Unless the RPS archives are lying to me, we’ve never posted about Injustice: Gods Among Us before – a heinous crime. I’d go so far to call it a great injust-nope, can’t do it. It’s the most recent fighting game output of Netherrealm Studios, them behind the Mortal Kombat reboot and upcoming sequel, featuring the DC Comics cast. It was brought to my attention by being currently on sale on Steam, making it the perfect time to tell you it’s rather good. It won’t compete with Street Fighter in pure depth of systems and endless fanbase, but does do one thing Capcom don’t seem to dream of: decent singleplayer.
It’s become Netherrealm’s calling card for me: a campaign that has you regularly switching characters, telling different stories with each and fighting from both sides of a conflict. They did something similar in MK9, though the formula had obviously been refined for Injustice. There’s usually a series of five battles with each character, interspersed with minigames and quick time events that have some minor impact on the fight afterwards. Nothing especially complex, but just enough to get me invested in the world.
I’m continually surprised that it hasn’t caused other developers to step up their game from the usual 1 minute intro/outro videos and generic win messages. You get just enough time with each character to discover whether you might find them interesting to take into the multiplayer, but it doesn’t burden them with a tutorial. Common fighting game missteps like poor difficulty curves are dodged too, as each new chapter resets the difficulty slightly to help accommodate a new move set. Well, mostly – the backside of Netherrealm’s calling card is usually a bastard-hard boss fight that causes the breakage of whatever peripheral I’m using to play.
Past the campaign it has a ridiculous amount of challenge modes. These range from multiplayer-helping combo tutorials to totally irreverent minigames that have no bearing or influence on anything else. It’s approximately a million times more effort than I’ve seen any other fighting game developer put into their solo experience and I appreciate it greatly. You could do a lot worse than the current £7.49.
The shark at the end is part of Aquaman’s super-move. It is not a wholly, or partly, serious game.
In a related recommendation, the official backup comics are just entering their third year. I read the first twelve issues and while “good” might be pushing it, “hilarious” wouldn’t be. Playing the ridiculous Superman-goes-evil concept entirely straight, the first year continually builds through ridiculous events and many deaths to a final punch-up – between Alfred and Superman. Superb nonsense. I believe comixology is the cool kid location for picking this sort of stuff up.