I’ve been looking forward to getting my hands on the Mortal Kombat team’s latest for quite some time. Being a fan of both DC comics and NR’s previous work I was anxious to see what Nether Realm’s second fighter featuring the DCU turned out like, especially after playing Mortal Kombat 9. I’m happy to say it doesn’t disappoint.
In the demo you can chose to play as one of three characters ; Batman, Wonder Woman and Lex Luthor in either a reduced version of Battles (arcade) mode or in Versus mode offline against another player.
Being the only person in the house I jumped straight into Battles mode and decided to try my hand with Batman first.
After a brief loading screen the game almost seamlessly transitioned straight into the fight itself. as the Dark Knight squared off against an intimidating Lex Luthor in a Robotic suit on the streets of Gotham.
Once the fight started the first thing that struck me was how it differed from Mortal Kombat Sure there were elements of the 2010 Reboot in there, there’s a similar approach to combos and executing special moves is very similar, but overall it felt much more streamlined. The usual low and high kick and punch buttons had been replaced with kick, punch and a power button which changes depending on your character. blocking works the same as Street Fighter by pulling back away from your opponent and running is handled with a double tap forward or back.
This simplified controls made getting stuck in and racking up combos quite easy and free form. With every fight i’d discover another combo or bring different attacks into the mix, before finally finishing off my opponent with a super attack triggered by pressing LT+RT at the same time. Which had Batman attack his opponent with a taser, kick them in the stomach and then have the Batmobile run them over. Needless to say these attacks are incredibly flashy and devastating. So long as you can get them to connect because they are also pretty easy to block.
As well as super attacks you can also engage in Wagers in which you sacrifice part of your super bar to deal a large amount of damage to your opponent in a kind of rock paper scissors stand off as both fighters run headlong into each other in a devastating display of might. These were really cool to watch, although, to be honest, I wasn’t sure how they were triggered.
The icing on the cake though was certainly the environmental attacks. these added a whole extra layer to the fights, were tons of fun and incredibly simple to use. All you have to do is press RB when you are close to certain objects to use the environment to your advantage in the demo this meant being able to hammer your opponent over the head with a dumpster, tipping a water tower on top of them and booting them straight into a helicopter.
You can also transition from one tier of a stage to the next in spectacular fashion by performing a charged attack at either side, doing a large amount of damage in the process. For example on the Gotham stage when you knock your opponent off the rooftops they get thrown into a wall by a wrecking ball, before getting hit by a train which then derails tossing them to the streets below.
Injustice also changes up the usual rules of a one on one fighter, instead of having traditional rounds the game gives you two bars of health and that’s it. Once one has been diminished there’s a brief pause while the character on the ground gets back up again but neither health meter is replenished, making battles feel more like a street fight and less like a competition.
After I had finished my brief playthrough with Batman I jumped straight back into Battle mode to try out Lex Luthor and Wonder Woman. Each character feels totally different from the last and completely unique. Lex is slow, hulking and incredibly powerful. Batman is very scrappy using a lot of juggles and long distance attacks and traps. Wonder Woman is a straight up brawler storming right into the thick of it with her sword and shield or knocking opponents down with her lasso.
Pausing the game revealed that NetherRealm intends for Injustice to be a serious tournament fighter, as not only does the command list tell you how to pull of moves but also their frame counts, damage advantages and disadvantages giving you a detailed break down and all the stats that competitive players would ever want or need.
From my brief time with the game I have to say Injustice is shaping up to be one hell of a brawler that could easily go toe to toe with Marvel Vs Capcom. On a personal note it has gone from being a game I was looking forward to, to a game I’m counting down the days till release when it lands on 19th April on Xbox 60, PlayStation 3 and WiiU.
In the meantime I’d recommend giving the demo a whirl, available right now on PSN and Xbox Live.