Injustice Gods Among Us Story Mode Hands-On
Injustice Gods Among Us Story Mode Hands-On
If you read our first hands-on with Injustice: Gods Among Us you'll know the biggest question the Comic Book Guy in me had was "Why are they fighting?"
Injustice's Story mode promises to answer that question - but it didn't quite get around to it in the demo I played last week.
There's good reason to expect quite a bit from the Gods Among Us story, and from what I saw during my demo it looks like the game will deliver. NetherRealm's Mortal Kombat effortlessly developed its story-driven cutscenes using the in-game engine - the game would transition from cut-scene to game not via a camera cut and a visible difference in visual fidelity, instead using just a camera pan and a few added health bars to signify fight time.
In Injustice though, the depth of the DC Universe is on display - and it seems to be ramping up to something quite amazing.
It begins in media res - a fancy way of saying it doesn't start at the beginning - with Metropolis in ruins. Batman has caught the culprit - The Joker - and is taking the cackling criminal to his home-away-from-home in prison.
Superman, the protector of The City of Tomorrow, blasts through the wall of the Joker's newest cell, his eyes red with rage, mumbling some stuff about Lois. Those reading the accompanying comic series (available as a Digital Comic on the DC app, though it will reportedly eventually be collected as a TPB) will know that Lois is pregnant (it's on the first page of the first issue, it's not a spoiler).
Batman attempts to calm his friend before the Joker taunts the Man of Steel - and as the screen fades to black we hear the Joker cry out as Superman attacks him. The Batman/Superman fight reasoning becomes a little more apparent now, as they both follow the same code about not ending the life of sentients - the Joker plays a Killing Joke, I guess.
When we return we're treated to the beginning of this story.
The Injustice Gang (Lex Luthor, The Joker et al) have been working hard to disrupt the Justice League when the game's story actually begins, and as Batman beats the crap out of anyone in his way it's quickly revealed to be a classic Joker level misdirect, carried out by Lex Luthor.
On our way to finding this out we take down Deathstroke, Bane and Lex Luthor fighting as the Caped Crusader - all three are playable characters, with Luthor rocking his powersuit body armour get up to make up for his feebleness.
The fights are rough - the Lex Luthor fight gives you an opportunity to weaken him via a batarang throwing Simon Says style mini-game, and if you don't take it for all it's worth Superman's bald-headed arch poses quite a problem.
The game's focus still rests with two main features - the idea of power vs tech characters (Powerful characters like Superman vs Technique focused characters like Batman) and the emphasis on providing a dynamic fighting arena - and these differentiators should give fighting fans enough reason to get into the game. The difference between the types of characters is most pronounced when using the dynamism of the fighting arena, actually. A tech character might jump up, grab a flying robot and use the machine to spray flames at their enemy. The power character will jump up, grab the same robot and smash their enemy in the head with it.
It takes some doing to get use to the strengths and weaknesses of each character type - and then you need to understand individual strengths and weaknesses and the opportunities each level provides - giving the game's combat a real sense of depth, at least superficially (we'll know more when the full game drops).
The game isn't flawless - they need to put in some work in the polish department, as some of the cutscenes featuring multiple heroes (particularly in the air) look a little odd - but it's shaping up to be a great fighter. The comic series is doing a great job of setting some high expectations for the story too - any comic book fan would do well to check it out before Injustice Gods Among Us drops April 17 on Xbox 360, PS3 and WiiU this year.
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