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Injustice: Gods Among Us

Injustice: Gods Among Us

Injustice: Gods Among Us

Injustice: Gods Among Us is a fighting game based upon the fictional universe of DC Comics. The game was developed by NetherRealm Studios and published by Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment for the PlayStation 3, Wii U, and Xbox 360. It was released in April 2013 in North America, Europe, and Australia, and June 2013 in Japan. An iOS variation of the game was released on April 3, 2013. The game was also ported to Android in Fall 2013.

On October 7, 2013 it was announced that the game will be re-released in an Ultimate Edition on November 12, 2013 in North America and November 29 in Europe and other territories for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, as well as Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4 and PlayStation Vita. The re-release includes all the previously released DLC.

Injustice: Gods Among Us Plot

In an alternate reality, the Joker has tricked Superman into killing Lois Lane and their unborn son and destroying Metropolis with a nuclear explosion. In retaliation, Superman murders the Joker during Batman's interrogation on him and quickly loses his moral compass. He establishes a new world order as the High Councillor. A war ensues between the forces of Superman's Regime and those allied with Batman's Insurgency. Five years into the war, the Insurgency discovers the Justice League's universe where the Joker's plan did not succeed and transports several of its super heroes (Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Green Arrow, and Green Lantern) to their world in order to help them defeat the Regime. The Joker and the Dark Knight have accidentally been teleported into the alternate earth. Batman and the Joker are confronted by the Regime in a dystopian Metropolis, but Batman uses his gear to help them both escape and go their separate ways.

Having arrived in this world and attempting to learn what has happened, Aquaman heads to Atlantis to see what he can dig up in the Atlantean Archives, while Green Lantern travels to Ferris Aircraft to find a recharging station for his ring. After discovering and defeating Raven and Cyborg and subsequently freeing Deathstroke there, Green Lantern returns to Gotham City where he faces Sinestro and his own counterpart, who has joined the Sinestro Corps. He escapes with Wonder Woman and Green Arrow where they subsequently meet the Batman of this world. Aquaman travels to Atlantis to research the archives, learning of Superman's descent into tyranny. Learning that Atlantis has agreed to a treaty that puts Superman in total control of Atlantis, Aquaman rejects it, defeating the Flash, Shazam and his own counterpart before Ares appears. Acknowledging that he is weakened by the lack of conflict, Ares sends Aquaman to join the Insurgents, which includes this alternate timeline's Lex Luthor, who never became a criminal and is in fact one of Superman's best friends. Batman explains that he has a kryptonite weapon that can defeat Superman in the Batcave, but it requires DNA samples from the other four heroes to unlock, as Batman wanted to ensure he could not make the decision to stop Superman by himself. The heroes from the other universe became necessary after Green Arrow died trying to reason with a grieving Superman and the other three aligned with his new regime.

The displaced Batman is captured by the Regime and the Joker allies himself with the Harley Quinn of this world. After Harley's gang, the Joker Clan, is attacked by Regime forces led by Nightwing and Hawkgirl, they are rescued by the heroes, who travel to the Batcave to recover the weapon. Meanwhile, back in the Justice League's universe, Superman, the Flash and Cyborg attempt to recover their comrades, but their attempt accidentally sends Cyborg to the alternate reality. Cyborg overhears Lex Luthor and Deathstroke discussing plans to defeat Superman, prompting a brief clash before the other displaced heroes explain the situation to him.

With Cyborg and Deathstroke having taken control of the teleportation system on the Watchtower, the heroes stage a break-in on Stryker's Island and rescue the displaced Batman from his planned execution, but Luthor's attempt to use the kryptonite weapon against Superman fails, resulting in his death. Overhearing humanity's newfound fear of him, Superman decides to destroy Gotham City and Metropolis to demonstrate the chaos that would arise in his absence. However, when Superman kills Shazam for questioning him, the Flash finally accepts that the Regime has gone too far and defects to the Insurgents. With the Kryptonite weapon rendered useless, the dimensionally-displaced heroes suggest recruiting the Superman of their world to stop this one, only to be interrupted by a Regime attack on their hideout.

During the fight, Wonder Woman is teleported to Themyscira by Ares, who reveals that Superman's plan will be carried out by an army of Amazons. He desires to stop this plan, as Superman's victory will mean an end to the conflict that empowers him. Accepting his advice, Wonder Woman defeats her counterpart before convincing the Amazons to return to their former role as protectors rather than conquerors. As the battle begins, Batman convinces his counterpart to have faith in their Superman just as he had faith in the other displaced heroes. Superman arrives in this world in time to defeat several members of the Regime while Wonder Woman's Amazons hold back the armies of Atlantis. After defeating Doomsday in the Fortress of Solitude and trapping him in the Phantom Zone, Superman faces his counterpart, rejecting his other self's attempt to defend his actions as enforcing authority over an unworthy humanity and informing him that Lois would be afraid and disgusted at what he has become.

With the other Superman's defeat, the rest of the Regime are either rounded up or turn themselves in and the other Superman is placed in a prison where he is exposed to red sun radiation, negating his powers. The displaced Superman acknowledges that he could have become his counterpart under the same circumstances, but Batman merely notes that he hopes Superman never has to learn what he could be capable of while vowing to be there if Superman ever falls that far. As Superman and Batman leave, the final scene shows a close-up of the other Superman in his prison cell, his eyes glowing, indicating he still has some degree of his power.

