This is part of our ongoing series about games and trends of the upcoming next generation.
Injustice: Gods Among Us is getting an Ultimate Edition, due out Thursday. In short, the new version of the DC Comics fighting game contains all the paid, downloadable content from the original title, including six bonus characters (Batgirl, Lobo, Zod, Martian Manhunter, Zatanna, and Scorpion from the Mortal Kombat series), 40-plus alternative costumes, and S.T.A.R. Labs Missions (a series of single-player challenges, now all unlocked and accessible from the start).
But more interesting — to us, anyway — is seeing what improvements the developers at NetherRealm Studios made in order to justify calling the PlayStation 4 edition a “next-generation game.” (No official word yet on an Xbox One version, but sources strongly hint that it’s coming — duh. PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PC, and PlayStation Vita versions are also releasing this week.) We got a short demo today and learned a few small details.
First, the game will run at a resolution of 1080p on the PlayStation 4, meaning it’s as sharp as it can be for most high-definition televisions (compare this to 720p for the first Injustice).
Second, Ultimate Edition will be heavily antialiased, meaning most objects in the game world will be drawn with smooth and more natural-looking edges — no more stair-step “jaggies.”
Third, well, just about everything else will look a little better, too. “The original source art files had super-crazy-detailed textures,” NetherRealm senior producer Adam Urbano told GamesBeat. “We had to down-rez them to play on last-gen consoles, but for the PlayStation 4, we are able to get much closer to the source material for the actual in-game content. So the textures on the characters are probably about 4X what they were on the PS3.”
Bottom line? “In general, you’re just going to see better-looking art,” said Urbano.
On the nontechnical side, PlayStation 4 owners will also see all in-game button prompts (aka, quick-time events, as seen in the single-player campaign or the S.T.A.R. Labs Missions) replaced with controller touch pad swipes. For example, in one S.T.A.R. chapter, which the developers call “Missile Command” in reference to the classic arcade game, bad Superman must stop rockets and bombs from pelting an alternate-universe Metropolis. Instead of hitting X, Circle, Triangle, or Square to fry the incoming explosives with heat vision, you must swipe the PS4 controller’s touch pad up, left, right, or left.
The PS4 Injustice also gets an exclusive character skin: a New 52 Black Adam, from the DC Comics reboot.
Owners of the PlayStation 3 Ultimate Edition can upgrade to the digital PS4 version for $10.