Injustice: Gods Among Us
If there's anything you've picked up from this blog's existence, it should be that Sage Is A DC Fan. A huge DC Fan at that, so obviously I was super-excited about this game from the moment it was announced last May. So excited I paid off my pre-order in January and showed up for the midnight release my local GameStop had. Now we're nearly a month into the game's existence, and I've put at least 15-20 hours into the story mode, playing the ladders and with my friends. And I've been trying to three-star all these fucking S.T.A.R. Labs missions. So, having experienced a goodly portion of the game, what do I think?
Well, let's start off with the Story Mode first. If you're one of the people who actually bothered to poke holes in this, you're weird. Yes, it's big and dumb. It's a FIGHTING GAME STORYLINE. It literally exists to explain why all the characters in the game are beating each other up. I wasn't expecting Grant Morrison. Or Alan Moore. Hell, I wasn't even expecting Geoff Johns (who I find a good writer, but not exactly known for the most thought-provoking comics ever). I expected something that would reasonably explain why Superman was making people's faces explode, and I got that. It was an enjoyable cinematic experience that I enjoyed from start to finish.
Are there plot holes? Yes. Could you have done this with the Crime Syndicate of America? Yes, but not without creating a sub-par game since there's no way they fight all that much like the Justice League. You'd essentially be looking at a Shazam/Black Adam type of deal, where characters with the same powers fight completely different, and they just didn't have the character slots for that.
|Still could've done with at least another four characters in the main game.|
And coincidentally, that brings me to one of the problems I have with the game: The character roster is small as hell. And it's filled with basically only the most well-known characters in DC. Like, NRS can pretend like they balanced this all they want, but they totally didn't. I heard Ed Boon try to call Raven obscure--yes, the same Raven who was on primetime television from 2003 to 2006, and is currently on the comedy series Teen Titans Go. When THAT'S "obscure", you have a good idea of what's in store. The only two characters who you wouldn't necessarily recognize just from name alone if you made a habit of watching DC cartoons (which accounts for probably 85% of the people who bought this game), are Ares and Killer Frost. And Ares is from Greek mythology. Which leaves you with Killer Frost, a character who has literally no purpose in the story, has an arch-nemesis who is twice as famous but inexplicably absent from the game, and is pretty much only there because there were too many dudes in the game. I'm all for gender balance actually, but they could've picked any number of characters to fill this role.
|Yep, noooobody knows who this is.|
Still, what you have is a roster that would make any casual DC fan happy, even if the (comparatively) tiny hardcore base is left wanting, so I'd say their choices were largely a success. Plus there's at least another four characters coming over the summer, so there's that. Unfortunately one of their choices is Lobo (and another is Batgirl), but still the extra characters are appreciated. And there's also the extra costumes that will be coming out alongside said characters, which brings me to the other problem I have with this game: the frankly stupid amount of exclusive bullshit, and overall lack of unlockables.
|Because this game was sorely lacking in Batman characters...|
Now, at this point I know a shit ton of people who would read this would start ignoring me as an unsatisfiable fan. But think about it. What can you really unlock? Music, the costumes from the other Earth, and more ladders. To me, the music is fairly generic, the ladders are something that really just should have been available to you, and the alternate costumes aren't the skins most people really want. Aside from the sweet GL and GA costumes, most of them are kinda terrible to begin with, but they also don't really have any sense of nostalgia you would normally get from a costume unlock.
|Did you REALLY want this?|
This wouldn't upset me as much if the game didn't have a TON of other costumes...that you have to spend MORE money to get. Want the Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman New 52 costumes? Should've been willing to shell out an additional $40 for the Collector's Edition, chump. Want the Red Son stuff? Better pre-order at GameStop, sucker. All the cool recognizable costumes like New 52 GL, classic Bane and Batman Beyond? Gotta play the iOS game to get them, AND unless you want to spend three weeks doing it, better be ready to drop another $25.
|Want this skin? Too bad, iPhone users only!|
Honestly, none of that would piss me off in the slightest if there was legitimate hidden content like a non-game related alt. costumes for every character, an extra character or two and maybe an unlockable stage. But none of that stuff's there, and what we're left with is a game attempting to milk you for every fucking dime you have. I was one of the people who really wanted everyone to buy it on release and not wait for any kind of "Komplete Edition"...but knowing that version of MK9 came out less than a year later for about $20 less but with all the extra costumes and DLC, I can't in good conscience tell anyone to buy this game anymore. You'd be better off waiting for some sort of GOTY version without all this fuckery.
If the aforementioned Collector's Edition allowed you to sidestep all this crap and let you spend $100 (maybe even $120) to get all the costumes and the Flashpoint Four all at once, that would be another way for NRS to be let off the hook. But this isn't an option. It's all spread across pre-orders, season passes and crap involving electronic devices you may not even have. (The Injustice mobile game isn't even available on Android, so if you don't have an Apple good luck.)
If you ignore all the extra shit, Injustice is a solid game. I don't care what anyone says, the fighting isn't stiff--characters do what you want, when you want and at a pretty rapid pace (at least for me, the non-fighting game fan), and the game is fun to play, which is the highest praise you can give any game. You could spend tons of hours beating the story mode and the Classic Mode (which has different endings depending on the character) alone, to say nothing of all the other ladders and S.T.A.R. Labs. And to top it off, the story mode is a solid single-player experience, well worth the four or five hours it would take you to beat it. I just hate that the game is dragged down in all this modern day, "the cover price isn't the REAL price" bullshit. Unless you're a DC purist, buy the GOTY edition next year when none of that is a problem.