Skirting the normal weekly release cycle just a smidge, Warner Bros. and NetherRealm Studios released Injustice: Gods Among Us [Free] earlier this week, a mobile version of the upcoming console and PC fighting game of the same name that features characters from the DC Universe.

You probably remember Batman: Arkham City Lockdown [$5.99], a well-received mobile version of the full-fledged console title that released in late 2011. Injustice on iOS is along those same lines. It's not a full fighting game, but more of an Infinity Blade-esque swipe and gesture fest. And like Arkham City Lockdown, the whole thing works surprisingly well.

The combat itself is much less complex and nuanced as something like Infinity Blade, and in fact it's really kind of a button masher, or at least the touchscreen equivalent of one. But that doesn't make it any less fun. Battles are 3-on-3 tag team matches where you can swap your 3 characters in and out at will. The tapping and swiping is pretty simplified, but there's a nice rhythm to it and as you get into later battles the AI ramps up in difficulty at a nice pace. There are also some very cool looking combos and super moves for each character to pull off.

Perhaps the coolest part about Injustice is that everything is based around a massive assortment of collectible cards. You have a huge selection of character cards, covering many of the heavy hitters in the DC Universe as well as some alternate versions of them. There's also a ton of support cards featuring characters and items appropriate for the collection of characters in the game. Finally, there are upgrade cards which let you augment your characters and their abilities.

So you have a slick little fighting system, a fairly robust collectible card system, a cool way to upgrade your characters and customize your strategies, and a visually impressive version of the DC characters and Universe using the Unreal Engine. And all this comes as a free download. Well, of course, it's not FREE free, you know what I mean? There are plenty of opportunities to spend some cash if you want.

You occasionally earn random cards from successfully completing battles, but you can pretty much buy any of the cards either individually or in booster packs using gold coins earned through fighting. The gold currency can be purchased with real money in packs ranging from $2 to $100, and currently there's also a $4.99 "Starter Pack" that features a Harley Quinn Insurgency card and two more random Silver level character cards. It sounds like this kind of featured bundle deal will rotate out every so often to feature different bundled content.

There also looks to be a sort of energy system where your cards will need to recharge your team after a lot of battling, either by using in-game currency to recharge instantly or waiting for them to recharge for free over time. However, it doesn't take long to collect a good enough number of character cards that you'll be able to swap out your team with charged characters while others are recharging, thus keeping you from hitting a hard stopping point. Also, at least in my limited time with the game, it does seem like all the collectible stuff can be earned just through dedicated play, even if it might take a crazy amount of grinding and hoping for the random bonuses to be cards you need.

At any rate, Injustice: Gods Among Us on mobile is worth checking out for free, and I'm really surprised by how much I'm enjoying it so far. It's also got me interested in checking out the console version when it hits, and by signing up for a Warner Bros. ID you can unlock additional content in the console game using the mobile game, which is pretty neat. Players in our forums are also digging the game quite a bit, and trading various team combinations and strategies, so be sure to check out that discussion for more.

  • http://www.facebook.com/peter.bohanna Peter Bohanna

    what the final installation size on this one?

    • Bloodangel

      785mb I think

    • http://smvrgs.com/ Sam Vargas

      Bloodangel is correct, ends up around that range, 784mb on my phone.

  • Blodia

    And the best part is that, unlike the current DC continuity, it doesn't feature a Joker whose face is held on with staples.

    • MidianGTX

      Well damn, if that's the best part I don't think I'll bother checking it out, even for free.

    • Patrick M

      And the worst part is that, unlike the current DC continuity, it doesn't feature a Joker whose special move involves that "disappearing pencil" trick.

  • Reignmaker

    It's fun, but I wonder if it's something that will continue to get support and add-on content after the console version comes out.

  • crocydie90

    This game come out I want a hack any suggest

    • metalmandave83

      Yeah, buy an iTunes card.

  • Toasty_Cat

    I like the cross-compatibility with the console version, achieve certain goals in app to unlock things in the console version, and vice-versa, very interesting.

