Injustice: Gods among us

Let’s make a couple of things clear:

  1. Fighting games are really boring. Outside of the Mario exception1, I’ve never enjoyed a fighting game. I did put a serious number of hours into Mortal Kombat for the SNES way back when, but then my entire game collection would consist of two games at any given time, so I would play what I had and like it.
  2. Super heroes are stupid. They’re a kind of enjoyable stupid when they get to stay in their own unique worlds, but when they start sharing a world, the stupid becomes brain-achingly bad.

In other words, there’s nothing to indicate that I will find even the tiniest sliver of enjoyment in Injustice: Gods among us.

But it was on sale and it has Lobo in the banner2, so I bought it anyway. I’m a total sucker and why did I ever give Steam my credit card.

I hate this game.

That was to be expected, but after playing it a bit, I also hate it for a number of other reasons.

Controls

I’ve played this with a wired Xbox 360 controller, and I’ve found the controls to be flaky as hell. I frequently jump when trying to move backwards or forwards, and a number of combos are all but impossible to do intentionally. When going through the tutorials, I had to skip a number of moves because even after several dozen tries, I simply could not get the keys listed on the screen to do what they were supposed to.

Thankfully the fights are easily winnable with just basic moves and the occasional incidental special move.

The animation

For a game that is all about throwing bodies around, these guys are surprisingly and inconsistently badly animated.

In the actual fights, the animations are mostly good. I rarely see anything obvious enough to bother me. It’ll do.

But the cut scenes. Oh dear god the cut scenes. People are bending at the waist, not at the hips. The corners of the mouth are going straight out to the sides, not bending back along the teeth. The insides of mouths are lit by an unknown light source, rather than being dark. Wrists bend all wrong. Eyelids head into non-Euclidean space whenever somebody blinks. These are all common problems, and they are all terrible.

Wonder Woman

I know the characters in this game have stylised bodies. They have fantasy bodies, and as long as they’re consistent, that’s fine. But there’s stylised, and there’s … Wonder Woman.

Wonder-Woman

I don’t even understand what’s going on with her physique. Waist down, she’s fine, if perhaps a bit on the slim side for the amount of muscle she should have.

But from the waist up? Nope. Not unless she’s had breast and shoulder enhancement surgery. That upper body does simply not belong with that lower body.

The other women in this game do not have this problem. They are stylised and idealised, but at least their halves look like they belong together.

As for Wonder Woman’s metal bra… It’s so low-hanging fruit I won’t even bother with further comment.

Lobo

The character that made me purchase this damned thing isn’t actually in the story. He’s a DLC, and is only included because I got the Ultimate Edition.

… but I kinda like that bit

The story

As much as I hate super heroes in a shared world, the story going on here is pretty clever. I like it as much as I can like a story where I hate the setting. We all know this game exists purely because super hero fans want to have a great big melee with random heroes and villains beating the crap out of each other, and with that in mind I’m even more impressed with the story.

The graphics

The stages are gorgeous, both to look at and to play. There is a perfect amount of interaction with the environment. The transition between stages is excellent.

The characters are beautifully distinct. Each character’s moves are excellent and feel appropriate, and even such small things as a character’s walk is on target. Their super moves range from badass (Hello, Batman!) to slapstick (Hello, Green Lantern!).

Little things like the power meters are just right.

Depeche Mode

Unexpected, but appreciated.

Lobo

Lobo is just as loud, crude and rude as he should be. Taking a shotgun to Batman’s brooding face and stomping on Green Arrow’s is satisfying. Oh Lobo, you alone are worth my €4.99.

So…

I hate this game. But Lobo. Oh, Lobo. I’ll let you beat up random super heroes any day.


  1. The Mario exception is as follows: Even if a given genre of games is all stupid and boring, the Mario game in that genre will still be entertaining. So racing games are dull, but Mario Kart is great fun. Fighting games are boring, but Smash Bros is amazing. 
  2. Also Wee Hughie undercover as Zod

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