Quiz time! Who would win a fight between Superman and Batman? Superman. How about Superman and The Green Lantern? Superman. Okay, what if you pitted Superman against the fearsome might of Aquam... THE ANSWER IS ALWAYS GOING TO BE SUPERMAN.
This is why The Man of Steel is a rubbish superhero - he's boringly overpowered compared to everyone else, and it can't help but sap the drama out of his confrontations. We mean, sure, he can't see through lead, but that hardly means it's advantage Hawkgirl, does it?
You'd think this would be a detail Injustice: Gods Among Us would be keen to gloss over, given that it's a one-on-one beat-'em-up starring a cross section of the DC universe. Instead, it tackles the issue head on by making Superman's outrageous power the focus. In doing so, NeverRealm Studios has pulled off the enviable feat of crafting a fighter that's as enjoyable to play in single-player as it is in multiplayer.
Injustice takes place in an alternative dimension where Superman has gone a bit 'wrong'. Okay,
a lot 'wrong'. The traumas of seeing Metropolis levelled by a Joker-induced nuke and being unintentionally responsible for Lois' death have frazzled Big Blue's mind and he's decided to give the 'hero' thing a rethink. Now a tyrannical despot, Superman rules with an iron fist and a cabal of 'reformed' villains and fallen superheroes who have sided with Supes out of fear.
Good job this is some other dimension, right? Except it becomes our problem when a small resistance group of insurgents warp our version of the Justice League into their world to give Superman a good duffing. This series of unlikely events sets the stage for a madcap story mode that manages to cram sights such as Joker vs. Harley Quinn and Cyborg vs. Cyborg into its narrative without so much as wincing.
Injustice's single-player mode borrows its structure from NeverRealm's previous game, the 2011 Mortal Kombat reboot. That's to say that instead of the player selecting a character and being lumbered with them for the rest of
the ride, the narrative plays director, switching characters with each chapter. This allows you to soak up the unique skillsets of fighters as diverse as Wonder Woman, The Flash and Joker. Since the move lists are displayed on the GamePad screen it's easy to adapt to the pace, although if you're playing off-screen expect to spend a fair few moments gawping at the pause screen.
The story is a lot of fun, although when you hear Joker cackling about YouTube hits it's a sign that the scriptwriting isn't going to give Alan Moore sleepless nights. It fares better when it apes the frantic chaos of the silver screen, and does a remarkable job of staying coherent, even though the lines between good and evil are more tangled than a snake playing Twister.