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Injustice: Gods Among Us review for Xbox 360, PS3, Wii U

Platform: Xbox 360
Also On: PS3, Wii U
Publisher: Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment
Developer: NetherRealm Studios
Medium: DVD-ROM
Players: 1-2
Online: Yes
ESRB: T

If you enjoyed 2011's reboot of Mortal Kombat, then you no doubt were excited to hear that the same team responsible for that was creating another fighting game in the DC Comics universe. The very thought of settling once and for all which on your favorite Heroes and Villains would win in the dream fights you've always wanted to see. Well, just as they have with the new MK, NetherRealm Studios have struck gold once again with "Injustice: Gods Among Us", and it's everything comic book and fighting game fans were hoping for.

Injustice is a one on one fighting game that uses a modified version of the engine found in 2011's Mortal Kombat. Players can use their favorite DC Comics Superhero or Supervillain in fantastic brawls with fantastic abilities and outrageous super moves. Every fight is full of insane combos and non-stop action that will satisfy even the most jaded gamer! NetherRealm didn't stop with just a bare bones fighter, as they packed this disc full of modes and extras that will keep you playing for a long time. The main focus, of course, is the Story Mode, where most players should begin. In Story, players will take the role of several Heroes and Villains as the story progresses and engage in some epic showdowns. A series of unfortunate events have forced Superman to use his superiority to rule the world and form the One Earth government. The aftermath is a grim and evil world where most of it's citizens live in daily fear. Shortly into the story, you learn that this scenario is taking place in an alternate universe parallel to our own.

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Similar events that forced Superman's hand in that world have begun to take form in ours and after one horrible event is set into motion, some of our universes' heroes and villains are transported to the hellish One Earth universe. Without spoiling anything you will see, just know that everything will make sense as you play through the many twists and turns the story offers. As I progressed through the excellent narrative, 3 hours had passed before I knew it, and I still found it hard to stop. While a lot of focus was put into bringing a fantastic story that you will want to play over and over, the amount of content does not stop there. Players have access to a sort of Arcade mode called "Battles" where you will face a series of pre-selected opponents. Different ladders are available ranging from to "Only Heroes" and "Only Villains" to "Classic" which is the only one you can view your characters ending upon completion. Other ladders unlock through another mode called "S.T.A.R. Labs Missions" where you complete a series of tasks centered around individual characters. Some of these you will breeze right through, and others are insanely hard. None of them are impossible, but many will have you screaming at your screen. Playing through these missions will allow you to unlock artwork, extra costumes and more difficult missions.

You also have the standard Versus and Single Fights to take on if you need a break from the other modes and a Training mode where you can learn the more complex of combos. No fighter of this caliber would be complete without an Online mode, and Injustice delivers a great one. You can join a lobby where you can engage in Single matches and participate in tournaments. While waiting for your turn, you can watch the action of other fights live with absolutely no lag. One of the best modes online is King Of the hill, as you defend your title as King by taking on all opponents who enter the lobby. I had loads of fun here, meeting great players and watching some fantastic battles. One small grip I have with everything offered, is that there is No Tag Team Mode. A game like this was built for Tag Team, and it's not offered in any mode. I can only hope that NetherRealm offers one in a future update, because it is an addition wanted by many players, myself included.

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Controls are tailored to everyone, even if you've never played a fighting game before. You have the basic Light, Medium, and Heavy attacks that can be all stung together for quick combos. There is also a button for a special ability for individual characters. Sometimes it's for an attack like Batman calling out remote control bats, and others are for defense like Doomsday's super armor. Combine the normal attacks with each characters special moves and you can make some pretty damaging combos that can bring down the toughest of opponents. Each characters special moves can be executed with ease with the precise controls, but if you are uncertain on how to perform a certain move, a move list can be called up in the pause menu. Attacking your opponent fills up your Super meter, and once it's filled, a simple press of the Right and Left trigger will unleash a devastating cinematic Super Move that will bring down some heavy damage. Be somewhat careful though, as the fights do not follow the Round style of other fighting games. You can end up wasting a Super Move if your opponent only has a bit of life left in their first meter since the damage inflicted will not carry over to the next life bar. It's very similar to the classic Midway fighter, Killer Instinct, where any damage done only affects one meter. One addition that has never been seen in a fighting game such as this is the Wager system. On your second Life Bar, breaking out of a combo with the A button triggers an event, where you can bet some of your power meter against your opponents meter. If you win, you can gain health or power boosts that can turn a fight around in your favor.

Graphics and sound are a real treat here. Everything looks fantastic right down to the smallest of details. Every character model looks like they were ripped from the pages of the Comics and placed in the real world. The backgrounds are another exceptional treat entirely. Each area you fight in looks like a living world and are interactive during the fight. Kicking an opponent into a statue and watching it crumble, to using a car as a weapon, every background is a delight. Some of the areas have spots (usually at either the left or right edge) have a special attack that can help you escape a pummeling. Pressing the Right top button will activate anything from a wave of water from a broken fish tank, to a missile shot from a tank or the Batmobile. These background elements add some strategy that is not seen on other fighters of this type.  On the sound front, every grunt and scream generated from a fight sounds authentic and painful. Voice overs are top notch here, with greats like Kevin Conroy, Tara Strong and Tim Daily joining a great cast of actors bringing all of the character to life. Everything from the massive explosions to the music will fill your ears with pure awesome. Injustice is certainly a joy to look at and hear, even if your are not playing.

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Injustice: Gods Among Us can easily be called one of the best, if not THE BEST, fighting games of 2013. With its addictive story mode and fantastic fighting engine, it is an experience to behold. Fans of Mortal Kombat or any fighting game in general will find something to like here. Even after you complete the story, you will keep coming back for more with all of the other modes offered. The robust online mode and the unique missions will keep you playing for a long, long while. With more characters on the way with DLC and gameplay tweaks that can be implemented without downloading updates, this is the total package. The only thing that would of given it a perfect score would of been the inclusion of a Tag Team Mode, but I have hopes that one will be added later. No matter what system you have, you can grab Injustice and have a fantastic time. There is no need to hesitate as this game belongs on your game shelf, even if you are not a comic book fan. To sum up, Buy it!

Grade: A-


Injustice: Gods Among Us - Xbox 360 (Video Game)

Manufacturer: Warner Home Video - Games
ESRB Rating: Teen
Platform: Xbox 360
Genre: fighting-action-game-genre

What if our greatest heroes became our greatest threat ? Injustice: Gods Among Us debuts as a bold new fighting game franchise that introduces a deep, original story featuring favorite DC Comics icons such as Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, The Flash, Harley Quinn, Solomon Grundy and others. Set in a world where the lines between good and evil are is blurred, players will experience heroes and villains engaging in epic battles on a massive scale.
List Price:$59.99 USD
New From:$24.00 USD In Stock
Used from:$14.33 USD In Stock