Injustice: Gods Among Us | A Fighter’s Guide – Part Two

In Part Two of our Fighters Guide for Injustice: Gods Among Us, we take a look at some of the core pillars of its destructive gameplay. Whether it’s mastering the art of transitioning between levels or knowing when to use your Super Move, we give you the lowdown on becoming a Super Hero or Villain in the world of DC. If you missed Part One, fear ye not, it’s right here.

The Super Metre

Similar to the Ultra bar of Street Fighter IV, dealing or receiving damage will grant fill your Super Metre. This metre is broken into segments, and can be used in a variety of ways. You can press RB/R1 or LB/L1 just after a basic combo to increase its damage, but this will consume a whole segment of your metre. Use these enhanced combos to break your opponents flow if you’re at a disadvantage – don’t become reliant on them, otherwise your metre will always be empty.

Every character has a unique supermove that can be a game changer, if used correctly.
Every character has a unique supermove that can be a game changer, if used correctly.

You’ll also use your metre in a ‘Wager’. These are usually initiated when you or your opponent perform a block during an opposing combo. Each player can choose to ‘bet’ a certain amount of their Super Metre against your opponents own gamble. If you’re bet is greater you’ll either receive a partial health regen (usually in the region of 25 per cent) or deal your opponent a similar amount in damage – depending on whether you’re defending or attacking in the clash will determine the bonus or damage you’ll receive. If you’re bet matches your opponents, the clash will be tied. Don’t always feel you need to bet in a Wager; sometimes it’s better to take a strike and turn the tide later with a well-timed supermove.

Supermove time

Supermoves are just one of the many ways Injustice adds a cinematic pause to the furious action of a match. Some moves look genuinely cooler than others (Green Lantern, Batman and The Joker are among some of the best), but they all deal a similar amount of damage. As with each facet of the game, knowing when to use your supermove is key to taking the advantage in a match. If you’re getting your arse handed to you in a bout, you may have time to use two of them, but most matches will see you using just the one. If you manage to max our your Super Metre, the character-specific log above it will start to glow – pressing RT/R2 and LT/L2 together will initiate your characters supermove.

Hawkgirl's supermove is suitably bone-crunching. Poor old Flash.
Hawkgirl’s supermove is suitably bone-crunching. Poor old Flash.

In a frustrating feature of the games mechanics, all supermoves can be blocked or evaded. Most AI can be caught in the trap of a supermove, but a majority of players are savvy enough to evade them. Initiating a supermove launches a brief animation, so only use a supermove when you’re close enough to a player, or when your opponent is mid-animation, to ensure it connects. There’s nothing worse than a whole Power Metre wasted for nothing.

Use those destructibles… wisely

Love them or hate them, the many interactive elements of each arena are as much a part of a bout as both fighters. While you can turn these elements off, most bouts online will take place with them available, so learn to adapt to their presence. Power characters like Superman and Black Adam will pick up a destructible element from the background and destroy them completely (such as Doomsday throwing the Bat Signal, or Lex Luthor smashing a garbage bin). Other characters like The Joker or Batman will leap from an object to create some distance, or prime an object to explode.

Stringing destructible elements with ranged moves can be a deadly combo.
Stringing destructible elements with ranged moves can be a deadly combo.

Some elements are fixed and can be used indefinitely. The helicopter on the Gotham City rooftops level, and the Bat-computer in the Bat Cave are examples of this. Simply clicking LB/RB or R1/L1 (depending on whether you’re working left to right or vice versa) will initiate any of these moves. Forcing your opponent towards an interactive element, destroying them in the early stages or evading them as a zoning character are just some the tactics to focus on.

Transition time

Some arenas only have a single level, but others have multiple tiers that can be transitioned between depending on the position of a character. In the tradition of Mortal Kombat, performing a strong strike (such as Back and A/X) will smash your opponent (or you, if you’re on the receiving end) into another themed level of the arena. So by selecting the Arkham Cell Block level, you can make a transition into Joker’s Asylum belief.

Unlike many other fighting games, it’s also possible to transition back to the original level. If you transition from Gotham City into the Slums below, you can smash your opponent into a petrol truck and blow them back onto the Gotham rooftops you started on. A well-placed combo can drive an opponent to a transition point, so always keep an eye on the chance to strip your opponent of some more precious health.

In the zone

Injustice has some traditional ‘large’ characters, those that are slower but deal greater damage with their strikes or throws. But don’t be fooled by a characters size – many of the highest ranked players online use big characters like Bane, Solomon Grundy and Lex Luthor. Grundy in particular has a 12-hit combo that’s absolutely deadly in the right hands.

