(Wii U)

Game Review

Injustice: Gods Among Us Review

USA USA Version

Posted by Ron DelVillano

Immortal kombat

We’ve all had this same discussion. Who would win in a fight between Batman and Superman? NetherRealm Studios — the development team behind the successful 2011 reboot of the Mortal Kombat franchise — was kind enough to create Injustice: Gods Among Us, a fighting game almost specifically designed to answer that one burning question. Drawing much influence from Ed Boon's most famous video game creation, all of the fights here are one-on-one two-dimensional battles between you and your opponent. Featuring 24 classic DC comic heroes and villains, Injustice is a fast-paced hard-hitting spectacle that doesn’t disappoint.

Much like Mortal Kombat, Injustice features a single player story mode that has you fighting through 12 chapters as a number of different characters. While not all of the fighters are playable during story mode, it's a great way to get a feel for many of the different playing styles. As you work your way through, you will also gain experience points and level up. While levelling does not enhance your characters in any way, it does earn you access cards that can then be used to unlock additional play modes, accessories to customize your hero card — which is visible to online opponents — and character skins.

The story starts out in an alternate dimension where the Joker tricks Superman into killing Lois Lane and their unborn child. Unable to control his rage, Superman kills the Joker and eventually creates a new world order in which he rules with an iron fist. Other members of the Justice League have either joined the tyrannical Superman or have gone into hiding until they find a way to bridge the inter-dimensional gap and bring alternate versions of themselves over to help in the fight against the Kryptonian tyrant. Truthfully, it’s all very confusing, and having multiple versions of the same characters on-screen during cinematic sequences doesn’t help clarify anything, but that doesn’t really diminish the excitement of the plot. It may be convoluted, but the story is also full of the action, betrayals, secret alliances and genuinely funny one-liners that fans of comic heroes will find familiar. The campaign is relatively short, and can be completed in under three hours, but its just long enough to remain interesting without having the plot feel as though it is dragging itself out for the sake of squeezing in every character.

During battles and the movie sequences that string the campaign together, Injustice looks and sounds great. The characters and environments are detailed and — even during some of the more action-heavy portions — there is little change in the frame rate. The soundtrack does well to reflect the intensity of the battles and plays to the emotions being conveyed. There's also an absolutely fantastic cast behind the characters’ voices, including Kevin Conroy, Adam Baldwin, Phil LaMarr and Tara Strong. It’s obvious that as much care was put into crafting this game as a cinematic experience as was put into the gameplay mechanics themselves.

Injustice is controlled similarly to many basic fighting games, with the left stick or D-Pad controlling movement and light, medium, and heavy attacks attributed to different face buttons. There is also a fourth attack linked to the A button that can result in strength boosts or weapon enhancements, depending on your character. Performing character-specific special moves requires a combination of directional and attack inputs, but none are particularly difficult to pull off. Players have the option of using the GamePad’s smaller screen to display a list of their character’s combos, or it can be used for off-screen play instead. Different attacks can be strung together to create longer combos, but this fighter is mostly concerned with huge attacks and figuring out the right time to unleash them. Because of this, Injustice tends to be more accessible for players who may be unfamiliar with the genre. The downside is that serious fans of fighting games might miss the necessity of timing their attacks against their opponents, but that’s not to say that players of all skill levels won’t enjoy the over-the-top gameplay.

Despite the similarities to Mortal Kombat and other major fighting franchises, Injustice does have some elements that make it stand out in the genre. You and your opponent each have two health bars, and a third bar on the bottom of the screen called a Super Meter. Your Super Meter will gradually fill up when you take damage or execute combo attacks. Portions of this energy can be used in bursts by pressing the ZR button after performing special moves, or you can wait for your Meter to fully charge and press ZL and ZR together to execute a super move. Each character has a super move specific to them that shows off their superpowers — or lack thereof — and causes a huge amount of damage. Players can also use their super meters to initiate a clash with their opponent. During a clash, both players wager a portion of their super meter, with the player who wagers the most winning the clash and gaining a slight health bonus. From shocking your opponent with a lightning bolt as Black Adam to launching them into the stratosphere with a mighty uppercut from Superman, the super moves and clashes are easily the coolest and most flashy elements of this game.

