First thing’s first – I’m not a mobile gamer.
I’m strictly a console/handheld kind of gamer.
Sure I’ve dabbled in the Angry Birds and even tried out Grand Theft Auto 3 on iPhone but whatever it is, it just doesn’t seem to click.
Then I played Injustice: Gods Among Us for iOS.
Now, I haven’t played the PS3/Xbox/WiiU version, so I guess this gives me a fresh look at it.
The first thing you’ll notice when playing is this is not the console version, not at all.
Put simply you start of with a random collection of “cards”, which are characters, and you assemble a three-fighter team to do battle with other teams and work your way up a series of ladder matches.
You fight your way up and eventually fight a “boss”, once defeated unlocks the next set of matches, wash, rinse, repeat. Each fight uses up a portion of your team’s “energy”; each of the three characters in your team has an energy bar and each fight you enter will empty a section from it. Once depleted you cannot fight with those characters and must either swap them out for cards with energy or wait for them to refill. The average waiting time can be about 20-30 minutes or you can buy energy refill cards with in-app purchases, which is a sly move if you ask me.
The characters you start off with are somewhat random as friends of mine who also have the Injustice iOS seemed to play with different characters, ones I haven’t yet acquired.
Additional character cards, power-ups and game currency can all be bought with in-app purchases, ranging from your usual £1.99 to a staggering £69.99.
More powerful characters such as Bane, Batman, Wonder Woman and Superman aren’t initially available but are top-tier unlockables costing the most money, both in-game and actual real-world currency.
Visually the game is very impressive for a mobile game; character models are well animated and detailed enough for the smaller screen.
Backgrounds are on par with the characters but lack the dynamic interactions of the console version, not that it matters as it wouldn’t suit this version of the game.
The controls are very simple, which should be expected of a touch-screen game. Simple taps on your opponent give out quick, low-damage attacks whilst left/right swipes deal out slower, longer attacks that deal greater damage. Over time you build up a special metre which can be used to deploy a character-specific attack, the damage it deals all depend on how well you perform a quick on-screen QTE sequence. Blocking is done by holding two fingers in place on the screen.
The game’s difficultly starts off reasonable enough but spikes very quickly, encouraging you to use those in-app purchases to power up your characters.
You can however go back and replay all the fights you’ve won, which will earn you XP, levelling up your team but this will take a while to do.
Personally I’ve sunk about £8 in to it and that is where I call my limit as these types of games can be dangerously addictive and empty your wallet fast!
The only thing it’s sorely lacking is a multiplayer, would be a fantastic addition, even if it was a paid-DLC, which I would gladly buy.
If they introduced a multiplayer where I could battle my friends via Game Centre I think it would be an amazing experience.
I’d recommend playing this game on iPad due to the larger screen, giving you a better view and more room for gestures.
Due to the “high-end” visuals of this game, I’d only recommend playing it on iPad 3, 4 and Mini, iPhones 4S upwards and 4th-gen iPod.
Whilst not required, the game does support many more but these are the devices you’ll have the smoothest experience on.
Now did I mention, this game is FREE!
With that in mind I can’t fault it too much.
A few audio glitches here and there and a difficulty spike that unless you grind, requires you to lay down cash takes away from the experience but can be forgive as it’s what mobile gaming is all about.
If you’re like me and use mobile gaming as just a stop-gap between “real” gaming, I highly recommend this game. It’s simple, easy to pick up and enjoyable once you’ve “mastered” all four controls. Whether it keeps you hooked long enough for you to open your wallet to it is entirely up to you but if you want some simple, awesome, superhero beat ’em up fun for free, head over to the iOS App Store and give it a download!