Who do you think would win in a fight, Superman or Batman? The answer to that question isn't nearly as obvious as you might think, and while online forums are a great place to debate such things, wouldn't it be great if there was a game in which you could put your theories to the test? Enter NetherRealm Studios' Injustice: Gods Among Us. That's right, Ed Boon--working alongside other evil geniuses responsible for 2008's Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe, as well as the dynamic comic book writing duo of Justin Gray and Jimmy Palmiotti--has once again devised a plan worthy of Lex Luthor to render the Man of Steel vulnerable to fisticuffs.
NetherRealm's plan involves a one-on-one fighting game in which superheroes and villains do battle with each other. Batman and Wonder Woman went toe-to-toe at a recent press event, as did Superman and Solomon Grundy, and in many ways the fights that ensued wouldn't have looked out of place in a comic book. Not only are the combatants' respective moves very much in keeping with their characters, but environments like the Batcave and what we assumed was Metropolis (but were later told is "just a big-ass city") were impressively interactive and destructible.
How you interact with these environments will vary depending on what kind of character you're playing as. Batman is a "gadget" character, while Wonder Woman is a "power" character, so when the fight between the two of them ended up close to a parked car, they were able to bring it into play in very different ways. Batman simply grabbed his opponent and slammed her face down onto the hood, but when Wonder Woman retaliated, she was able to pick up the car and swing it down onto Batman's head.
When they're not weaponizing automobiles, characters will, of course, all have distinctive repertoires. Batman has access to an arsenal of gadgets that includes batarangs and a grapple gun (among many more, presumably); Wonder Woman can switch between multiple fighting styles depending on the weapon she's using (wielding the lasso of truth will be very different from using a sword and shield, for example); Solomon Grundy is able to pull knives from his back and put them to good use; and Superman has his heat vision. Superman also has an impressive supermove with which he can uppercut opponents into orbit before flying up there to smack them back down to Earth. How many characters on the game's roster will have comparable supermoves remains to be seen, but even those heroes and villains whose punches are never going to interfere with NASA launches are still capable of smacking their opponents between multiple arenas.
Fighting in the aforementioned city, you can send your opponents not only flying through the air, but also crashing through skyscrapers until they ultimately land on the roof of one. And then, while fighting on the roof, you can slam them down with so much force that when the fight resumes, you're both 30 stories down. Similarly, in The Bat Cave the fight can move from the main level where the Batmobile (armed with rockets that can be fired via a control panel at one end of the cave) is parked, down to the lower level where the Batboat can be seen in an underground stream. And after that, you can even fight in the elevator as you ride it back up.
Interactive environments, improvised weapons, and a distinct lack of decapitations aside, Injustice: Gods Among Us looks to be a fighting game very much in the vein of last year's Mortal Kombat. Impressively, when it's released sometime in 2013, the game will purportedly have a roster of "at least as many" characters as Mortal Kombat, which shipped with 28 on the disc. We've seen Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, and Solomon Grundy. Harley Quinn and The Flash have been confirmed. If you pay close attention to today's launch trailer, you can also spot a character who appears to be Lex Luthor in his Brainiac Suit doing battle with Superman. That still leaves more than 20 spots on the roster unaccounted for. Who will the rest of them be? Leave your guesses and wish lists in the comments below, especially if--like us--you're rooting for a scrappy underdog. The Ventriloquist, for example.