Injustice: Gods Among Us is two weeks away, but today we -- we being Americans with XBLA or PSN -- are lucky enough to get a demo (it'll be out tomorrow for everyone else). It's no secret I've been extremely excited for the game, but now that I've had an extended hands-on experience with the fighter, am I still optimistic? Read on to find out, friends.
Prior to this demo, I only had the opportunity to play one quick match at New York Comic-Con (against none other than Tony 'G-Man' Guerrero). If you're familiar with NetherRealm's last effort (Mortal Kombat 9), then you know this is a game that doesn't benefit button mashers. It's not as fast-paced or hectic as games like Marvel vs. Capcom, but it plants a key focus on a unique combos for each character and, of course, juggling. To truly master a character, it's going to take a lot of practice. Because of this, it was a little off-putting to see the limited options the demo immediately presented. You can do a small single player ladder or local multiplayer which is what I expected, but when it comes to options, you can't even view the general controller layout or have access to a basic training mode. However, just like the studio's other games, you can pause to get a full list of special moves, combos and basic attacks. So if you're a perfectionist like me, odds are you're going to spend a lot of time paused when you're testing out the characters for the first time. But if you lack patience and think you can get away with spamming buttons, you're probably gonna have a bad time.
While this demo won't hold your hand and teach you how to dive into its universe, figuring out the basics isn't challenging and it's not long before you'll be connecting combos. The feeling of studying a few combos and then dishing them out against the likes of Doomsday is immensely satisfying and had me grinning like a total idiot. There's only three playable characters here but each bring a drastically different play style to the table. Wonder Woman is without question the most challenging to use because you can switch between equipping her lasso and sword. Based on which one is being used, she has an entirely different set of standard attacks, combos and special moves. Out of this trio, she's easily the hardest to master if you want to fully utilize her variety of moves, but switching between the weapons to dish out all kinds of pain was a real treat. Batman and Lex Luthor clearly focus on gadgets, but as you'd expect, Batman is far faster and more fluid while Lex is slower yet dishes out more damaging attacks. In just one match for each, I was able to memorize the basics for both characters and, before I knew it, I was having a great time smacking around the A.I. I won't lie, being Batman is incredibly entertaining once you learn to tie his moves together. Doomsday, I know you should wreck me, but man, using a grappling line and then kicking you into next week is way too fun.
Yes, it's disappointing there's only three characters and one stage, but it's still ridiculously pleasing and part is me is happy the demo's so limited. It's thrilling to see the vicious stage hazards or successfully land a juggle for the first time, so I'm glad this is essentially a tease because it successfully makes me even more excited to experience everything else the game has to offer. That said, one downside is you're forced to watch a fairly long cinematic every time you beat the single player ladder. This can grow tiring if you don't have a buddy for local multiplayer and the ladder's your only option. All things considered, that's a fairly minor complaint.
Overall, I'm thoroughly pleased with this demo. The combat is energetic and, once you get good with a character, the slugfests become hugely satisfying. Sure, the graphics aren't going to impress, but we've known what this game looks like for quite some time now and it still does a more than adequate job making the more absurd moves a blast to witness. Did you download the demo, and if so, what do you think so far? Additionally, who's your favorite to use out of the three provided characters? Sound off about the demo below!