Released in 2013 for the PlayStation 3, Injustice did for the DC roster what Arkham Asylum did for Batman: finally give us a decent game with plenty of iconic DC heroes and villains. Previously, DC fans only had the awful Justice League: Task Force on Super Nintendo and Sega Genesis for their fighting game fix, while rival comic book company Marvel had a plethora of amazing fighting games in their lineup. This all changed with Injustice, as developer Netherrealm adapted their popular Mortal Kombat engine to the new license with spectacular results.
In a surprise last minute announcement, it was announced that the PlayStation 4 would be receiving a port of the game, labeled Injustice: Gods Among Us Ultimate Edition a collection that combines the base game with all of its downloadable content. Is Injustice worth owning on the PlayStation 4 if you've already played the game previously?
The Foundation of a Good Comic Is Its Storyline...
In general, fighting games often have throwaway plots; sure, there is generally a story mode attached to every fighting game, but its often paper thin and does nothing but tick off a check box labeled “single player content.” Netherrealm nicely dodges this by crafting a tale fit for a comic book, as the game tells the story of what happens when Superman decides to take justice to the extreme. After a horrific event, Superman takes the law into his own hands, with heroes (and villains) either siding with or against him. Naturally, Superman's main opposition comes in the form of Batman – while this match-up is getting a bit old and cliché, it still plays out well in the game.
The story is voiced by iconic voice acting legends such as Kevin Conroy and George Newbern, reprising their roles from Justice League, along with other voice acting heavyweights such as Phil LaMarr and Tara Strong. The plot will keep you entertained through the six or so hours it takes you to finish it, answering plenty of burning questions you may have such as “Just how exactly does Nightwing punch Superman through a building?”
Once the single player story mode is over, Injustice features over 200 challenges for fans to take on, including a number of PlayStation 4 specific challenges utilizing the DualShock 4's touchpad. A wealth of unlockables such as concept art and costumes give single player fans a lot to do. To round out the single player improvements, the Training mode has seen an increase in the amount of data provides, perfect for players who like to get more in-depth with their fighting games.
But How Does It Play?
For our readers who haven't played the 2013 release of Injustice, the game is a 1 vs. 1 fighter that is very similar to Mortal Kombat, which is due to the same engine being used. However, Injustice adds interactive environments and multi-tiered stages to make the DC feel come alive. Not only will you be using character's signature moves in battle but you'll also be throwing cars and missiles as well.
Everything you'd expect in a fighter is present in Injustice – it's a very solid, competent fighter and the PS4 version is no different. The game now runs at 1080p and 60 frames-per-second, so the action is fast and furious, never dropping framerate even once.
A Diverse, Legendary Roster
Injustice: Ultimate Edition features almost every legendary DC character you can think of along with a few niche choices. The entire Justice League is represented, including Batman, Superman, Flash and Cyborg, along with some big name villains such Doomsday, Lex Luthor and Bane. Niche choices such as Raven, Killer Frost and Ares round out the roster nicely, ensuring that no two characters play the same. As a bonus, the six DLC characters are also included on the disc, further fleshing out the cast with great additions such as Martian Manhunter, Zatanna, Batgirl and Lobo. As mentioned previously, all DLC costumes are also included on the disc.
Each character plays differently from one another and comes complete with unique special and super moves that truly capture the essence of what the character is all about. It's often difficult for developers to even capture the essence of one superhero in his own game (see Superman 64 for proof) so for Netherrealm to truly capture the uniqueness of over 24 heroes and villains is a heroic feat all on its own.
But How Is The Multiplayer?
Injustice: Ultimate Edition features all of the same multiplayer modes as the previous release but with a few enhancements for the PlayStation 4. The game now features better lobbies with the addition of players being able to watch matches and bet experience points on a winner.
However, while these improvements are all well and good, there isn't a lot to say about them because the option to try them out extensively wasn't there: the online is already dead. For some reason, there is hardly anyone playing Injustice: Ultimate Edition for the PlayStation 4, compared to the many players playing the PS3 version of the game.
This could be due to many retail stores not stocking the game, it could be due to the game being a port, but for whatever reason this game has no online presence. This is disappointing, and not something that can be held against the game itself necessarily, but this is the end result of a straight port with no real defining features. Even though Ghosts and Battlefield 4 are ports, they do feature large improvements over the previous generation's versions; Injustice: Ultimate Edition just features the same game repackaged with only minor tweaks.
Perhaps some exclusive characters would have caused fans to rebuy the game on the PS4, but just know that if you're looking for online play to extend the longevity of this title, you will be disappointed.
How Does It Look?
While Injustice does boast sharper textures on the PlayStation 4, at its core the game still looks like a PlayStation 3 game in many regards. While the game doesn't necessarily look bad, it's not going to be a game you use to show off the power of your new $400 next generation gaming console.
Should You Buy It?
The burning question for many gamers is wondering if Injustice: Ultimate Edition is worth buying if they already own the original. If you bought Injustice: Ultimate Edition for PlayStation 3, the game is absolutely worth the $10 digital upgrade cost. If you've never played Injustice before and don't care about online gaming, it's absolutely worth the price of admission as well.
However, if you've already played a ton of Injustice last generation, nothing here is worth buying the entire game again for the steep cost of $59.99, especially if you already have all the DLC. The game itself is still fun as all get out, but the fact that there is no major graphical upgrade, no exclusive features outside of minor tweaks, and already dead online play make it a tough sell for the millions of gamers who already bought Injustice last year.
Final Score: 7.5/10
Game Category: Fighting
Article by - Joshua Phillips
Insert Date: 12/09/2013