E3: Eyes-on - Injustice: Gods Among Us
DC Comics fans were understandably disappointed when the DC MMO, DC Universe Online, came out in early 2011. Injustice: Gods Among Us is not an MMO, but it is looking like it might be a really, really good fighting game. Developers NetherRealm, who have worked on Mortal Kombat, obviously understands DC Comics and what fans want from their favourite heroes.
The first thing that sticks out at you about Injustice is the amazing artwork. The attention to detail is striking, and between the costumes, lighting and environments, you can tell that this isn't a superhero game for kids. NetherRealm has adult comic book fans in mind, and it shows. The Flash's costume is a dark red, blood flies when Solomon Grundy tosses Batman around like a ragdoll, and Superman's laser eyes look super-deadly.
Out of the six characters announced so far, we only got to see Batman, Solomon Grundy, the Flash, and Superman. Wonder Woman and Harley Quinn are available, but weren't shown in combat.
The environments in Gods Among Us are both usable and destructible - choosing an environment, the Warner Bros rep said, is as important as choosing a character. That's because the environments start falling apart as the fight goes on, and when they fall apart they often create opportunities for the heroes to use objects around them to fight. For example, when a glass case broke open in the Batcave level, bat grenades fell out, which Superman was able to pick up and use against the Flash. Solomon Grundy, a big zombie-like character, was able to pick up a nearby car to smash Batman's head in.
The environments also have more than one level to them, and characters can complete special moves to shift between the different sections. In the Batcave, Superman punched Flash into an elevator, which then began to move up to the floor above while they continued to fight in the enclosed space.
Each individual character has special, cinematic moves they can use when their meter is charged up. The Flash, being the speedy guy that he is, did a full rotation sprinting around the world in order to build up the power to punch Superman pretty much right off the planet.
Because NetherRealm has been trying to make Injustice: Gods Among Us as cinematic as possible, each of these abilities has its own cutscene. There are also cutscenes when a fight is won, rather than your typical commentator announcement telling you that "BATMAN WINS!" in a deep, loud voice.
NetherRealm didn't say whether there was any explanation given as to why the superheroes were all fighting each other, but it's not like it hasn't been canon in the past, so it wouldn't be difficult to explain away.
Of the host of amazing games we've seen at E3 so far this year - and there have been a lot - Injustice: Gods Among Us may have been one of the most pleasant surprises at the show. We can't wait to get our hands on the game and have a go ourselves.