Also adding to the grandiose sense of battles is that the stages are both interactive and contain multiple battlefields. How your character interacts with certain elements of the battlefield depends on what type of fighter he or she may be. For example, while Catwoman may nimbly propel herself off of a car parked in the background to dodge her opponent, a stronger fighter such as Bane would instead pick the car up and use it as a projectile weapon. There are many different interactive sections in each stage, and finding these and using them effectively in battle adds both challenge and variety to the gameplay. In the environments that contain multiple arenas, connecting your opponent with a strong blow near the edge of the stage will sometimes send them crashing through the wall Dead or Alive-style, delivering damage and eventually leading them to a separate area to battle. Much like the interactive elements, finding and utilizing these stage transitions can put you at a distinct advantage over your opponent.

Though the campaign may be short, there are plenty of other single player elements to explore. The area where the majority of players will spend most of their time is working on the Battles and S.T.A.R. Labs. Battles reflect the classic arcade style gameplay in which you fight a series of enemies without cinematic plot points breaking up the action. There are 20 different types of battles that can be unlocked by using access cards, all of which have different rules to challenge players and test their skills. For instance, Poisoned battles have you taking on your enemies as your health gradually diminishes, and Countdown challenges you to defeat each of your opponents in under 30 seconds. Among the Battles is Classic mode that is a simple series of fights without extra rules or restrictions, but completing Classic mode with any character will unlock their individual secret ending to the Injustice saga.

Unlike the Battles, S.T.A.R. Labs are mission-based activities that have you performing a series of very specific actions as each different character — almost like an extended training mode — but with difficulty levels that can be somewhat unforgiving. Some missions have you executing a series of combos, while others restrict you to only use certain attacks to defeat an enemy or defend a civilian. Upon completing a mission, you will be rewarded between one and three S.T.A.R.s, depending on your performance, which are then used to unlock further missions. There are 240 missions in total, so those players with the urge to complete every task at hand will definitely have their work cut out for them.

As is par for the course with modern fighting games, another major element is the online multiplayer. There are a few different multiplayer modes available, such as ranked one-on-one matches with leaderboards and King of the Hill and Survivor games that add certain twists to the classic formula. Online matches load quickly and play smoothly, making it easy to jump from battle to battle without feeling like you’re wasting too much time waiting to find a match. Just like the campaign and other single player modes, you will gain experience from playing online matches, ultimately unlocking more goodies.

Injustice also supports local multiplayer, with one player using the GamePad and the other playing with the Wii U Pro Controller. The Wii Classic Controller is also supported, so anyone wanting to engage in some local multiplayer action won’t have to shell out for the Pro Controller. Support for the Classic Controller via a Wii Remote also means that FightSticks made for the Wii work with this as well, making a great combination for those players looking for a truer arcade experience.

Though this may be a well-crafted fighter with a lot to offer, that doesn’t mean that it is without its fallacies. The two major issues plaguing Injustice are imbalanced characters and wavering difficulty spikes. Both of these are issues that could easily be overcome with a future patch of the game, but until that happens, the fact remains that certain characters and battles are simply unfair. Beyond that, however, Injustice provides a mostly seamless experience.

Conclusion

Though it may share many similarities with 2011’s Mortal Kombat reboot, Injustice: Gods Among Us is a fun and fresh fighting game that stands well on its own merits. The distinctive and fun gameplay comprising of huge attacks coupled with flashy power moves makes this an accessible fighter for genre veterans as well as newcomers who might simply enjoy the idea of pitting their favorite DC heroes and villains against one another. Between the single and multiplayer modes, Injustice offers a robust experience with much variety and a whole lot to keep you busy. Whether you’re pummelling your opponent through the core of the Earth as Doomsday or smashing a car over Aquaman’s head, it is very satisfying having so much power in your hands.

