When I saw the launch day line-up of games for the PlayStation 4 many thoughts went through my head. Firstly we all know my losing battle to get to grips and enjoy first person titles so that ruled out Killzone and COD Ghosts for me. I’m still trying to complete Assassin’s Creed 2. I fell out of love with Lego games around about Lego Batman and I always find Need for Speed titles either amazingly enjoyable or incredibly boring with very little middle ground. This left a mass of sports titles which I have already invested a lot of time and, if there is an ultimate team style element, money into and the obligatory launch day beat ‘em up.
After playing around with the Mortal Kombat reboot on the PlayStation Vita and reading that NetherRealm had incorporated a similar story>fight>story>fight aspect into Injustice I was genuinely excited for this title. The gaming gods conspired against however and I just could not find a copy of Injustice so when a review copy arrived I of course jumped at the chance.
First and foremost; Injustice has made use of the extra processing power of the PlayStation 4 upping the P’s from 720 to the full 1080. Not a huge thing for a lot of people but if you are like me and the hyperbolic aspects of the next gen consoles cause you to uncontrollably smile then the smoothness of the animations and transitions between cut scenes and fights is a more than enjoyable experience.
If you haven’t played Injustice before the story is a compelling tale with an interesting twist in regards to who actually are the good guys and who are the bad guys. This aspect is made much simpler by an alternative universe being slotted in there. Without giving too much away everything is centred around an alternative world Superman going a bit nuts after the Joker tricks him into killing Lois Lane and his son whilst destroying Metropolis along the way. The alternative universe allows from some rather strange bedfellows for a DC comics fan which slowly make sense as the story progresses.
As previously stated and much in the same way of Mortal Kombat the framework of story>fight>story>fight once again works well and the mixture of story and quick time events always seem to blend seamlessly and never feels shoehorned. The quick time events receive a little bit of extra polish on the PlayStation 4 and make use of the touchpad on the Dual Shock 4 nicely. Whilst you can still choose traditional button presses for the QTE aspect, the directional nature the Quick Time events relate to means this is perfectly logical and feels a natural part of the whole experience rather than something that is forced upon you.
Characters mentality is straight out of beat ‘em up 101 with them either being small and fast, bigger and slower or a balance of the two. What does change it up however are the alternative stances of characters which either changes their moveset or weapons slightly. For example Wonder Woman can be an up close brawler with her sword and shield or can be a more refined distance fighter with her lasso of truth. Nightwings staff slows him down considerably in comparison to his nun chucks but the additional damage you deal for a single blow counteracts the loss of speed. The ability to change this up with the press of a single button allows you to experiment and tailor the fighters to your own preference on the go.
Outside of the story mode you will find Battle mode which is your classic ladder-orientated challenge which utilises themed opponents or handicaps to change things up from battle to battle. This mode is your XP gaining mode which allows you to unlock a multitude of items – perfect for the collector amongst us. This is a welcome addition as you can breeze through the main campaign in about four hours with a little determination.
Online play is also included but is bare bones and to be honest suffers from rage quitters more than any other game that I have played. Yes quitting counts as a loss but that doesn’t seem to deter many people. In fact out of 10 online games I lost three and won seven; out of those seven, six were because of people quitting on me.
The transition between “super” moves, cut scenes and actual fights is, put simply, cinematic. Views become impressive and really pop on the screen during these aspects as the characters rip apart the environment and utilise everything around them whilst also suspending belief for others – I’m still not quite sure how Aquaman calls a shark into a battle upon a space station – the only thing missing here is the option for some stereoscopic 3D.
Overall Injustice: Gods Among Us is a very enjoyable, but short, title for both DC and beat ‘em up fans alike. However it does suffer, like the majority of launch day titles, in the generation straddling stakes. If you already own the PlayStation 3 version then it doesn’t add enough to warrant double dipping but if you don’t have copy already then you getting the next gen version is a no brainer.
MLG Rating: 8/10 Format: PlayStation 4 / PlayStation Vita / PlayStation 3 Release Date: 29/11/14
Disclosure: Midlife Gamer were provided a copy of Injustice: Gods Among Us Ultimate Edition for review purposes. The title was reviewed over the course of three days on a PlayStation 4. For more information on what our scores mean, plus details of our reviews policy, click here.