From the earliest trailers and from the studio’s Facebook page, the obvious big names were there: Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, and the rest of the best-known members of the Justice League. But, after the appearance of the more recent trailers and clips, even more fan favourites began to emerge: Cyborg, Green Arrow, Nightwing, and more. The villains have been stacking up, too – Harley Quinn, Lex Luthor, Catwoman (well, as much as you can really call her a villain)… Overall, it’s looking to be a great mix.
The original announcement trailer for Injustice, released back in May of last year, was a real crowd pleaser. It featured some stunning slow-motion (phrase I never thought I’d hear myself say) images of The Flash, Batman, Wonder Woman and Superman. Each one is mid-fight, performing some great feat, while frozen in time. Ice glistens and glides off of The Flash. Batman issues a shattering blow to Solomon Grundy. Wonder Woman threatens the life of her adversary, Harley Quinn. And red-hot beams burst from Superman’s narrowed eyes.
The photorealism is stunning and a great amount of care has been put into the character development of each iconic figure. Generally, I hate to be one of those people who say “The graphics are amazing” but the visuals really are outstanding. I also prefer gameplay-heavy trailers so I should have been put off by the announcement trailer after its cinematic first minute. However, once the gameplay section begins, the game looks like magic. Batman and The Flash go head to head, with Flash being thrown clean across the room. Harley Quinn attempts to shoot the living hell out of Wonder Woman. Then we quickly shift to Batman tackling Solomon Grundy, while The Flash goes up against Superman. Overall, it looks great.
That being said, we’ve had superhero beat-’em-ups before. So what should make this any different? Years ago, gamers had another heroic mash-up with Mortal Kombat Vs DC Universe. Similarly, there have been more than enough Marvel Vs Capcom titles, too. There’s always a doubt in gamers’ minds that titles such as this will be just another fighting game. And, while the footage looks impressive at the moment, the jury will be staying out until April, when this title hits the shelves and it can be fairly judged on just how good a game this is, regardless of its stellar line-up.
Interesting things to note are some of the character designs. It would seem that Harley Quinn has gone through yet another design change – meaning that she has appeared in 5 different costumes in the last 5 years. Traditional Harley, Arkham Asylum Harley, Arkham City Harley, Suicide Squad Harley, and finally Injustice Harley. This seems a little excessive and yet her costumes have gotten a little more minimalist with each change. Rather ironic. This time round, Harley appears to be wearing two strips of cloth, held together by some belts. Really?
What seems more appealing is Wonder Woman. On the Injustice Facebook page, Wonder Woman is front and centre. Many of the posters highlight the Amazon warrior as a major player and on the physical game box she also features heavily. Wonder Woman is the polar opposite of Harley in this game. Her costume has also seen a change, but for the better. Instead of those god-awful hotpants – which must be extremely uncomfortable for a modern day heroine – she is wearing a pair of practical blue trousers. And she looks freaking awesome. Game designer in charge of Wonder Woman – I salute you!
This week saw the release of another new trailer, this one entitled “Injustice: Gods Among Us – Versus”. Again, it features a lot of slow-motion cinematics with flickers of gameplay. There seems to be more hint towards a plot this time, rather than just lots of punching partnered up with title cards. The Flash ponders over why he does this; Wonder Woman vows to keep fighting; Batman warns that it is time to step out of the shadows; and Superman bemoans his plight. The fights pit hero against hero and the moves are more epic than the previous clips.
And someone makes a post-titles surprise appearance. Be sure to watch right to the end to catch a glimpse of someone you certainly won’t want to miss.
Injustice: Gods Among Us is available on XBox 360, PS3 and Wii from April 19th.