Before properly beginning I must admit a bias, I don’t care about this game. I’m not a big fan of fighting games, I think the tone is horrible for mainline superhero gaming, and there are logical inconsistencies abound. However, I have friends who have interest in it; one of which continues to text me on updates for it, including the demo drop, despite my insistence that I don’t care.
I got the demo anyway; I figure since it’s free I have little to lose. Plus this way at least I’ll have some minor ammo to fire back with next time the game games up in conversation.
Injustice is a dark superhero fighting game promising over the top antics with well established and mostly liked characters. The demo gives us one arena to play in and three controllable characters. The arena is Gotham City and seems very fitting; most people know it, one of the playables lives there, and it’s a ‘major city’ which is where most super action goes down.
The three characters are Wonder Woman, Batman, and Lex Luthor. I played the demo first as Wonder Woman (because, Wonder Woman) and then as Batman. I ignored Luthor because I simply didn’t care about him.
The demo gives you little information on how to play. There is a moves list but no generic ‘this button does what’ list. Or at least I couldn’t get the cursor to go to the ‘options’ selection. From what I understand you have three attack buttons, a special power button, a grapple, and a button that lets you shift stance maybe? It didn’t even seem to do that, it really just seemed to make my guy turn back to front and front to back. I did it for a while but it did not seem to help me in my fight.
As I said I began with Wonder Woman. The demo puts you in four fights, one against each of the three playable characters and finally against Doomsday, the neigh unstoppable juggernaut whom once killed Superman. My first fight was with Wonder Woman and already I was disappointed, not only was it a same-on-same fight but there didn’t seem to be any difference between the two. And in fact during my stint as Batman I got really confused as to which Batman I was. And then Wonder Woman did a prayer to her goddess and received her lasso, and then the other one did the same. And this seems to be a trend, everyone appears to have the same cinematic every time.
Wonder Woman has the super power of swapping weapons. In her normal “hard-hitting lasso” form she does a bit more damage and can use her lasso to grab opponents and throw her tiara. In her defensive sword and shield mode she takes less damage when blocking and can pull a captain America. I do enjoy that using a sword is less effective than her punching you, because that feels like fact.
So I beat myself up, then Batman, and Luthor, and finally Doomsday. The moves list gives you info on each move, including how many frames it takes and delay times so you can better pull off unstoppable combos or whatever it is that people do with that information. I was more interested in testing out the interactive terrain and multi-tiered levels. It does not appear to be intuitive at all and not once did I use any thing in the environment to my aid. No matter how often I turned back-to-front at it. I did get a hydrant thrown at me though, and I was knocked off a building, onto a train track, and finally down into an ally; that was kind of fun. Of course then I just kept flailing at my attacker until I won.
So then I gave Batman a whirl. He has a grapple gun and batarangs so he can use those to grab an enemy or dodge a minor ranged attack…just like Wonder Woman. Exciting. His special power is that he can double jump and also summon three electric bats that can be used as a minor shield or be fired at the enemy like a…batarang.
It’s somewhat amusing how fast this demo ran out of steam.
So anyways, I fought Wonder Woman and won. I fought myself, got very confused and won. Then I fought Lex Luthor, and despite taking a orbital strike to the face I won. And then came Doomsday, so I slapped him a lot with my non-powered and weak human hands before sticking a bomb to his back (Batman’s standard grapple move) and winning. Superman is a chump, it’s all about the slapping.
Finally the demo shows you some footage of the game and a few features. There are some mini-games, a couple of which looked halfway decent (especially Bane beating up the batmobile, heh). Also it showed off a couple of the alternate costumes. Wonder Woman gets her ingame costume, what may be pantless Amazon armor, and a black version of her Amazon armor. Flash has his ingame suit, an extra armored version, and one the covers his whole face. I’m curious why neither has a ‘classic’ costume.
And then the demo ends.
I remain unimpressed. You could say “well it’s not your type of game” and you would be right…about the fighting portion. And honestly I’d be a little more excited if it was a big scale super hero game about epic combat. But it is not. This is a fighting game that features broad versions of super heroes. Harley Quinn and Joker are here because they are popular and must be, but even the most casual fan of either has to admit that this is a poor venue for them to appear in. Superman? Sure, toss him and Doomsday at each other and I’ll gleefully watch the city crumble.
I try to judge without favor, and if I can do so here I see a fighting game that felt repetitive and boring in the demo. There didn’t seem to be much innovation, nor did I feel like a superhero or larger than life figure. I’m not good at combos or pulling of special moves; I once beat Street Fighter II using Ryu and nothing but kicks. I get the feeling that I could do the same here using Catwoman, and if that’s the case I don’t care how many tiers are in a level, or what the environment does, or which big bad super villain the game has…I’m just some chick kicking them all.