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Injustice: Gods Among Us lets DC superheroes fight to the death (preview and image gallery)

DC Comics’ superheroes were never eviscerated quite like this on the illustrated page. But the kid gloves are off in Injustice: Gods Among Us, the newest fighting game starring DC heroes such as Superman and Batman.

From NetherRealm Studios, the makers of last year’s Mortal Kombat reboot, comes the latest action fighting game. The game lets you select from the iconic superheroes from the DC pantheon. The fighting takes place in a variety of backgrounds such as the Bat Cave, and the fighters are depicted in near photorealistic animation. Plenty of blood flies in the game, which is likely to be rated Teen.

“We want to introduce new things in the fighting genre,” said Ed Boon (pictured right), creative director at NetherRealm Studios, in a presentation to games journalists. “We’ll have an elaborate story to go with it, too.”

That includes taking something from the background and using it as a tactical weapon. For instance, you can back up to a spot where you can fire missiles from the Batmobile damage your attacker. The environments will corrode over time as the fighting takes its toll. Once you tear up one arena, the battle transitions to another with different objects that you can use.

Boone showed us a battle between Solomon Grundy and Superman. They can abuse each other in all the usual ways possible in a fighting game. But Superman can launch a special attack where he can wind up and punch Grundy into outer space. It’s funny to see the view of the fight pull back and then see Grundy leave the earth like a rocket and fly into space and come back down. Grundy can pull a tombstone out of his chest and hit Superman with it.

We also saw a battle between Batman and Wonder Woman. Batman can use his Batwing and grapple wings to hook and attack Wonder Woman from afar. Wonder Woman has a Golden Lasso that she can use. She can jump into the air and use the lasso as a kind of whip. And she can fight with a sword and shield. Batman can pull out gadgets. He can pick her up and bash her head on the car, and Wonder Woman can pick up the car and throw it on top of Batman.

Boone said that his team of artists is doing their own version of the heroes’ costumes.

The game is using a modified version of the Mortal Kombat engine. Boone said there isn’t an exact count of characters yet, but the game will have as much content as Mortal Kombat had.

The game is coming out in 2013 on the Xbox 360 and the PlayStation 3. Other platforms are under consideration.

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