We love to wax nostalgic at PoP!, but sometimes it’s what’s yet to come that most quickens our nerd pulses. For better or for worse, let’s start the speculation over what’s making us Future Tense.
If you’re a fan of gaming in the DC universe, get ready for Injustice: Gods Among Us. This new video game for Playstation 3, Xbox 360, and Wii U is going to test the limits of our favorite DC heroes and villains.
Injustice: Gods Among Us is being developed by NetherRealm Studios, the masterminds behind the Mortal Kombat series. Forget the long, complicated story lines of Batman: Arkham City and Batman: Arkham Asylum or the MMORPG elements of DC Universe Online. Injustice will be a pure slug-fest.
The game play has been likened to old-school fighting games, with two characters going head-to-head in battle. The controls will be simple, utilizing a four-button layout. Associate Designer Derek Kirtzic explains that there are “three attack buttons: light, medium, and hard”. Even if you aren’t a gamer it will be easy to master the controls of Injustice. The joystick or D-pad will be the main means of blocking (no more block button like in Mortal Kombat).
Senior Producer Adam Urbano explains further, “The additional button we call the ‘character trait’ button, and that’s a specific attack designed to showcase each character. So, in the case of Nightwing, he uses the button to switch between his ‘Kali stance’ using Kali [Eskrima] sticks and his ‘staff stance’ where he uses his staff, and there’s completely different attacks.” Special character moves will also be used to link combos.
Each character will have his or her own strengths. Some will rely on brute strength. Others will be able to switch between multiple gadgets and weapons. As in traditional fighting games, there will be power meters to fill, and a full power meter will unleash special attacks.
Characters confirmed to be in the finished game include Batman, Catwoman, Cyborg, Flash, Green Arrow, Green Lantern, Harley Quinn, Joker, Nightwing, Solomon Grundy, Superman, and Wonder Woman. Each character has been redesigned by NetherRealm Studios with input from DC Comics. This gives each character a different look and feel from other games and the various comic series.
While the fighting is done in two dimensions, the game has been 3D rendered to add depth and dimension. According to Urbano, “The tech team’s been hard at work with an all-new real-time lighting system. They have an all-new character material system so the characters look really realistic.” The NetherRealm Studios team has built the game on the Unreal 3 engine.
Multi-threaded rendering is another feature that has been added to the game engine since Mortal Kombat, allowing characters to interact with the environment. For example, Wonder Woman can pick up a car and use it as a weapon, smashing it into the ground with shards of glass and metal flying everywhere.
There will be many different environments for players to choose from, including iconic locations like the Batcave and the Fortress of Solitude. Each arena will play to different characters’ strengths. There has been incredible attention to detail paid to both the environment and character designs. The goal is to replicate a blockbuster-movie feel without the crazy production budget of a feature film.
Injustice can be played as a single-player game, but the real test will come with the online multiplayer mode. Fights will accommodate up to eight players at once, with two players fighting as the other six spectate. If the online play is as seamless as the promo videos show, this game will be huge step forward for multiplayer PvP gaming.
Injustice: Gods Among Us is scheduled for release in April 2013.
Check out the full interview with the creative team of Injustice: Gods Among Us: