Injustice: Gods Among Us is a great fighting game and the best Super Hero based fighting game around, with slick presentation and tonnes of content for the solo gamer. The Fans can stand down, because NetherRealm have done you all proud. Recommended to both fighting game aficionados and comic book die-hard's alike.
Due to the violent nature of this game, it is not recommended for Little Gamers