Thursday, December 6

Injustice Gods Among Us Ultimate Edition Review

Version played for review: PC
Available on: PS3, PS4, PS Vita, Xbox 360, Windows
The price I paid: £14.99
Other Notes: N/A

When it comes to DC heroes I know far less than I do with Marvel. I’ve read my share of Batman comics and even the odd Superman one but that’s about all my history with DC. I’ve seen most of the films up until Suicide Squad which was the last one I made a point to watch. Needless to say, I have much less of a personal connection and investment to the characters here. Most of my DC knowledge comes from a close friend who is a big fan of the darker atmosphere. I say this for a couple of reasons. Firstly because no review is free from bias and I hope to better reflect the game by being as open as possible. Secondly because if this game got any details relating to lore, characters or abilities wrong I will certainly have missed it. I also don’t play a lot of fighting games outside of the Mortal Kombat series.

Let’s start this review by talking about the story mode. Superman and company are taking on their respective villains in the ending of an epic showdown. Everyone but Batman is busy defending Metropolis which allows the Joker to escape. The clown prince of crime has gotten his hands on a nuclear weapon that he plans to detonate in the middle of the city. Just as the heroes are about to stop him they are pulled into an alternate universe. We learn that in this universe the Joker tricked Superman into killing Lois Lane and their unborn child before destroying Metropolis. This has driven him insane to the point of creating the One World Government and killing anyone who stands in his way. The alternate Batman pulled our heroes into his world to help him defeat his turned friend. Overall this plot is simple, mindless fun with a few very large plot holes created by trying to fit this story into a one-on-one fighter. These range from minor problems such as destroyed stages repairing themselves during cutscenes to more annoying ones. A good example of things making no sense is when Superman smashes Doomsday into the fortress of solitude only for another Doomsday to be chilling out in the background. It’s made clear from the plot that this is not the Doomsday from the heroes main universe as good Superman leaves him in deep space during the opening battle. Then you have the pill that alternate Batman gives all the non-metahumans. It’s a Kryptonian Nanotech drug that increases a person’s bone, muscle and skin strength. This explains how characters like the Green Arrow are able to be punched into orbit by Superman and survive. What it doesn’t explain is why during cutscenes bullets bounce off people only for them to once again hurt during gameplay. Throughout this whole story mode, it feels like what happens during the cutscenes is completely disconnected from what happens during gameplay. This left me just not caring about the story at all because I didn’t feel involved in it.

As for the gameplay, it feels very similar to the 9th and 10th Mortal Kombat games. Each character has a light, medium and heavy attack as well as a special attack. You can pull off super moves by mixing these controls with the directional buttons. Once you learn a characters move list it’s very easy to pull off impressive and powerful feeling attacks. This sense of power is aided by the grapple that can get you some much-needed space when you’re pushed into a corner. The power bar at the bottom of the screen can be used for more powerful moves or saved up for a power attack. These can change the tide of a battle if used well but can also be dodged or blocked so knowing when to unleash them is vital. The last thing this power bar is used for is the clash system, each of the characters will run at each other and you’re able to bet a percentage of your power bar. The one that bets the most wins the clash and regains a small amount of health. Lastly, you have the interactive environments. Smaller characters can use parts of the environment to quickly move around their attacker. Stronger characters will normally just pick up a part of the background and throw it at their opponent. Certain stages will have different areas that can be accessed by knocking your enemy off the edge of the stage causing them damage as they violently smash into the next area. All of this comes together to create a simple but very enjoyable cinematic battle system. Seeing Batman run over his enemy with the Batmobile or the Flash run around the Earth to punch someone in the face is amazing. It’s over the top and very often silly but in a way that you can’t help but enjoy.

As well as story mode you also have the Battles and STAR labs modes. Battles have you take on certain challenges such as beating the entire cast with 1 health bar or trying to survive for as long as possible. The simple arcade inspired nature of these challenges makes this much more enjoyable than the messy story. You also have access to all of the extra outfits in this mode and the Ultimate edition really does come with loads of these. While I recognise a fair few such as Flashpoint or the New 52 there are also plenty I don’t. I dare say a DC fan will get more out of these than I did. Lastly, you have the STAR labs which is a mode filled with mini-games that range from terrible to slightly enjoyable. Overall this mode feels tacky and is not really worth playing in my opinion.

While I’m certainly not this game’s target audience I can’t help but still enjoy it. The story mode is a mess of continuity errors and plot holes but if you shift focus to the multiplayer or Battles mode there is plenty of fun to be had. If you’re a DC fan then I think this is one that will have a lot to offer you. For those of us outside of the fan base then it’s a decent fighter with lots of characters. Maybe not worth full price but if you see it on sale then pick it up!

Recommendation Rating: 6 out of 10

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