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User Comments (89)

Sjoerd

#2

Sjoerd said:

I'm not really a fan of fighting games, but this looks good! I'll pick it up at budgetprice in a few months

XCWarrior

#3

XCWarrior said:

Nintendo LIfe needs to stand up and take action for these gimped games. This deserves no higher than 1/10. If it doesn't have all the features that are found on LAST GENERATION consoles, then it doesn't deserve higher than 1/10.

I might pick this up in the bargain bin for $5, which is how much it will cost by summer because hardly anyone is going to buy this gimped version.

nelsonsantos87

#6

nelsonsantos87 said:

Wii U owners can fight online, but can't fight with their friends. All other versions can connect their games to the IOS version to obtain unlockables, guess which console doesn't? While it is a good game, the Off TV capability is not enough...

Gameday

#7

Gameday said:

Have you guys played the demo ? I thought i was okay , they have level ups and such for moves if i seen correctly. Still gotta play the game though b4 i decide whats what.

Great review , i like what they did with this game so far. But how they made Wonder Woman look ill forgive them this time ha.

SilentHunter382

#10

SilentHunter382 said:

@hiptanaka Heard that you can't create private rooms or match invites which should be in any fighting game period. They have it in the PS360 versions so there is no reason to not have it in the Wii U version.

wasf

#11

wasf said:

The first wii u third party game i want so much! love DC heroes and villains...2 days left! just in time with the new release movie "man of steel" !!!

Adam

#13

Adam said:

I played this on Xbox and found it to be surprisingly fun. If you truly cannot do friend matches on the U, that is bizarre and disappointing, and should probably be mentioned in the review.

tloc365

#14

tloc365 said:

They are apparently working on a patch to fix the online with friends problem.
I am planning to buy it soon so hopefully the update will be out by then.
The iOS feature i have no interest in, off tv play is way more important for me.

TheAdza

#16

TheAdza said:

If I won't be playing online, and couldn't care less about the iOS unlockable stuff, is this version worth getting? I have a ps3 and 360, so which version is the best graphically? I want to support 3rd party games on Wii U but would it be wise to support the "gimped" version? I loved the MK reboot game. So I was looking forward to this. I don't know what to do. Advice?

Kagamine

#18

Kagamine said:

@pinkspider I dont know for sure, but i have seen on other forums that it is better.

for all those complaining about the online, there is an incoming patch soon, maybe that and dlc are in the patch. I cant beleive you are all so pissed at a few missing features, Its still a good game.

luminalace

#19

luminalace said:

I am enjoying the game so far. While I hate the Wii U doesn't have friend lobbies yet, I'm pretty sure that should be easily rectified with a patch. I don't have an ios device so I couldn't care less about that feature though. I do hope we get the DLC Nintendo said would be happening though.

XCWarrior

#22

XCWarrior said:

@hiptanaka @DESS-M-8 Read the other comments how you can't do online with friends and the iOS unlockables. Both found on the PS360 versions. so it's gimped. And I'm sick of getting gimped stuff from third parties.

th3r3ds0x

#23

th3r3ds0x said:

I have the game on Wii U and while I haven't seen it on the 360/PS3 in order to compare I do have Mortal Kombat on the 360 and ill say that this game looks and runs every bit as smooth as MK on the 360. I'm a little bummed by the DLC issue but I love the U and wanted to support it. The off TV feature makes it worth it. If the fix these issues with an update the I would call this the best version. (Special moves on your gamepad when playing on TV is very handy as well)

scottsensei

#24

scottsensei said:

I feel the same about the DLC issue. The patch I feel will fix these issues. Beyond that, the game has been great. Runs great, looks great, and I'm not seeing the lag people have been complaining about for online matches. To GET to them, yes, but during the process it's been running smooth as silk. And as for the off-tv play, I actually had to fight the wife for the TV (she's neck deep in Mass Effect Trilogy) and that option makes the U version insanely worth it.

Ed_Rod

#27

Ed_Rod said:

i bought it on Wii U because my PS3 died, and this was the only way, would had bought another one but decided to wait on another next gen console to join my TV along with the Wii U.

It's a good game, but find some of the features lacking, specially on the Wii U.

SilentHunter382

#28

SilentHunter382 said:

@Kagamine " I cant beleive you are all so pissed at a few missing features, Its still a good game."

