There has been a huge increase of fighting games within the last couple of years and in order to stand out its not always about what you’re doing but how you make it look. That level of focus on presentation is evidently NetherRealm Studios’ key ingredient with Injustice and while this title surely isn’t built for every fighting game fan, it’s film quality visual lore couldn’t be denied from passing casual con goers or the players alike on the show floor.
For a fighting game with such dark tones and minimal lighting, Injustice artistically places the little of these elements it uses in creative ways that go in hand with the actual battles themselves. This particular demo of the game allowed us to play on 5 different stages that each have environmental hazards that can be triggered in multiple ways such as simply knocking your opponent into them, jumping on to a laser with your grab command, comboing off your launcher and triggering a tank turret for maximum damage and much more. There are also major hazards located to the far left or right corners of these stages that lead to a very rewarding and damaging cut scenes that all give great nods to the landmarks of the DC universe and fans. These hazards may also be triggered multiple times and we took special attention to see if the damage output would remain the same and if this could become an abusive flaw. Much to our liking, this was not the case as the more times these hazards are triggered, the damage output is drastically decreased!
This is what makes the battles fun! Not only are you fighting your opponent in the traditional VS scenario but it’s also important to battle for specific placement on the stages to keep up an advantage or simply keep your opponent from doing the same. Players familiar with Mortal Kombat 9 will sense a familiar yet still unique feel within character movement around these stages. The gravity feels notably heavier than most fighters, but leaves enough for the characters to still be fluid and smooth during attack animations and jumping around. Just about the only thing this title has in pure common with MK9 would be the special attacks commands. Each characters special attacks are done by pressing, usually, 2 strict directional commands followed by an attack button that changes character stances, shoots projectiles, dash attacks and more.
The universal unique attack is mapped to the (O) or (B) and usually requires your special attack meter to be filled. These attacks are what make each character feel unique and to be used in the same fashion. Catwoman, like her persona, lashes out a flurry of close ranged attacks that are complete with launches, juggles and quick strings, Superman’s power increases for a short amount of time, Batman throws grenades for immediate attack damage or trap set ups. These are just a few of the cool specials were we able to witness and no doubt are a pleasure to see for the entire roster.
No doubt, Injustice will be turning a lot of heads as we near its release date in April 2013. How it will hold this attention all depends on the delivery of content within the growing roster and their combat abilities. The announcement of the fan favorite Joker is surely a step in the right direction, no less this game a major improvement from the looming disaster this title must amend for from Mortal Kombat VS DC Universe.