Injustice: Gods Among Us Looks To Be More Than A MK Clone
Jonathan | On 10, Apr 2013
I got my first in-person look at Netherrealm’s Injustice: Gods Among Us at PAX East this year over at the Twitch.tv booth. I stood there for a few moments watching and while I couldn’t help but notice how gorgeous it looks, I had some questions about the combat. Realizing that show-playable demos are often untuned, I decided to disregard my questions and wait for something a little more tangible. While they could have been playing the retail build at the show, I decided to hold off and grab the demo for Injustice: Gods Among Us when it hit the Xbox Live Marketplace.
Jumping into the demo I immediately noticed how Injustice has a noticeably different feel than Mortal Kombat.
One major thing you’ll notice while playing Injustice is that combat is more methodical than most typical fighting games.
I’m not sure if this is done intentionally to emphasize the incredible detail found not only in the character models but also in the world around them or if the demo just isn’t as optimized as the final build will be. While Mortal Kombat featured fairly simple combos that you could chain together with precise timing, Injustice‘s combos felt more suitable for small burst attacks as you pick and choose your attack opportunities. However, if you’d prefer to string attacks together, you’ll notice that your attack speed increases with each hit that lands; but it’s still a little sluggish in this demo build.
Perhaps the coolest feature I’ve seen thus far in Injustice is their transitional multi-leveled combat arenas. Netherrealm spared no expense making sure that the environments feature full-on destruction and mayhem. As Injustice spotlights DC Comics characters, Netherrealm traded the extreme ultra-violence of Mortal Kombat and replaced it with super destructible arena environments and equally ridiculous characteristic attacks for their combatants. Lex Luthor calls down a blast from an orbital laser onto a stunned opponent or Batman calls the Batmobile in for a drive by run down. That’s not to say they’re like MK vs DC’s finishers or MK’s fatalities but instead they’re extremely powerful super moves that chunk your enemies for large portions of their health. They’re similar to the X-Ray attacks in Mortal Kombat and the super moves in Street Fighter IV.
That’s right, Injustice is going to be considerably more family-friendly than Netherrealm’s previous efforts. Because no one expects super heroes to die, you’ll comically (and often hilariously) knock your opponents out after beating them mercilessly with anything you can get your hands on and throwing them through numerous environments. In addition to using the super moves, I had a good time smashing people with air conditioning units and knocking people back into a helicopter hovering in the background of the rooftop arena.
The demo is pretty limited, as you’re forced to choose between Batman, Wonder Woman and Lex Luthor. In one match I played as Batman versus Wonder Woman. While this isn’t a fight that’s likely to happen very often in the comics, Injustice lets you wage war with your fellow Justice League members or any of the multitude of villains included. During the course of the fight, I was able to knock Wonder Woman into a truck hauling what I would assume to be Bane’s poison, which then exploded and propelled her up into the side of building, which then pinball-ed her between several buildings (including one with a neon sign that exploded as she went through it), which then shot her up and through a stone gargoyle, to the rooftop of a near by building, crashing through a water tower that resided on that rooftop before finally hitting the ground.
It’s brutal, but then again, only super heroes can take that kind of punishment and still get up for more.
If you’re expecting a new twist on Mortal Kombat, the demo currently available for Injustice: Gods Among Us shifts the violence around for a less extreme approach. The new visuals look great, as characters are highly detailed and the destructible environments make fights bone-crushingly good (without being horrific and frightening) and engaging. The slower paced combat feels inviting for those new to fighting games and rewards veterans by speeding up the hit speed as you chain attacks together. Injustice will likely be a great way to introduce newcomers to the fighting game genre, without being overly punishing or too unforgiving.
Either way, the release is just around the corner and I can’t wait to see what else Injustice has to offer.