Gamescom: Injustice preview
It mightn't have the most memorable title in the world but, as a game, Injustice is pretty tough to forget once you've seen it in action. It's a classic side-on fighting game from the makers of the Mortal Kombat series - albeit with a significant twist. It stars some of the greatest super heros in DC Comics' long, illustrious history - from Superman and Wonder Woman to the Flash and Nightwing. Ever wondered which of your favourite costumed avengers would win in a scrap? Well now's the time to find out...
As you'd expect from such a super-powered line-up, there are some pretty amazing feats on display in Injustice - most of which result in some serious destruction. During our time with the game, only a handful of stages were available but the damage you can wreak on each of them is staggering. It's possible to virtually decimate the Bat Cave for instance, if you get your timing right - and the gleaming city of Metropolis and Superman's Fortress of Solitude don't fare much better.
In fact, stages are the real highlight of the game so far, with each one serving as a multi-part playground for Injustice's intense fighting action. In Metropolis, a battle begins on the street but it's perfectly possible to punch your opponent up through buildings and out onto the city's rooftops. Wherever you are, there's plenty to interact with - in the Bat Cave, for instance, it's possible to push a big red button, unexpectedly causing the Bat Mobile to fire rockets at your foes. Some interactive objects behave differently depending on your selected character too. In Metropolis, the The Flash can use his super speed to repeatedly bash his opponent's head against a car bonnet while Superman prefers to pick the whole thing up to clobber his foe.
That's just one example of the surprisingly ludicrous sense of humour running through the game and it elevates what could have been an excessively poe-faced experience to something else entirely. At one point, we watched Superman upper-cut another character with enough force to send them all the way up out of Earth's atmosphere before slamming them back to the ground. Way down in the Fortress of Solitude's lower levels it's even possible to whack an enemy right into the legendary Phantom Zone.
All this destruction is paired with a combat system that's accessible enough for everyone to play but deep enough to appeal to more hardened fighter fans. You've got standard high, medium and low attacks and these are joined by combos, specials and character-specific Traits to create a system that delivers flexible, fluid fighting. For pros, there's the Clash meter to worry about too, essentially enabling you to counter incoming attacks but quite literally shaking a stage's foundations in the process too. During our demo, we watched in awe as the Bat Cave came crashing down around our ears following an earth-rending smash.
So far then, we're suitably impressed by Injustice. It's a bold, brash and utterly over-the-top smash 'em up that makes great use of its DC license, delivering some seriously spectacular action. It's got plenty of innovative touches to set it about from its brawling brethren too and, providing its fighting system can stand up to closer scrutiny, it should be one to watch as its 2013 release draws nearer.
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