Injustice: Gods Among Us – The Super Ultra Mega Origin Story
Josh Knowles | On 16, Apr 2013
Last year I walked into the LA Convention Center with eyes as big as saucers. It was my first E3 and I had just picked up my media badge when I saw it, a large banner that read “INJUSTICE: GODS AMONG US”. Further down the walkway, I saw Superman and Batman, Harley Quinn and Wonder Woman and finally Green Lantern and Solomon Grundy all battling it out. “Oh, wow. A real super hero fighting game!”, I thought.
Then I saw the NetherRealm logo, I immediately went from awestruck to equal parts intrigued and mortified: let me tell you why.
You see, I fell for this trick before. A few years prior, Midway (the team that is now NetherRealm Studios) released Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe. I had been so excited to actually play a fighting game where I could pit some of my childhood’s favorite characters against each other for my amusement purposes. While the game did very well, the super heroes all seemed to be caricatures and parodies of themselves, while the Mortal Kombat fighters were, well, themselves.
The story of the game was cheesy and I found the online multiplayer mostly disappointing. I still scoff at the game when I see it at my local supermarket’s discount bin. However, just as NetherRealm Studios has improved upon it’s own image, DC has re-branded and improved itself as well. These two had obviously decided to take this idea to round 2.
While on E3′s show floor, I encountered NetherRealm’s large black private showing room, I presented my press pass and told them of the interest I had in the game. They told me to come back the next day and they could fit me in. At the show I learned a little bit more about the game.
NetherRealm Studios wanted this to be a serious endeavor, no Kombatants running around, a believable story and solid, enjoyable online multiplayer.
They noted that the new Mortal Kombat was a step in the right direction but Injustice: Gods Among Us was going to leap the highest skyscraper. It looked great, I saw Batman thrash The Flash all around the Batcave, on multiple levels. I was really starting to look forward to this one.
The great thing about coming right out of the gate with a successful remake of the game that put you on the map is that fans are willing to listen. Like I said before, NetherRealm just couldn’t seem to get the online multiplayer right. Adam Urbano knew this and in an interview with Now Gamer he admitted that the team spent two years working on perfecting the netcode for Injustice. He also talked about how they focused on making Injustice feel real and gritty, instead of the cartoon-like MK vs DCU.
We were all listening now.
It became apparent that Injustice: Gods Among Us wasn’t just going to be another game. It was going to be an event, spanning multiple forms of entertainment. DC launched it’s prequel comic run, titled the same as the game, in January. The story details how heroes and villains come to team up and fight each other. How Batman and Superman developed a rift that will change the entire alternate universe. It’s pretty cool, some of the dialogue is amazing! It doesn’t stop there though, DC Collectibles also launched a line of action figures that feature the heroes and villains in their special gear. That seems like a pretty good run, right? Well, they decided to also launch a 10-week long campaign called Injustice Battle Arena, a bracket-based tournament to decide who is the strongest super powered and gadget using fighters of the bunch. As of right now, 2 are left standing, Superman and (prep time) Batman.
Let’s be honest, Batman has this one in his Kryptonite lined bag.
DC and NetherRealm also teamed up to bring an Apple-exclusive card game to the iPhone and iPad. This game allows you to actually see some of the alternate outfits that characters will have and also get a taste of what we can expect at launch.
While all this is cool, you want to know what has made me giddy as a 90′s era Superboy? This game has a story that will be delivered via the same method as Mortal Kombat 9. There are no main characters, you play through the roster of characters and unravel the tangled story, like the layers of an onion. This gives you a chance to see Superman’s views of a superpower ruled Earth and why he deems it necessary or why Batman just can’t let that happen. You get to see why The Flash has messed up big time, or why Aquaman was even considered a viable hero for the game.
Finally, the game will explain the burning question that everyone has, why can people fight and beat up Superman and the rest of the ultra-powerful super powered characters. I, for one, love a great story in a game. I thought Mortal Kombat 9 got it right, I can’t wait to see how the Injustice: Gods Among Us story unfolds.
Now at this point, I thought that the game seemed very solid. Great premise, a lot of thought had definitely been put into it. This was all before I found out about S.T.A.R. Labs mode. You see, the game comes with 240 character specific challenges that are nods to major events in DC history or just tied into Injustice. While this gives you access to the casts’ super powers and gadgets, it isn’t even the tip of the iceberg. We knew that there was going to be DLC, I even talked about 10 characters that I wanted to see in the game. Themed DLC is going to allow you access to even more S.T.A.R. Labs challenges, all based off of popular story arcs like Red Son or Blackest Night. I wouldn’t be surprised to see some nods to the (teen) Titans, Death of Superman and Infinite Crisis arcs. Even with just the costumes alone, I know we are seeing New 52, Flashpoint and Justice League content at launch. Yes it’s a pretty big deal.
So, as I decide on which version to grab at launch, I am left with one final choice. The Collector’s Edition with the awesome statue of Wonder Woman and Batman fighting, issues of the comic, new costumes and an animated movie, or the plain vanilla version with a disk and flimsy manual insert (yes, NO ONLINE PASSES HERE!). I think I am going to take this one all the way and add an awesome 13 inch figurine to my collection of crazy useless videogame stuff.
Seriously, it would be an Injustice if you were to pass this game up.
If you are going to pick up the game this week, head to your local Toys “R” Us and get a Free Game Guide (Prima) and Batman Action Figure [a combined $44.98 value] with the purchase of Injustice: Gods Among Us for $59.99 (Xbox 360 & PS3)
You can also purchase Injustice: Gods Among Us on www.toysrus.com!