As a fan of fighting games and most things superhero, Injustice: Gods Among Us is a big deal for me, and I could hardly wait for the demo to hit the Xbox Live Marketplace. But apart from Batman: Arkham Asylum and its sequel, superhero games have a bad reputation, so I never let myself become too excited when they are announced.
However, when I did load up the demo, I was impressed by the main menu alone. Spanning a huge battle between the various playable characters, it made me even more eager to get playing, utilizing destructive superpowers in a fighting arena. So I quickly clicked the limited options of the demo and reached the character selection. Here is where the demo becomes a bit stingy, only giving players a choice between Lex Luthor, Wonder Woman, and Batman. If, like me, you were dying to annihilate opponents as Superman, then you’ll have to wait for the full game to hit the shelves (done on purpose, so people will buy the game).
The fighting itself is solid and plays on the superpowers well, allowing you to switch between a sword and a whip with Wonder Woman, employ an arsenal of advanced weaponry as Lex Luthor, or throw a lot of bat-shaped paraphernalia as Batman. The fact that NetherRealm was involved with the production of the game is hard to miss, as Injustice plays similarly to Mortal Kombat. With almost identical moves for characters (most obvious in Batman’s “Get over here!” style bat rope attack) and dialed down violence, it’s still reminiscent of MK’s trademark bloodthirsty gameplay. It means that the game is not just a comic fan’s affair, but also for gamers who enjoy their fighting games.
There are some niggles that I do have with the demo, however. Maybe because I’m just not that good at fighting games, but the jump from medium to hard difficulty seemed somewhat too large. The final battle against Doomsday had me cursing his mother as he smashed my defenseless Lex Luthor through the planet’s crust. The combat system is also a little too like MK – hitting LT and RT together to initiate a massively powerful attack – and the only new addition is the ability to throw pieces of the environment at your enemy, leaving players with nothing different from what they’re used to. Which also means that, as I beat Batman to near-death as an equally bloodied Wonder Woman, he was able to kill me with a well-timed spray of water. I’ll only say that I was not impressed.
Overall, the demo gives enough away to make Injustice seem like a worthwhile game, but the lack of originality and sprinkling of gimmicky superhero attacks leads me to be apprehensive towards the game and makes me wonder whether the full version will be worth buying over a copy of Mortal Kombat.
Still, with that said, here’s a link to the trailer for Injustice’s campaign which isn’t available in the demo and looks like the most promising feature of the game. Whether that’s because it’s centered around the Joker and I’m biased is yet to be seen. The game will be available on the 19th of April.