There are two types of superhero comics fans: those who like them because they're action-packed power fantasies, and those who like them because they're vehicles for exploring metaphors and archetypes. The former are the people who get Superman tattoos on their bicep because they like him as a symbol of invincible power, not as a symbol of relentless optimism and compassion. They like the X-Men as Wolverine's gratuitous violence team, not as a metaphor for oppressed minorities in a superheroic context.
The game INJUSTICE: GODS AMONG US is clearly aimed at those types of fans. I'm really trying my best not to sound elitist, becaus I understand the art form thrives on both types of fans, but everything about the upcoming fighting game seems aimed at Not Me. Still, I downloaded the demo that came out today, and I couldn't help but observe a few things:
- Fighting games are awful for stories. Not just the overarching plot that gives you reason for The Flash to punch Green Lantern, but the tropes of fighting games require some truly awful writing. For example: because it's a fighting game, everyone has to have a quick 3 second entrance and a one liner. From what I've seen in this demo, they are dumb nonsense. Batman appears from a cloud of bats (?), Doomsday breaks out of containment (??) and Wonder Woman is being blesse with her magic lasso from Athena (???). Before every fight. Because it's forced characterization.
- I don't know what it is with video game companies and shit costumes. Why is Batman covered in random plates armor plates? Why does someone think this is a good costume? Why does someone think this looks less ridiculous than underwear outside the pants?
- The whole game plays like they wanted to makea Dragon Ball Z game but ended up with the DC license.
- I'm sure this is a great fighting game in terms of mechanics and gameplay because the people behind it aren't dumb. Approaching this as a non-fighting game fan, I just need to understand that this is not a game about DC Comics, it simply wears a DC skin.
- That split-second prediction rock-paper-scissors mechanic where they both say a one liner is pretty bomb.
- I said, "this is so fucking stupid" with a grin on my face three times: Batman hitting Lex Luthor with the Batmobile, Lex Luthor hitting Batman with a fucking satellite and Batman kick Luthor through a gas tanker, pinballing between buildings, and finally precision aimed through a water tower.
- This game is so dumb, a weird fit for DC, but at least it's exciting in its ridiculousness.