Since its official announcement at the 2012 Electronic Entertainment Expo, Injustice: Gods Among Us has been hastily filling out its roster with heroes and villains from across the DC Comics universe, from the officially announced superhero staples like Superman and the Flash to heavily rumored inclusions such as Aquaman and Doomsday.
Last week, our neighbors over at Giant Bomb caught up with producer Hector Sanchez to talk about some of the game's finer details, including command inputs and compatibility updates. Afterward, I got to spend some extra time with Sanchez and talk strategy when playing two of the game's wealthiest heroes: Batman and Green Arrow.
In the comic book world, Batman has to be ready for anything. He may need to fight a psychotic clown, a scarecrow, a human-clay-thing, a calendar, and a burn victim all on the same day. Intimidating? Sure, but that's where his gadgets come in handy. From batarangs to grappling hooks, these gizmos make subduing villains a breeze. Well, that plus all the martial arts training.
"When you're fighting Batman…you don't want too much emphasis on melee, since he can parry any sort of incoming melee attack. Instead, employ more keep-away tactics to keep him locked down."In the world of Injustice: Gods Among Us, Batman's well-rounded arsenal makes for a well-rounded fighter. He can harass enemies from a distance using batarangs, harass enemies up close using his sliding leg-lock, and harass enemies all around using his grappling hook. The grappling hook is especially potent since the player can spend some energy to cancel out of the move halfway through. This leaves Batman at the perfect range to launch into a big combo while his opponent is still stunned.
In the air, Batman has two handy techniques for changing his midair tempo. For one, he can glide forward a short distance using his cape. Alternatively, he can toss out some midair scatter bombs that push him backward and damage those caught in the blast. These techniques can save our hero from those pesky antiair attacks by changing his trajectory.
As cool as these bombs and batarangs are, they pale in comparison to what Sanchez feels is Batman's strongest tool: his electronic bats. These handy little critters--which are Batman's character-specific trait--have both offensive and defensive applications. Offensively, they are quick-hitting projectiles used to extend combos or to harass enemies. Defensively, the bats can parry certain attacks.
"[Batman's] biggest tell is his character trait," explained Sanchez. "When you're fighting Batman, you want to keep up the pressure when those [electronic bats] are recharging, and don't give him a chance to bring them out. You also don't want too much emphasis on melee, since he can parry any sort of incoming melee attack. Instead, employ more keep-away tactics to keep him locked down."
Sticking with the theme of millionaires-turned-pseudo-vigilantes, Green Arrow is up next. Similar to Batman, Green Arrow has a deep bag of tricks, only in the form of various arrows. But while the caped crusader strikes a balance between ranged and melee techniques, this longbow hunter prefers to fight from the other side of the screen with a combination of standard, stun, ice, and fire arrows.
If you were hoping for a boxing glove arrow or a computer hacking arrow, you're out of luck.
Standard Arrow: These arrows are easy to use but deal low damage. As with the other arrow types, you can charge these projectiles by holding the trait button and still move around while doing so. Starting count: unlimited
Stun Arrow: These arrows temporarily disable opponents, letting you link together combos that would otherwise be impossible. Sanchez recommends them for pro players who can make the most of Green Arrow's other techniques.
Starting count: 2
Ice Arrow: These arrows are basically a supercharged version of the stun arrows. The freezing effect holds opponents in place longer, though a low capacity makes them more costly to waste.
Starting count: 1
Fire Arrow: These arrows deal extra damage on contact over time. Sanchez recommends the fire arrows when you're first learning this character, because they deal good damage even when blocked and can be fired with minimum effort.
Starting count: 3
Of course, Green Arrow can do more with his arrows than just stand and shoot. He has a technique where he hops back and fires some explosive arrows at the ground, perfect for putting space between his opponent and him. He can also close the distance when he needs to with a low sliding kick. If you spend some energy, that sliding kick will be followed up with an explosive arrow for extra damage.
While these two heroes look like plenty of fun, I'm personally holding out for everyone's favorite immortal-warlord-turned-grandmother: Granny Goodness. She's super strong, super fast, and I bet she makes a mean apple pie! Hopefully, developer NetherRealm is saving the best announcement for last. Injustice: Gods Among Us is released for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and Wii U on April 16, 2013.