So your saying that we shouldn't be pissed off because a main feature that should be in all online fighting games isn't included in this version but is included in the other versions at launch.

That would be the same thing of Black ops 2 didn't have a lobby system so that you can't play in the same multi-player matches as your friends on launch day.

CanisWolfred

#29

CanisWolfred said:

@XCWarrior I wouldn't call it "gimped" so much as "rushed". They could very easily patch in those missing features. In fact, it sounds like one is coming soon.

Also, I know you guys would be just as mad if they delayed the Wii U version even a day just so they could put in this feature. I'd see this as a lesser of two evils. Besides, who but a total noob plays online on launch day?

Anyways, nice review. It sounds like a prime fighter, and the right kind of competition from a western developer that we just don't see that often anymore.

DualWielding

#30

DualWielding said:

The question is, does the Wii U version has any advantages over last Gen console versions? graphically or otherwise?

Tasuki

#32

Tasuki said:

Going to get this one for a few reasons.

1. I want to increase my Wii U library
2. I want to support the Wii U
3. I can use the Nintendo Dpad rather than the junky Xbox one.

HawkeyeWii

#34

HawkeyeWii said:

I have had the game for over a week now and I have to say it is moving up in my library of Wii U games as my favorite. It is a fantastic game! So much extra content and extra things to do in this game!

HawkeyeWii

#35

HawkeyeWii said:

@ferthepoet
Yes it does look a tad better. I think one of the best features over the 360 and PS3 versions is that the combos and moves can be set to on the gamepad screen, so you don't have to constantly pause to look at them.

Dpullam

#36

Dpullam said:

The only real complaint I have about this game is that some of the character models don't look all that great. Other than that it looks to be a pretty solid game.

Gamer83

#37

Gamer83 said:

Bought the PS3 version. It's an awesome game, especially story mode, NetherRealm does that better than any other developer in the genre. I still think MK is the better overall game but this one is a nice compliment.

MadJay1664

#38

MadJay1664 said:

Definitely getting this. I only have a Wii U so I don't care about the other versions.

th3r3ds0x

#39

th3r3ds0x said:

@Tasuki

Yea I forgot to mention that. The Nintendo D-pad I feel is the best for fighting games. It really is nice to play this on the pro controller.

ultraraichu

#40

ultraraichu said:

Interesting review and comments. I'm not too big on fighting games but this have peak my interest. Hope the eshop have a demo soon.

SLiM

#41

SLiM said:

The Joker on the front cover really creeps me out. You think out of all the heroes and villains they could have picked someone else to grace the front and center of it.

MadAdam81

#43

MadAdam81 said:

iOS is a joke, so not supporting that is a plus for me. Minor online issues about to be fixed with a patch is of no concern, and in the meantime it forces people to make new friends.
I am thinking of getting it in a couple of months when I can afford it.

Kagamine

#44

Kagamine said:

@SilentHunter382
Hey, noones making you buy it on WiiU. If the missing feature is that big of a deal buy it on 360 or PS3. Not that hard. Maybe if Nintendo didn't have such bad online infrastructure it would have been present at launch. Quit yelling at 3rd parties because they won't put in extra time and money for a single platform. I personally find the lacking features to be the fault of Nintendos online infrastructure being so far behind, feature lacking, and overall too different to work easily with.

Linky_97

#45

Linky_97 said:

@Kagamine Do you even own a Wii U? NintendoNetwork is way better than PSN and just as good as Xbox Live. It's the third parties faults for not taking their time with the Wii U version and then they complain about it not selling well...

DKDonkeyKong

#46

DKDonkeyKong said:

The lack of features really sucks, as this was the version I was going to get. Unfortunately, I also have friends who own this game and I want to play with them, the fact that I can't play with my friends is kinda dumb.