Injustice: Gods Among Us Gameplay

The gameplay for Injustice: Gods Among Us involves one-on-one matches within a two-dimensional plane, although characters and backgrounds are rendered in a three-dimensional fashion. Each match consists of one round; however, each player has two health bars. The game uses a four-button control layout of light, medium, and heavy attacks, alongside a "character trait" button that activates a unique ability or attack designed to showcase each character. For instance, Superman's trait provides a temporary stat boost, while Batman's trait summons a swarm of robotic bats.

The stages, based on locations such as the Batcave, Watchtower, and Fortress of Solitude, feature interactive environments and multiple areas. If a heavy attack is connected near a corner that leads to another area, it launch the opponent, triggering a special animation, and taking the fight to this new part of the stage. Each arena also contains objects that the characters utilize differently depending on their class. Characters can be either gadget characters or power characters. Then, a gadget character like Batman can attach a bomb to a car to cause an explosion, while a power character like Superman can pick up the same car and smash his opponents with it. Before each fight, players have the option to turn off interactive elements and area transitions.

During combat, players charge their character's super meter by performing combos or getting hit by the opponent. Portions of the super meter can be used for performing enhanced special moves or countering enemy moves. With a full meter, players can unleash their strongest special attack. Players may also expend meter to interrupt a combo, entering a wager battle, dubbed the Clash system, which combines individualized cutscene cinematics with the process of betting meter. A clash may be triggered by a player only after they have lost their first health bar. During the sequence, both players commit portions of their meter in secret, with the highest bidder winning the clash.

The story mode is split into several chapters. As the narrative plays out, the player swaps between different characters. Minigames are also incorporated into the story. The outcome of minigames can impact an upcoming battle, such as giving the player a health advantage over the CPU opponent. Additional features include Battle Mode, Versus Mode, Training Mode, and S.T.A.R. Labs, which includes 240 character-specific challenges of varying difficulty. Online multiplayer modes include King of the Hill, a setup that allows up to eight players to spectate a match while waiting for their turn to fight, and Survivor, which carries over the current winner's health bar and character selection over each match. Playing through any of the game's modes, including online matches with optional goal objectives, will net the player experience points that may be used to unlock alternate costumes, music, concept art, and other rewards.

Reception
Injustice: Gods Among Us received positive reviews from critics. Aggregating review websites GameRankings and Metacritic gave the Wii U version 83.25% and 82/100, the Xbox 360 version 82.05% and 81/100 and the PlayStation 3 version 81.04% and 78/100.

IGN's Vince Ingenito labeled the game as "both a very good brawler and a big old sloppy love letter to fans." Ingenito praised the story mode, unique fighting game mechanics, and the overall use of the DC license, but criticized rough cutscene graphics, stating that the "in-engine cutscenes attempt to depict clashing armies or sweeping cityscapes, bland textures and shoddily modeled buildings erode the visual impact a bit." Ingenito concluded that despite buckling a little under the weight of everything the game tries to accomplish, Injustice "definitely earns its spot on the shelf of fighting aficionados, whether they dig comics or not." Game Informer's Andrew Reiner considered the game as "a finely tuned fighter" that "nails the spectacle of a superhero brawl." Reiner applauded NetherRealm Studios for "once again deliver a great fighting experience," noting that the "teamís appreciation of the DC universe blends nicely with their well-worn Mortal Kombat formula to create an experience that is a success on both fighting and comic book levels."

Eurogamer's Matt Edwards praised the rich amount of single-player content, highlighting the S.T.A.R. Labs challenge mode, but was concerned about the game's online stability, writing that improvements made over Mortal Kombat to reduce latency issues "appear to be marginal rather than game changing." Edwards proceeded to say that "on all other accounts Injustice is the complete package." Conversely, GameSpot's Maxwell McGee felt that while Injustice provides "a complex fighter with some unique twists", the game "unfortunately falls short when compared to its contemporaries" and "as a whole, the package is found wanting." McGee was critical of the story, describing the premise as "so ridiculous it borders on parody," and lamented the lack of instructional features for new players and replay support. However, despite its shortcomings, McGee found the game to be "an enjoyable fighter."

Mikel Reparaz of Official Xbox Magazine regarded Injustice as "DC and NetherRealm at their finest." Reparaz lauded the "fast, destructive, and extremely accessible" gameplay, calling the game "one of the most enjoyable 2D fighters in years." Electronic Gaming Monthly's Ray Carsillo awarded the game a near-perfect score, praising the story, gameplay mechanics, and collectibles, while faulting long and frequent load times. Brett Molina of USA Today gave the game 3.5 stars out of 4, stating that "NetherRealm has created an impressive video game package with Injustice, combining superheroes and villains comic book fans can appreciate with a fighting style that should appeal to players at any level."

NintendoFuse's Steve Cullum stated that the Wii U version was "a solid fighter." He went on to praise the storyline, game modes, music, graphics, and the variety of characters, but criticized missing friend-matches, missing connections to the iOS app, and the low volume level from the GamePad. Cullum summarized his review by saying that "the developers at NetherRealm did a great job of bringing in gameplay, controls, and a good storyline. While it does lack in a few areas, the overall package is strong. If you are a DC Comics fan and enjoy a good 2D fighter, look no further than Injustice: Gods Among Us."


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