Every comic book geek has said it at one time or another: Could Batman beat Superman in a fight?
Over the years there has been plenty of opportunity, the comics have dived headfirst into these storylines but have never quite reached that satisfying conclusion.
It leaves us thinking, in a world gone mad, could the Bat beat the All American hero?
That is essentially the premise behind this game; an arcade beat em up in the style of Mortal Kombat pitting DC hero and Villains against DC heroes and villains.
If you are an avid reader of DC lore then you will know about the Infinite Earth’s theory, wherein there are a million different universes each slightly different than our own.
In Infinite Earths all those universes were collapsing on each other causing havoc and pitting hero against hero.
Well Injustice takes some cues from that popular story and adds its own arc to the tale.
In one such universe the Joker has tricked Superman into killing Lois Lane(I know it’s grim isn’t it?) by poising him into thinking she was Doomsday.
This catastrophe and the destruction of his beloved Metropolis gave Superman a proverbial mental breakdown. He then decides to use his God status for exactly that, to become a God that humans would answer to.
Like some Russian dictator Superman has rallied the heroes of earth to take down all crime, to rule with an iron fist and take no prisoners.
In walks Batman, now here’s a man with mental scarring of his own, deep seated in that battered brain of his. There is one thing about Bats though he has his finger on the pulse, he knows right and wrong and this is obviously wrong. So into hiding he goes, creating his own little underground group to take down Superman’s regime.
It’s just like Batman to be the only insane guy in the room who’s actually still sane, proving that Batman is always the smartest guy in the room.
Batman cant do this alone so in comes the Infinite Earths theory, with help from Lex Luthor (who isn’t a super criminal in this world just Superman’s best friend and a Bruce Willis lookalike businessman) they open a portal to another world and steal their heroes just as they are diffusing a nuclear bomb planted by the joker (I am not making this up).
Drawn into this dark twisted world are Flash, Green Arrow, Green Lantern, Aquaman, Wonder woman, Batman and the Joker.
Unfortunately they don’t have someone on the other side to explain why they have been brought there so they go about their business wondering what the hell is going on.
It is quickly explained and in comes the multiple battles.
In story mode you have no control over which character you pick, the game does this for you in regards to the story arc. It’s a good idea on paper but to be honest some characters are just so weak that it made me want to throw the controller through the window.
Some characters you can have a blast with and they have great special powers to use but others have a monotonous move list and a special move that goes on forever and ever.
Since there are a finite amount of characters in the game you end up fighting the same people over and over. It becomes repetitive nonsense and you are left usually at the end fighting your doppelganger which is just silly.
Speaking of moves there is no vast set of lists, no real skilled moves you pull off in a barrage of button bashing then wonder how indeed you were able to complete it. The fighting system is very simple, you have a set amount of basic moves, character moves and throws which all work up your special bar, when that bar is full you can push both trigger buttons to use your special move.
These are brilliant to look at and they are truly devastating, so devastating in fact you find yourself using them sometimes twice in one match. The problem is there are no differentials in these special moves, just this run of the mill one and once you have seen it then the awesome just wears off and leaves it being a 30 second cutscene you can’t skip.
Yeah it’s amazing to pound someone as Batman, taser them then call in the batmobile to run them over but it becomes preposterous like calling it in on top of a roof or in the JLA Watchtower in space.
Aquaman will spear you and let a shark eat you, Superman will punch you into the atmosphere and slam you into the earth and Green Lantern will take you off planet and smash you with jets, buses and God knows what else.
In the end it just becomes tedious and these moves don’t make any sense, Superman punching anyone not superhuman into the atmosphere would kill them even before he slammed them to the ground. This is weakly explained in the plot by a nano pill created by Superman to aid his allies in having a sort of durability as long as they keep taking the pills, as I said a weak plot device
This game was developed by Netherworld the guys behind the latest Mortal Kombat game so it’s no surprise it feels like Mortal Kombat, the story has a similar feel too and even although every character has their own moves I feel this licence was far too good for such a poor game.
The graphics are like something from the first generation of Xbox 360 games, the voice acting isn’t particularly good (especially the horrible Joker, I miss Mark Hamill) and the cutscenes which are supposed to be awe inspiring just leave you feeling like they missed the mark.
I don’t expect a lot from beat em ups, they aren’t my favourite game type and they are usually best played in an arcade. Injustice: Gods Among Us is worth the money if you are a big DC fan, you will seriously get a kick out of embodying your favorite heroes.
There is sure to be a tonne of DLC and if you love fighting games this could be the game for you.
If you have some extra cash I suggest seeking out the special edition that comes with the Batman Vs Wonder Woman statue, it’s a great display piece and worth the extra few pounds, but only if you are desperate to buy the game anyway.
I give the game 3.5 nerds out of 5
I suppose it is a competent beat em up but just not my cup of tea, It lacks the polish of Mortal Kombat and the button bashing mania of Street Fighter so if you are a beat em up fan and don’t like comic you would be best to stay clear.