Also, the lack of any collector's edition or pre-order bonuses or a demo for that matter for the Wii U is just demeaning. My choice of console shouldn't make me feel like a second class citizen.

gamereternal

#47

gamereternal said:

WTF??? An 8???? Are you kidding me??? Sorry but I own a Wiiu and this game and it deserves no lower than a 9. And I think whoever said it deserves a 1 is wrong. It's a beautiful looking-game, it has a decent soundtrack, a nice expansive character roster, a wealth of modes and very deep gameplay. I'm sorry but I highly disagree with you if you don't think this is a 9. I'm so tired of game reviewers rating as if they were looking for the Holy Grail, instead of just looking for great games, which this is one. And it's just as good as the 360/PS3 versions....minus the DLC.

KaiserGiygas

#48

KaiserGiygas said:

I dont play online other than ranked that much, with my friends I like offline better, so im getting it anyway.

HawkeyeWii

#51

HawkeyeWii said:

Anyone know how to do that move that is shown in the very last picture where Batman has Flash strung upside down???????

HawkeyeWii

#55

HawkeyeWii said:

@BlackSpy
Yeah I'd give it at least a 9/10
Easily the best fighter I have ever played!
And yes I have played all the street fighters and the majority of Mortal Kombats.

ThreadShadow

#57

ThreadShadow said:

Someone really needs to photoshop the Warioware nose-pick finger on that Joker pic. It's just begging for it!

CanisWolfred

#58

CanisWolfred said:

@Linky_97 ...have you actually spent a significant amount of time with PSN and Xbox Live to actually say that?

Also, the picures change regularly in all their reviews.

Kagamine

#59

Kagamine said:

@Linky_97 Ya I do own a WiiU am am quite pleased, but as I also own a 360 and PS3 I have to respectfully disagree. And if Nintendos online takes extra work I don't blame devs for not having great online at launch. Why should tjay delay the game in order to finish the online for WiiU. I could understand if they only delayed the WiiU version, but then you all would whine about that too.

KaiserGX

#60

KaiserGX said:

The picture was changed because it was showing Batman's old Super Move that is no longer in the game.

HawkeyeWii

#61

HawkeyeWii said:

@KaiserGX
Oh ok that is what I was wondering about! I have been trying to pull that move off all day!!! Thanks for letting me know hahahaha

HawkeyeWii

#64

HawkeyeWii said:

@XCWarrior
No one listen to this guy. Worst advice ever!

This game is awesome! It isn't even missing out on anything at the moment any more than the other consoles except for that stupid iOS game connection and the ability to match make with friends online. And let me address the problems. The creators said they will be coming out with a patch that will enable both of these. So there you have it, I just made @XCWarrior look like the biggest troll ever in one paragraph.

RikuzeYre

#67

RikuzeYre said:

@Kagamine Dude do you even know how half the doodoo in your games and the hardware functions? How the online networks work, and what the developers program? Poopies, man. BTW the PS3 and the Xbox's browser suck. Miiverse rocks and they have a great internet browser that's smooth and runs HTML5. Considering Im a bit of a soccer junkie I use the TVii function way too damn much as well. Your statements are all wrong anyway. The infrastructure isnt behind anywhere. Fix your information channels because you're suspect to dire misinformation.

XCWarrior

#68

XCWarrior said:

@HawkeyeWii The mention of the patch I have not yet seen. So if they do that, great, then buy the game. I'm no troll, I've been a Nintendo gamer since the NES - I own over 70 Wii games, more than half are third party. But I am sick and tired of Nintendo getting a gimped version of third party games.

This patch better come - I'm not buying the game until that point.

Kagamine

#69

Kagamine said:

@RikuzeYre I really Really want to post a facepalm picture at you right now, but as I know the rules here it will only be replaced with a picture of an animal.Those things you mentioned, browser and TVii, have nothing to do with the online infrastructure, those are just apps. MiiVerse on the other hand is a part of the Online infrastructure, but still not what I'm talking about...

RikuzeYre

#70

RikuzeYre said:

@Kagamine Online infrastructure is basically the e-shop and how seamless and fluid it is to interact with. The online component works completely fine. If you want to talk about the Operating System then talk about the operating system. Still doesnt change the fact half the things you stated are absolute crap.

C-195

#71

C-195 said:

Fair enough, but personally I think the game's back-story is the real strength. It deserves to be made into an animated short or something.

