Did you ever wonder what would happen if something finally pushed the Last Son of Krypton past the brink of madness, to the point where he threw truth, justice, and the American way out the window, and decided to use the unlimited cosmic power at his disposal to become a tyrannical dictator, swatting his enemies down like flies? No? Not even a little bit? Well now, I know for a fact that I’m not the only one, because that is precisely the starting point for NetherRealm Studios’ brilliant Injustice: Gods Among Us. But I suppose I’m getting a bit ahead of myself…
Now, for those of you that don’t know, NetherRealm is the developer that scored a flawless victory in 2010, restoring honor (as well as critical and financial success) to the long-beleaguered Mortal Kombat franchise. Now Injustice sees them bringing their fighting prowess to the DC Comics universe with a cataclysmic BANG, wiping the horrendous stain that is Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe from our collective minds forever. Now could they have simply rehashed the same exact Mortal Kombat engine, swapping out blue and yellow ninjas for blue and yellow spandex-clad superheroes? Sure. But did they? Not even close.
I’d say, at best, this game is a much more polished effort than their MK entry, taking what worked so well in that game, and simultaneously tightening it up as well as making it plausibly fit within the confines of the DC Universe. There may be no body-shredding, blood-soaked fatalities, but what you get in their stead are some of the most brutal displays of superpowers ever witnessed, custom tailored to suit each respective hero or villain.
And speaking of heroes and villains… yeah, if you’ve heard of them, then they’re probably here. And if they weren’t at launch, they are now. The roster included 24 playable characters initially, and has now seen the addition of 5 surprise DLC characters (the latest of which, Martian Manhunter, was just released) with at least one more on the way.
And speaking of additional content and DLC… WHOA! This game is so jam-packed with crap (but the good kind of crap) and nearly infinite customizable options, that you could probably play it every day for well over a year, and never play it the same way twice. And THEN, you can download additional content, and you’ve got ANOTHER year! If there’s a-n-y-t-h-i-n-g DC related that you may want your favorite character to sport, you can probably download it. In fact, when all’s said and done, to download absolutely everything would probably put this game in the $150 to $200 range, so choose wisely.*
*On a strictly personal note, being able to outfit Superman with the DLC Man of Steel skin and have him face-off against the fourth DLC character, Kryptonian big bad General Zod, was a beautiful highlight as it’s probably the closest I’ll get to seeing a true Man of Steel game.
And all of that without even getting into the story, which I refuse to spoil for you here. Just rest assured that it’s everything you could want from the best story arcs in the DC Comic universe: clearly movie-influenced costumes with a more “realistic” look, brilliant twists at every turn, multiverses overlapping, truly epic super battles, at least quasi-plausible reasons for why some of the lesser heroes can stand toe-to-to with gods, and even a few heart wrenching dramatic moments thrown in for good measure. If you’re a fan of this universe this is a MUST PLAY, and do not expect to be disappointed.
Injustice: Gods Among Men is a beautiful and brilliantly executed game that puts control of a clash of the titans in your hands, and is as close to feeling like a superhero that you can get this side of extreme steroid abuse and a gallon of Red Bull. You WILL kneel before Zod… even if only to deliver that exquisitely timed final blow. [subscribe2]