Transitions are brutal, but they can only be initiated at the edge of certain levels.
Transitions are brutal, but they can only be initiated at the edge of certain levels.

Characters are divided mainly into Power and Gadget characters, which both exist alongside more traditional types such as zoners. So a character like Lex Luthor may be slower than Catwoman or Harley Quinn, but he’s considered a Gadget character due to his use of grenades and drones. He also has a game-changing air and ground dash that bring him in close for some serious damage (which, essentially, makes his character a zoner, too).

There are just some of the foundations you’ll need to get started in Injustice: Gods Among Us. With five varying difficulties of AI opponents to practice against in the Battle modes, you should have enough practice space to hone your Injustice skills before you enter the pantheon that is the Online mode. Be warned, a good proportion of the players online are merciless, so get practising those combos and learn your arena layouts or you’ll get humbled, endlessly.

Fancy picking up Injustice: Gods Among Us? Give our review a gander. Oh, and check out the trailer for upcoming DLC character Lobo!

Injustice: Gods Among Us | A Fighter’s Guide – Part One

The new beat-em-up from NetherRealm Studios may have divided critics, but we recently reviewed Injustice: Gods Among Us and loved it’s bold decision to do something a little different. So, whether you’re a seasoned fighter or a newbie to the scene, we’ve put together some tips and tricks to get you swinging like true meta-human.

Arcade Stick or Controller?

It’s the age-old question when it comes to beat-em-ups, but there’s no one true answer. It’s all down to personal preference. Yes, using a fight stick might seem the ‘pro’ way to do it, but many of the world’s best pro fighters use a standard PS3 or 360 controller. When choosing between either peripheral, try to strike a balance between comfort and ease of button access. You’ll be tensing your hands a great deal more with a fighting game so choosing the right controller is central to improving. If you do settle on a fight stick, you don’t need to pay the earth for one either.

Do your research before sinking some cash into a fight stick
Do your research before sinking some cash into a fight stick

You can pick up a Datel Arcade Pro Joystick (£37.38 – Amazon) or a Hori Officially Licenced Fighting Stick Mini 3 (£34.99 – Amazon), both of which are reasonably priced and a great entry-level device for novices or intermediate players looking to make the shift to a stick. Don’t just plump for a stick because it’s branded; know your brand and look around for buttons or sticks if you want to customise your pad.

Know your character

While it’s easy to get caught up in a big roster (Injustice currently has 24 characters to choose from, with another four to be added as DLC), settling on one or two fighters is key to improving as a player. The Story Mode is a great place to try out a few of the characters on offer, but use Practice mode and Single Battle to test out a fighter’s style and move list. You might dream of being Batman, but more obscure characters like Deathstroke or Raven could be the one for you.

Getting to know a character's speed, moves and characteristics is vital
Getting to know a character’s speed, moves and characteristics is vital

Each character also has a Power Trait, which differs widely across the roster. Batman can summon a swarm of robotic bats that can be fired at an opponent or spun into a deadly attack. Nightwing has a fighting stick that can be used whole or broken into two electrified batons. Doomsday and Lex Luthor can increase their armour, and Superman can briefly increase the damage he can deal out. These traits are another great facet to this game, so have a little mess about with the roster until you find the character that suits your play style best.

Health bar tactics

Unlike many fighters, Injustice doesn’t use a ‘round’ system. Instead, each match up is simplified into a single fight, with each character starting with a red health bar and a silver armour bar. Once an armour bar has been depleted, you’ll see a familiar echo effect and hear your character taunt their opponent. They’ll be a brief pause before the action resumes, so use this to regroup your strategy.

The dual health bar of Injustice is one of its calling cards
The dual health bar of Injustice is one of its calling cards

Keep in mind that the damage from a single move, supermove, transition or combo does not carry across the two health bars. For instance, if you’re opponent’s armour bar was almost depleted, and you hit them with your supermove, the damage will only extend as far as the health bar your opponent is currently on. So a move that would normally deal 33 per cent damage, could net as little as 5 per cent. Use your power move or a strong strike to force your opponent into their second health bar before switching to a move or combo that uses your Super Metre.

So that’s just some of the things you can do to get to grips with the over-the-top madness of Injustice: Gods Among Us. In a few days we’ll be posting Part Two of our Fighters Guide, where we’ll discuss using the Super Metre, Super moves and turning transitions to your advantage.

