Get hype! It’s getting close! The release of Injustice: Gods Among Us is less than two weeks away. Injustice combines my favorite game genre and my favorite comics universe(sorry Marvel fans, but Batman trumps all). It’s always been a dream of mine to play a fighting game with Batman in it, and now I finally get the chance. Injustice is a game by NetherRealm Studios, the guys behind the recent Mortal Kombat reboot. I liked that game, but it didn’t hold my interest for too long, like Capcom’s offerings usually do. Injustice is running on the Mortal Kombat engine, so how does the demo look? Here are the impressions of a Capcom fighting game faithful.
The demo lets you play against four CPU controlled opponents in Battle Mode, or against another person in Versus mode. Batman, Wonder Woman, and Lex Luthor are available to play. I need to give NetherRealm props for presentation. The graphics are very well made, and have a more realistic than cartoony look. Injustice looks like a gritty interactive HD comic book, nothing like, say, the Justice League cartoon of yesteryear. The voice acting is good so far. Kevin Conroy is Batman! He has been the voice of Batman since the 90s animated series, so I’m glad he’s back. I also know that Mark Hamill is The Joker, but I’m not clear on anyone else. The graphics are detailed enough, it’s not anything mind-blowing, but it doesn’t have to be. It looks great, and it doesn’t distract from the action.
As far as the game itself, if you were expecting some radically different from Mortal Kombat, you won’t get it. Injustice seems to build on the Mortal Kombat mechanics, and adds to them. The block button is gone(thank you!), and several other systems have been added. We now have environmental interactions(throwing a trash dumpster at someone, throwing someone into a helicopter), wager(a one time burst type move), and a few more. The most interesting one to me though is traits. Every character has a unique trait, think of it as the drive from Blazblue. Batman has electronic bats that he can throw at you, Doomsday can activate Super Armor, and so forth. This gives all the characters something unique, so even similar characters will have a differing factor from themselves. This will lead to lots of experimentation, which should increase the life of the game.
So how does it play? It feels like Mortal Kombat, it really does. The engine feels a lot different from the Capcom fighters, but with the additional traits and other factors, it feels like it has a lot more depth. Batman can zone with his electronic bats, since you don’t know when he’ll let them loose. Wonder Woman has two fighting styles, ala Gen. Doomsday can activate Super Armor and go nuts. Even though everything moves so fast, I still have the sense that I can control the flow of the match, that I can zone, and that I can set up frame traps. All the staples of high level play seem to be there. That gives Injustice promise. It feels satisfying when I land a combo using an EX move, canceling it into something else, the possibilities are there. From what I’ve read, this demo is based on an earlier build of the game, so this isn’t representative of the final product. It feels solid, but it needs some work for it to last long. My final impressions? It looks promising, I will be picking it up on launch day.