There is a lot of promising content for NetherRealm Studio’s upcoming tournament fighter, Injustice: Gods Among Us. Taking part in the world of DC Comics, currently under the grip of an authoritarian and anti-meta human government, it appears to promise a refreshing level of depth and consideration of the characters we could on for our daily dose of spandex PG violence. First announced by Ed Boone in May of last year, and set for release in April, it boldly promises to usher in a ‘new era in fighting games’.
The initial character roster promises a few unexpected additions. A total of 6 characters appear from Batman alone, including Bane, Nightwing and Harley Quinn. There is a great level of attention to detail with each individual character, from Solomon Grundy rising from his swamp in his fight introduction, to the glowing of speed force energy that appears in the move-set of the Flash. There are no clones or palette swap ninjas in sight. An improvement, NetherRealm!
There is a lot else that distinguishes Injustice from Mortal Kombat 2011. Environments are not just destructible or linked: as they crumble they reveal hidden weapons, such as depth charges in the Bat Cave and expensive cars in Metropolis. The use of these weapons also varies between characters. ‘Strength’ characters like Superman might hurl a car at an opponent, whilst a ‘gadget’ character like Batman may send an enemy face first into it.
Another interesting feature is the sheer spectacle of the super moves. Trailers reveal Superman uppercutting an enemy into space before delivering a punch that sends them back down to Earth. It’s very impressing, but seeing this happen to an enemy who then immediately stands up again takes some of the impact of the move away. These super moves would make brilliant and appropriate fatalities for super heroes, but a lot of the character roster is only human.
That being said, the incredible flow between destructible stages, the background to foreground weapon interaction and the promise of a complex, deep storyline offers the potential for a respectable addition to NetherRealm’s portfolio, not to mention the game library of the WiiU.