Greetings fair travelers of the Perilous Realm! I do not necessarily do a whole lot of gaming but every now and then I do find one that completely absorbs my attention for a while. The latest game to make me extremely unproductive is the iOS version of Injustice: Gods Among Us.
For those who don’t know, Injustice is properly a console-based fighting game featuring many of the most popular heroes and villains from the DC universe of comics. The basic story is simple enough. Superman and a number of other heroes decide that they’ve been going about saving the world all wrong and basically take over, recruiting various villains to their side as well. Superman and his regime is naturally opposed by Batman, leading a handful of low-powered but highly skilled heroes and villains. Of course, this means that Batman is working with the Joker, which alternate reality or no is just not cool. However, the story plays pretty much zero role in the iOS version so we’ll let it slide.
One thing that does carry over from the different platforms is the amazing graphic quality. I’m running it on an older iPad2 and the game looks beautiful and runs smooth, even though its 16GB of storage is filled to the gills and I frequently have other apps open in the background.
While we’re on the subject of appearance, the costumes are generally done quite well, featuring updated versions of the classic costumes (traditional design and color pattern but with added texture as in Amazing Spiderman), renditions of designs from the New 52 reboot and designs unique to the game. The designs for the game are generally more muscular and armored than the comic book versions and at times highlight certain mythological aspects. The clearest example of this is the stylized wings/lightning bolts on Flash’s helmet which immediately made me think of Mercury.
Game play is swipe based much like the popular (and also highly addictive) Infinity Blade. An unfortunate side effect of this is that combat is fairly repetitive, with just a handful of animations for each character. However, the number of characters available helps to keep things interesting. The game starts you off with the minimum of three characters for the tutorial, after which you are granted a fourth. I don’t know if the characters granted are standard or randomly generated. The ones I began with were Lex Luthor, Green Arrow, and Cyborg followed by Nightwing. As you advance and earn credits you can buy upgraded characters as well as additional super moves, which again add variety to otherwise repetitive animations.
With the tutorial out of the way, you embark on a series of battles, pitting your chosen team of three characters against whatever three the app choses. Initially, the battles are fairly easy and you progress quickly as your characters level up almost with every battle. However, as one would expect, things get more and more difficult as you move through the game. It’s at that point that it becomes necessary to make use of some in game credits to upgrade your special abilities, purchase support cards or by new and more powerful characters. One cost effective means to do this is make use of the booster backs in the in-app store. The silver pack comes with one silver character and two support/upgrade cards. The cost is equivalent with purchasing the cheapest silver character so unless there is a specific character you are trying to save for, I would stick with that. And you will
need those silver characters sometime around Battle 10 or 11. By the time you get to battle 13-15 you will find yourself hitting something of a wall and progress will become impossible unless you either spend some real money or invest some time into redoing some battles to earn the necessary in-game credits to purchase the characters or upgrades you will need to move on. Fortunately, with a little patience this is doable as credits are earned fairly easily and the game is addictive enough to make you want to do it. Also, even when you purchase an upgraded character, he will start at level one, giving you a reason to go back through those early levels to both level up the new guy and earn back some of the credits you spent to get him.
All things considered, this is a great free app that will scratch your casual gaming itch during those short breaks at work or whenever you just really feel the need to lay the smack down on something for few minutes.