22nd Apr2013

‘Injustice: Gods Among Us’ Review (iOS)

by Phil Wheat

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Developer: NetherRealm Studios
Distributor: Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment and DC Entertainment
Specs: Requires iOS 4.3 or later (iPhone, iPod touch and iPad).
RRP: FREE
Rating: 5/5

Developed from the ground up by award-winning NetherRealm Studios, Injustice: Gods Among Us is a free-to-play mobile game based on the accompanying Xbox 360 and PS3 title, which delivers stunning graphics and a completely unique fighting gameplay experience created especially for iPad, iPhone and iPod touch.

Injustice: Gods Among Us sees players battle in 3-on-3 tag team combat that pits many of DC Comics’ most popular icons such as Batman, Superman, The Flash, Wonder Woman, Green Arrow, Aquaman and more against one another. There are many fighting games available on iOS, so what makes this one stand out from the crowd? Well for a start it’s not you traditional mobile-fighter. Instead of opting for overlaid controls, Injustice: Gods Among Us uses (at least in the iPad version we played) the entire screen surface for the buttons, and there’s no joypad… Yes, you read that right. Instead of an overlaid joypad, the game uses auto movement which turns this into little more than a button-basher. However this is still, without a doubt, the BEST button-bashing fighter available for iOS right now.

The control system is kept as simple as possible: tap for light punch, swipe for heavy punch. You can combo your punches together as well – three light punches will, at times, unlock the knockdown blow command (a simple directional swipe indicated on the screen). Each successfully landed blow also builds your special move meter – which is triggered by tapping on the power bar. You then follow a series of “quicktime-event” style on screen prompts (such as tapping when a moving line hits a certain point on the screen, or rapidly tapping a target, or swiping a certain direction) to unleash a devastating attack on your opponent. You can even defend attacks with a swift two-fingered tap on the screen. Admittedly the control system is very simple but the simplicity makes Injustice: Gods Among Us incredibly addictive – especially if, like me, you work out timings and strategies to inflict damage on each individual opponent the most effectively.

As you progress through the game you characters are automatically levelled up, plus the game also features a collectible card mechanic that sees you buy – using coins collected for winning matches or bought via micro transaction – power ups, unlock new special powers, and increase damage, health etc. If you collect enough coins you can also buy new characters, the most powerful of which cost a HELL of a lot of in-game currency. However if you’ve been playing long enough to amass that many coins, your characters will be much more powerful than any you can buy. It’s not all good though…

Sadly Injustice: Gods Among Us features an “energy” mechanic that limits the amount of play time you can have in any one sitting. At first the “one energy unit per fight” is quite acceptable but as the game progresses the amount of energy expelled increases, so much so that you’ll either spend real money buying energy, or spend a lot of time waiting for your characters energy bars to automatically refill. Thankfully if you do have the patience to wait, which I did, the game will let you know when you can fight again via a handy notification (one of the only times game notifications are actually useful).

Fans who also own the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 versions will be able to unlock content in the console versions that will be available in the mobile game, and vice versa, by registering for a Warner Bros. ID (WBID) account and playing the game. For example, by using the iOS game you’ll unlock certain skins and icons on the console version; likewise, completing certain objectives on the console version will grant you rewards in the iOS game. Apparently the cross-platform feature is not available on the Wii U, so stick to the 360 and PS3 versions.

A superb example of how to translate a console game to mobile, Injustice: Gods Among available now on the App Store.

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