Injustice: Gods Among Us – E3 Preview
by Adam R
If you’re a comic book fan, you’ll have had a conversation at least once about how ‘Hero A’ would totally wipe the floor with ‘Hero B’. You may also have contemplated what dire ramifications would follow should your favorite hero suddenly turn to the dark side. NetherRealm Studios is taking these two ideas and mashing them together with some of DC Comics’ greatest heroes and villains in the new fighting game Injustice: Gods Among Us.
NetherRealm Studios’ new game combines Mortal Kombat’s brutal style and flair with the ass-kicking output of DC’s greatest heroes and villains. If this image makes you cringe thinking about Mortal Kombat Vs. DC Universe, I understand completely. The thing about Injustice, however, is that it actually looks like it is going to be a lot of fun to play.
Each hero is being handled with care, and NetherRealm is being careful to ensure that every character feels unique to play, even if they share traits or powers with another. Batman is never going to feel as strong as Superman, or as fast as The Flash, but neither of them will command his wide arsenal of gadgets and devices that help him to control the battlefield. Superman himself never sets foot on the ground but hovers just above the floor while fighting. Solomon Grundy takes advantage of his strength and size, slamming and throwing his foes around the screen while The Flash uses a quicker fighting style focused on fast combos, scoring multiple hits.
Each fighter even has access to their own cinematic special move which showcases the full extent of their abilities in a completely over-the-top fashion – Superman punches his enemy into space before following them into orbit, punching them back down to Earth again; The Flash makes a quick lap around the globe and uses to the momentum to deliver a stupidly-fast punch; Batman unleashes a flurry of attacks, mixing together his martial arts prowess with some fancy gadget work.
The team at NetherRealm isn’t content solely with crafting unique and interesting characters; they are focusing an equal amount of energy on creating interesting, fully-interactive levels which could have as much an impact on your fight strategy as the character you select. During our demo we saw the Batcave as well as a city street being used as the locations of two separate super-powered show-downs. Each background was beautifully sculpted with both large and small details, and each level features multiple fighting stages – for example, the fight on the city street stage could be moved from the streets to the roof of a nearby building, then the interior of said building, and back again into the street. The Batcave showcased all of its owners various vehicles which suffered multiple stages of destruction due to the fighting in the foreground. Debris fell from the ceiling crushing a major portion of the Batmobile.
The Batwing hung from the ceiling much like an actual bat, but the intense battle below caused it to come loose and dangle from a single cable as the fight continued on. Batman’s own arsenal was even damaged, as glass cases of various gadgets and suits were cracked and eventually shattered, spewing their contents on to the floor and into the battle itself. The grenades that Batman had stored in the case are now accessible to the player once that case opened; these could be used by either combatant against the other. The background included several other little traps that could be utilized by either side, including a removable power generator which could be thrown by stronger characters. Once removed, fighters could be thrown into the still-active wires to deliver an electric jolt. Even the Batmobile’s defenses could be activated, launching a salvo of missiles at the opposing fighter.
All the environmental moves can be accessed by any player using any character, and certain combinations could even result in different effects. Superman could grab a barrel and chuck it over his head straight into the face of his enemy, while Flash would roll the barrel along the floor into this opponents legs. A car on the city street could be hurled by a super-strong character like Supes or Grundy, while a technical character like Batman would simply grapple their enemy and give them a face full of car hood. Gadget-based characters like Batman could even use their devices to activate environmental traps from a distance, such as causing a car to explode or dropping debris on top of an adversary.
I have an interesting history with fighting games: I never really take an interest until they involve something that I’m already a fan of, such as Marvel Vs. Capcom or Soul Calibur’s various guest characters. Seeing how Injustice is focused solely on the characters of the DC Universe, and gives fanboys everywhere a means to finally settle age old questions, I will definitely be keeping an eye on this game in the future. Injustice: Gods Among Us is scheduled for a 2013 release.
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