CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- It's a question philosophers and fan-boys alike have been asking for generations -- Who would win in a fight, Batman or Superman?
"Injustice: Gods Among Us," the delightful new brawler from the creators of "Mortal Kombat," gives gamers the opportunity to pit these two DC Comics icons against one another in a fight to the finish. But more importantly, it provides some context as to why the Dark Knight and Man of Steel would ever come to blows in the first place.
Indeed, it is this story that separates "Injustice" from the plethora of other fighting games on the market, including the "Mortal Kombat" series from which "Injustice" drew much of its inspiration. While I won't spoil the story here, know that it should appease even the most hardcore DC fan.
In addition to Batman and Superman, the roster of 24 combatants includes many of the most popular heroes and villians from the DC universe, including Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, Aquaman, the Joker, Harley Quinn and Lex Luthor. Even less mainstream characters like Solomon Grundy and Nightwing get some love here. Likewise, the arenas that serve as the backdrop for these epic encounters are among the most recognizable locales in the DC world, ranging from the Hall of Justice to the streets of Gotham City. Each arena is filled with environmental hazards that can be used against your opponent, and each offers the opportunity to experience multiple levels through stage-changing events. Hardcore fighting game fans can rest easy in knowing these stage-changing moments can be turned off in the options menu.
For a game featuring super heroes, the combat in "Injustice" remains well-balanced. Each character has a unique set of moves at their disposal, including some cool finishers -- I'm not a fan of Aquaman, but the giant shark he summons to devour his opponent is nothing short of spectacular.
Unsurprisingly, there are plenty of fundamental similarities between "Injustice" and "Mortal Kombat," but don't mistake "Injustice" for merely a re-skinned "MK." I found "Injustice" to be far more accessible and loved the ability to keep my moves list on the screen at all times while I was learning the ins-and-outs of each character.
While the story mode is at the heart of "Injustice," it is far from the only reason to play. The character-specific STAR Labs missions add hundreds of unique challenges and the battle ladders let you compete in a series of fights against the AI. Multiplayer matches can be plenty of fun, too, whether playing locally or online - just be prepared to face the same couple of heroes over and over again.
It goes without saying that "Injustice: Gods Among Us" is a must-own for any self-respecting DC Comics fan, but fans of the fighting genre should definitely give this one a look, too. It may not be the most innovative brawler I've played, but few have been more fun than "Injustice."