I do my best to stay away from really finite, nitpicky geek/gamer rants. They are normally just overly critical, and nobody wants to hear about you bitch about something for 1000 words.
Well, I can contain this minutiae within me no longer. I will be HEARD.
I haven’t had much of a chance to get familiar with Injustice: Gods Among Us yet, but from the brief bits that I’ve seen and played, it looks great. The battle system is solid, and the story appears to cover some really interesting territory.
However, I couldn’t help but notice one really glaring weakness – the handling of Superman.
I get it, I really do. Superman is a bitch to tackle in almost every medium because he’s so broken. He hails from a day in superheroes that existed before pathos and characterization was a thing, and was instead founded on the grounds of “Look at this guy, he can do everything you wish you could.” Recent attempts like Man of Steel look to be doing a great job of humanizing the super man, but no matter what, it takes a very fine balancing act to really do him justice.
With that said, the way he is approached in battle in Injustice drives me crazy. Maybe I’m OCD, but the fact that every character in the game, from Flash to Joker, can defeat Superman in battle without the aid of kryptonite is something I can’t get over.
Now, I get that kryptonite is not the easiest thing in the world to ascertain. And I also get that Superman is weakened to the point of barely being able to move when presented with even a tiny amount. But what is more realistic? That the roster uses a little bit in their fight against him to even the odds, or Superman punching Batman into the stratosphere, then torpedoing him back down to earth, and Batman surviving? Realistically, in that exchange, Batman dies no less than FOUR times.
And I wouldn’t think it would be too hard on the character models, either. A kryptonite version of suits would be super easy, especially if they’re presented as minor changes to the main suit that take place when you battle Supes.
On the box art of Injustice, we Batman charging at Superman while wielding a kryptonian dagger. The developers were aware of the problem, and yet in the game, this is not really reflected. Tell me to get over it, and that’s fine, you’re probably right, but when you’re telling a somewhat serious story about Superman and the Justice League, this oversight is pretty significant, and pulls me right out of the story.
As they say, the devil is in the details. Details elevated Tomb Raider and BioShock Infinite from “good” to “great.” It stands to reason, then, that an oversight of the details can serve to hurt the experience.
So, turns out the developers did handle this. All of it. So good on them. They rock.
I’ll avoid spoilers, but let’s just say my entire rant above has been proven completely irrelevant. I was told that there is nothing in the game that addresses my concern above, when in fact, there completely is. So this blog is a cautionary tale about trusting friends.
Don’t do it.