I played Injustice on the 360 earlier this year. Once again, NetherRealm Studios have shown they still know how to make a fighting game, and being such a big DC Comics fan, I was blown away by the amount of fan service they were able to cram in. Now, after numerous DLC characters and new skins have been released, they finally come out with a giant bundle including the game and all the content to boot. Upgrade this already great package to the PS4 and we have ourselves possibly the definitive version of Injustice: Gods Among Us.
For those that don’t know, Injustice is a fighting game that features DC Comics characters. Utilizing a three button mechanic with a fourth used to activate the character-specific special ability, it has a rather simple concept. Mix together a super meter that can be used to power up special moves as well as using the entire meter to perform a devastating super move, and this game just became a complex fighter with numerous mechanics thrown in.
Each character has special moves that any fighting game player knows. Quarter circle moves combined with a certain attack button can have Batman throw out batarangs or Deathstroke fire off a couple shots from his pistols. In addition to these, players can use a section of the super meter to power up these attacks using “meter burn.” These are performed by simply hitting R2 after initiating a special move. R2 also serves as a quick escape when blocking as well as canceling a combo and moving into another one much like a Focus Attack Dash Cancel in Street Fighter IV. After losing the first health bar, players can also initiate a Clash where each player wagers a certain amount of their super meter and the player that wins the wager can either gain back health, or make their opponent lose some. There are things to keep in mind while playing a match like “when should I use a super move” and “how much meter should I wager in this situation?” that keep the players on their toes even if they’re winning by what seems like a land slide.
The character trait abilities factor in even more complexity to the game. Superman’s ability ups his damage output while Green Arrow’s allows him to fire off special arrows that can alter the course of the battle. Utilizing these is key to winning against skilled players.
It isn’t all about the fighting. In fact, the story mode offers a very well told DC Comics tale involving almost everyone in the DC universe. Players will take control of all the well-known heroes and villains in fights that play out through the story. The voice acting, animations and cut scenes feel like they were ripped right out of a movie and fit very well with the feel of the game, and with voice talents like Kevin Conroy and Tara Strong playing their respective parts, it makes the story mode even better.
After story mode is exhausted, players can take on the S.T.A.R. Labs missions. Much like the Challenge Tower from Mortal Kombat, players take on numerous scenarios with special conditions. They are graded on a three star scale by meeting objectives. Here, things change up a bit and offer up a more dynamic experience. Players may be forced to play as Superman as he fights Batman using kryptonite batarangs or take over a Bane as he tries to get more Venom from the Flash. They are fun and change up the pace quite a bit.
It wouldn’t be much of a fighting game without online play and on the PlayStation 4, it runs smooth. With numerous battles under my belt, I can say that most of my matches with some exceptions, went without a hitch. Occasionally, there would be a two second delay with some lag but it was never game breaking and a few matches suffered from “de-synchronization” and ended the match, but these were very few and far between.
Everything the player does, whether it is playing the story, completing S.T.A.R. Lab missions, or playing online will earn them experience points. These points go to levels that, when achieved unlock new titles and profile pictures and other customization options.
Now it’s time to talk about the changes to both the PS4 and Ultimate Edition version. First and foremost the game looked great on the PS3 and 360. On the PS4, it looks even better. Running at 1080p at such a high frame rate makes all the models and animations appear more vivid. I’m not one to judge on visuals that much, but Injustice on the PS4 is pretty gorgeous. To go along with the new DualShock 4 controller, the game allows the quick time events featured in the story mode and some S.T.A.R. Lab missions to be done using the touch pad. I actually found it more accurate and easier to execute by swiping on the touch pad than using the buttons.
The new additions to the game with the Ultimate Edition are all the DLC characters as well as all the extra costumes and skins that were released. This includes General Zod, Scorpion, Martian Manhunter, Zatanna, Lobo and Batgirl. On top of that, all new S.T.A.R. Lab missions are included for the DLC characters.
The original game was a blast to play, and knowing if you should re-purchase this one for the PS4 all really revolves around how much you have played of the original, and how well you kept up with the DLC during that time. The Ultimate Edition adds everything available from the original and the extra costumes and characters are always welcome. It does look better on the PS4, and the online runs very well. If you haven’t had the chance to pick up Injustice yet and own a PS4, this is the best version to get. If you enjoyed the original game and are looking for a fighter on your new system, you can’t really go wrong here.
Review copy of game provided by publisher.