[Video Source: Gamespot]

Hitman Absolution | A Silent Assassin’s Guide

Misguided PR campaigns aside, Hitman Absolution has proved to be one of 2012’s biggest surprises. With a new in-game score system and some punishing level designs we thought we’d put together some top tips to help you become the ultimate bald-headed assassin…

Patience is a virtue

Unless you’re playing the game in guns-blazing mode, Hitman Absolution is all about studying the area you’re in. If you’re playing on a lower difficulty various points of interest will appear as small ripples in Instinct mode, but to those playing on the three higher ‘Professional’ difficulties you’ll need to rely on your sense of curiosity & creativity.

Be sure to study the paths of potentially hostile NPCs; windows of opportunity are there, so be sure to choose your moments wisely. Like so many games all guard patrols are always the same & will loop back after a certain amount of time, so don’t be afraid to wait for the best time to slip by.

The Chicago Library level will be a true test of your stealth timing

Low body count, high score

Almost every level of the game can be played with ZERO casualties bar your target. It’s not easy, but the right path, disguise & timing is there to be used. If you do need to take out a guard or NPC to move past unnoticed or to gain a particular disguise, be sure to press down on the d-pad to un-equip whatever weapon or object you’re carrying. This way you can press X or square to subdue a character unconscious. You’ll be penalised for non-target casualties so pacification is the key.

No one likes a litterer

As with all games with a stealth option, leaving a body lying around is a sure fire way to blow your cover. So, just like 2006’s Hitman Blood Money, you can stash bodies in various containers littered around each area. These rectangular containers glow in Instinct mode but it pays to look out for bins, freezers & crates that look big enough to stash a body. Hiding a body successfully also gains you some points back on pacification or kill.

Wardrobes & lockers are also a great way to conceal bodies

Use Instinct wisely

The new Instinct ability in Absolution has caused something of a divide in critics & fans of the series, but it all depends on your difficulty of choice. The ‘Enhanced’ settings (Easy & Normal) lets you use Instinct mode indefinitely, making it feel like Detective Mode in Batman Arkham Asylum. It’s a bit of a cheat but a great way to learn the ins-&-outs of an area. One higher difficulties just entering Instinct mode will reduce it so be sure to preserve it for those all-important blends or some Splinter Cell Conviction style ‘Point Shooting’ that lets you take out multiple enemies in seconds. Use it wisely.

Belle of the ball

If you’re going for a Silent Assassin rating then picking the right threads for the job is a must. Some parts of an area can be crossed in your suit with no suspicion from guards, but some parts are deemed ‘Hostile Territory’. If you’re spotted in one of these areas then you’ll be automatically spotted. Disguises can be found in little white bags or taken from dead/subdued NPCs so recon what threads are being worn in each area. Wearing a different disguise to a guard will let you slip by un-noticed, whilst wearing the same uniform (which is usually key to entering a hostile area) will cause a guard to become suspicious so be sure to use Instinct mode to fool them (i.e blend in).

 

Disguises are useful but come with their risks

Use that line of site

Just like Metal Gear Solid & Splinter Cell of old, Absolution’s guards & NPCs main means of detection is all based on sight & sound. If you drop into low profile (sneak mode) in front of a guard in any area they’ll become suspicious, so be sure to sneak when it’s most beneficial. If you’re moving without a disguise or in a heavily guarded area be sure to move silently once a guard has moved away or has turned their back. Watch out of the yellow warnings that sharpen depending on how suspicious a guard is of you, if it turns red you’re busted.

Using distractions is also a great way to carve out a window of opportunity. If you see a random object lying around, from a radio to a screwdriver, be sure to pick it up. These can be thrown to draw a guard’s attention away from an objective or door. Keep in mind that some objects like radios & busts will break after one use so use them wisely.

Each level is full of things to use to your advantage. Go explore!

Be bold when it’s called for

Ultimately, you’ll never get anything done if you sit behind cover or in the safety of a crate the whole time. Don’t be afraid to go into an area & scope out the challenges ahead of you, if you’re spotted you can just restart the checkpoint and use what you’ve learned in your next go. Some situations will need you to act on a moment’s impulse, slipping through the tiniest of gaps in a patrol to make it through. Be bold, bite your nails and have fun!  Perfection never comes easy.

Let us know your top tips for taking on the many challenges of Hitman Absolution in the comments below!

Far Cry 3 | A Survivors Guide

The tropical locales of Rook Island may look beautiful, but Ubisoft have made sure there’s more than enough danger lurking within its colourful forests. But fear ye not, for infinite robots has stalked the islands of Far Cry 3 (yes, we said islands) and faced the insanity of Vaas and his cheerful band of pirates. So before you delve into this FPS playground, be sure to pack the Infinite Robots guide to Survival in Far Cry the Third…

Use Your Surroundings to Your Advantage

Whilst built around an FPS template, there’s a surprisingly deep level of stealth written into the game play. The islands of Far Cry 3 are a dangerous place so understanding the lay of the land is key to becoming a master hunter. All enemies, from pirates & mercs to predators have AI based on line of sight – so if you break that line then you can escape or turn a one sided man-hunt into some deadly guerrilla warfare. Use the long grass, foliage, trees, rocks & huts of Rook Island & you’ll soon be the deadliest thing around.