HawkeyeWii

#72

HawkeyeWii said:

@XCWarrior
Just because the stupid iPod game doesn't connect and you can't match make with friends.. at the moment. Does that make it sooooooo much worse than the others???
1/10 seems fair... NOT!

This game for Wii U is at least a 9/10 in my opinion.

Kaze_Memaryu

#73

Kaze_Memaryu said:

I played this on XBox360... and no, this is not a good fighter. But it's a good game.
And it's simply the lack of any balance that disqualifies it as a fighting game. Add to that the extremely restricted movesets of the characters, and I start to wonder why they even call it a fighting game when it's so much more of a multiplayer action title...
Still, I have to admit that it's really fun, and the story - while not being all that creative - is well portrayed through both story mode and the battlefields themselves.

I would've given it a 07/10. And I really hope that the rumourd patch will fix some of those balance issues...

Austroid

#74

Austroid said:

Outside of Smash Bros. I'm not a fan of the fighting genre. But this has my interest, so I might pick it up later on.

BlackSpy

#75

BlackSpy said:

Yeah - combat looks good, but the game is a little bit on the mouthy side if you know what I mean.

MrGawain

#76

MrGawain said:

Just bought the UK version from Smyth's in Thurrock (only copy they had, had to search for it out back).

Written on the back of it in he bottom right hand corner it says:

NINTENDO NETWORK

PAID SERVICES:

-ONLINE PLAY
KING OF THE HILL 8 PLAYERS (1V1 FIGHTS WITH LOBBY SYSTEM), ONE ON ONE FIGHTS-2 PLAYERS, SURVIVOR 8 PLAYERS (1V1 FIGHTS WITH LOBBY SYSTEM)

-DOWNLOADABLE GAME CONTENT

BROADBAND ACCESS REQUIRED FOR ONLINE FEATURES.

Seeing this wasn't apparently on the US version, I wonder if it mean the DLC is now possible for the Wii U?

Mirkhay

#78

Mirkhay said:

Would love to see a video "review" of the game by NL :)
Just talking about the combat, and overall experience on the wii u version
It's nice when there is both a review to read and a video to watch ^^

Captain_Balko

#79

Captain_Balko said:

@MrGawain My NA version says the same thing about DLC. I'm not sure what's going on here, as I'd likely drop quite a bit of money on DLC for this game on Wii U, and am confused as to whether we are actually getting DLC or not.

Also, like @HawkeyeWii, no, @BlackSpy, I don't know what your mean.

Linkus

#80

Linkus said:

I bought this game today. I´m not usually into fighting games but I decided to give this one a try. I highly recommend it, great feeling and amazing visuals, couldn´t stop playing!

GiftedGimp

#81

GiftedGimp said:

DLC is due for WiiU. 4 new characters in tne next few weeks..
Tbh tho dlc/no dlc.. i figure a game should be credited on its own on disc merit, not by the dlc it can carry.
If a game is good, and dlc arrives for the game i'll buy it, If no dlc is released for games I like, then it just means the publisher is getting a bit less of my money which will end up spent elswhere.

Varia01

#82

Varia01 said:

This is a fun fighting game with a great story. Character designs and animations are neat. Some moves are almost impossible to pull, but that doesn't ruin the game. The lack of DLC to start off with is disappointing and some moves left undone even though you hit the button is a little frustrating, but the game is otherwise worth playing. 9/10.

MadAdam81

#83

MadAdam81 said:

Hope it comes down in price soon _ I want this & Scorpion DLC, but there are some Ninty 1st party games I need to save up for first.

CrabGats

#84

CrabGats said:

Just bought it. Very fun! I have to disable voice chat though, the few matches I had online were... very unpleasant to sit through, to say the least. Haha.

improviser

#87

improviser said:

I really like this game. It would nice if the new round of DLC came to the Wii U so I can get Martian Manhunter and have everyone from the Justice League cartoon.

ToxieDogg

#88

ToxieDogg said:

Just bought for a little under £11 at Shopto.net. Couldn't resist if for that price, been wanting to try it for ages.

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