Developer: NeatherRealm Mobile Team
Price: Free
Version Reviewed: 1.0
Device Reviewed On: iPad 2

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★★½
Gameplay Rating: ★★★★☆
Playtime: Rating: ★★★☆☆
Replay Value Rating: ★★★★☆

Overall Rating: ★★★★☆

WB and NetherRealm’s original DC Comics fighting game Injustice: Gods Among Us has been adapted for the iPad, and that doesn’t just mean that they ported down a full console fighting game, or just made an Infinity Blade clone like some are wont to do; no, they converted this into an actual touchscreen-friendly game that’s free-to-play, though definitely encourages spending money.

The actual combat is dramatically less complex than the Street Fighters of the world, because players have three basic actions: tap to do a light attack, swipe forward to do a heavy attack, and tap & hold with two fingers to block. Combos will call up swiping actions to knockdown the opponent, and special moves will require different inputs to unleash those attacks. The complexity comes in with using the three chracters efficiently; not only is it about letting them go to the sidelines to regenerate health, but also to swap in characters whose special power meters are recharging while on the sidelines. As well, different special attacks have different effects that are useful in various scenarios. I like to keep one character with a power drain effect with me when fighting bosses so as to limit the number of times they can do massive damage. The combat strikes a great balance between being simplified for the platform, while keeping enough strategy to be interesting.

Now, just a word of warning: Injustice will require those who play for a long while to spend money. It starts with the three character classes: bronze, silver, and gold. Silver characters are much more powerful than bronze ones, even with a several level difference, and gold ones…well, they’re the destroyers of worlds. Naturally, getting the silver and gold ones is going to be expensive, especially if you buy their character cards outright. There are booster packs which come at a fraction of the cost, and come with a random character of that class and a pair of booster cards that grant passive enhancements to characters. My suggestion when starting out is not to worry about character upgrades at all, just get 3 silver booster packs in order to have an army of silver characters; they’ll outclass the opposition much of the way early on. Eventually, it’ll probably be worth spending a nice chunk of change on IAP to get an army of gold characters because they will destroy all who oppose them.

However, it’s definitely possible to get hours of fun out of this for free, and it’s also possible to just swap characters out, Real Racing 3 style, plus energy boosts are occasionally handed out for free. I’ve played far more exploitative games. All in all, this is a mobile fighting game that does a rather impressive job at fitting on its platform while still being fun.

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