Farcry 3

Your Best Weapon…Is Your Camera

It might sound a little crazy (which would suit this game down to the ground) but protagonist Jason’s digital camera is by far his most useful piece of kit. By selecting the camera you can highlight any living thing on the island from pirates to pigs. Once tagged you can track each target with a live image that shows their movement straight through any scenery.  Once tagged you can flip back to your weapons & pick of an outpost of mercs or hunt a tiger for its pelt. It’s an invaluable tool & one that’s godlike in the right hands.

It’s all about Recon

Even for the most experienced of Far Cry 3 players, the guns-blazing course of action will likely get you needlessly killed. Just like in Skyrim or any other open-world/RPG mash-up, scouting out an area is key to building a strategy for success. The island is littered with pirate outposts & packs of predators. Using your camera & the cover provided by the islands scenery will give you the chance to find the best route to surviving the dangers of Rook Island.

Farcry 3

Master Craftsman

And, just like the dragon-obsessed Skyrim, there’s a fun & addictive crafting element to Far Cry 3. Whilst it’s neither as deep or complicated as many RPG crafting systems, the crafting element in Far Cry 3 is just as integral to your characters progression. Collecting the multi-coloured fauna located around the islands can be used to make syringes that replenish health & give you a burst adrenaline. By killing & skinning certain animals (be they herbivores or carnivores, the island has plenty of both) you can craft extra space for more syringes, more weapons & more space for the loot & plants you collect across your adventure. All this can be accessed in a few clicks from the pause menu so be sure to check each packs requirements.

Indulge Your Inner Magpie, Collect Everything

Everything has a value in Far Cry 3. You’ll need cash to buy new weapons & replenish your ammo so be sure to loot the body of every pirate or merc you take down. You’ll always find some cash & every now & then you’ll recover an item that can be sold on at one of the local gun-shops around the islands. Looting crates (which appear as diamonds on your minimap) will also net you ammo, cash & sellable trinkets. Be sure to scale the many radio towers across the island too as these will open up more items & weapons for sale at the handful of stores you’ll discover on your bloody travels.

Farcry 3

Who needs Agent 47?

Take our advice, invest in a silenced weapon.  A silenced MP5 or pistol as well as the curved bow are a must for successfully surviving Vaas’s tropical nightmare. Un-silenced weapons will almost always bring a ton of pirates on your six. Using your blade-centric takedowns with a silenced weapon will ensure you won’t have to battle any uneven hordes on your travels. Having such an arsenal will also help you take out enemies around outposts & missions areas with minimal fuss & attention.

Count Those Bullets

This is not Bulletstorm or Call of Duty. Pop your Dishonored head on & you’ll be heading in the right direction. Open fire fights will burn up ammo like fuse paper so line up your headshots or go on a hunt for goat or deerskins which are perfect for crafting into extra bullet pouches. One shot weapons like sniper rifles, pistols & the curved bow are perfect for tracking those all-important headshots.

Farcry 3

Beware the Beasts of Rook Island

Remember, you’re just a man. And whilst carrying a gun may be as commonplace in gaming as jumping on platforms, it doesn’t make you the biggest threat on the island – at least not for a while anyhow.  The islands are brimming with nasties just waiting to steal your health bars, from tigers & wild dogs to bull sharks, vipers & alligators. As you dive into the many rivers, lakes & estuaries on the islands the tell-tale growl of an alligator as it breaks the surface is a sound you’ll never grow comfortable with. Break out the camera, keep low & check your map for areas tagged as predator hotspots.

And finally…Know your Skill Tree

Like so many modern games, Far Cry 3 comes complete with its own XP system and it’s one that will shape your journey through the games single-player experience. As you gain more XP you’ll unlock skill points which can be used to purchase new abilities – these then appear as tattoos on Jason’s arms. Be sure to pick the skills that suit your burgeoning play style – play to your strengths not what’s conventional for others. Upgrading your health will help you survive longer whilst abilities such as Takedown & Drag & Grenade Takedown are perfect for silent hunters & insane pranksters alike.

So pick up a copy of Far Cry 3 & remember, keep it infinite!

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Far Cry 3 is available now for PlayStation 3, PC & Xbox 360. Check out our Amazon links for more info. Our review for Far Cry 3 will be dropping soon.