  • Zeldaniac

    Sigh. Ipod touch 4G unsupported, as usual.

    • The_Blue_Sticker

      It's official... It's outdated.

      • Zeldaniac

        Which sucks massively. Why can't devs have an "SD" version of their apps that has worse graphics but works on older devices? Ipt owners get it the worst sometimes...

      • alex13111

        It also was running the near same hardware as the 3rd gen iPod touch. Only difference was the slightly faster processor, and retina display. It still had 256mb of ram, not 512 like the iPhone 4. Also, it still costs time and money to make a separate version of the game

  • Drainer

    Thank you for the negative comments guys. Really helps me to decide whether to BUY this FREE game!! Thankfully, the App Store is full of praise for this game which actually reflects the awesomeness of the video. Am downloading this now and can't wait to play it.

    • Zeldaniac

      This argument makes no sense at all. If people on the app store can have a positive opinion, why can't we have a negative one?

    • Reignmaker

      You sound mad. Chill out and enjoy your button masher.

  • theundertow

    This is bugged - tried buying a promo Gold Booster, crashed, lost IAP funds, no booster.

    WB support is aware and patching - FYI homies.

  • http://www.facebook.com/haydenstorm John Benedict

    I thought I saw it was going to be released for android, but it hasnt yet. Any word on that?

  • batmania15

    It shows dynamic shadows in the screenshots but on iphone 5 there no were to be found

  • Sunshine

    Played through until I had 5 characters at level 10, arrow, batman jr, lantern, lex and catwoman.

    It's kinda ok, but the controls are really mushy. I'm only about 50% confident that it'll block when I ask it to. The actual fighting is very repetitive, I can't find much variety in the attack patterns at all. If it weren't so pretty, and I didn't already like the DC characters, I'd definitely have shelved this after the first 10 minutes.

    As it is, the absurdity of watching catwoman try to fight sinestro was amusing enough to get me here, but I have a feeling that here I'll stop.

    tldr; download and try it if you like shiny things, but it probably won't last long.

  • Guest

    It can be fun but annoying at times. I've found myself playing longer than anticipated in order to save up enough to buy Superman & Batman (they're extremely expensive for in-game currency). It has that nice pick up an play/grindfest thing going for a mobile game.

    Sometimes at random though, the action will temporarily freeze, only to have the enemy perform a special move right afterward (even though I'm mashing the special frantically), catching you off guard. A lot of times blocking doesn't register, leaving you standing there stupidly eating up the enemy's attacks with your face. Also, although the characters do level up over time I've found a lot of of the battles overwhelmingly unbalanced (the first time you fight Black Adam, his special zaps half of your life even when you're blocking!).

    Though I guess the coolest thing is that you can use the mobile game to unlock stuff on the console version. Although the coolness of that will depend on how good the console version ultimately is.

  • http://twitter.com/Cyruss_np Cyruss

    It can be fun but annoying at times. Sometimes at random, the action will temporarily freeze, only to have the enemy perform a special move right afterward (even though I'm mashing the special frantically), catching you off guard. A lot of times blocking doesn't register, leaving you standing there stupidly eating up the enemy's attacks with your face. Also, although the characters do level up over time, I've found a lot of of the battles overwhelmingly unbalanced (the first time you fight Black Adam, his special zaps half of your life even when you're blocking!).

    Though I guess the coolest thing is that you can use the mobile game to unlock stuff on the console version. Although the coolness of that will depend on how good the console version ultimately is.

  • CaptPeachfuzz

    I personally love the added feature where it crashes after purchasing a booster pack so you lose the credits and get no new cards. WB fortunately knows about this added feature, but has decided not to give a #%$&.

  • Morgan01

    It's pretty fun, all be it pretty repetitive. I found the $4.99 booster pack worth it, where you get 3 supposedly random characters. After that, however, the IAP is severely

  • Morgan01

    (Continued). IAP severely over priced. Unlocking each silver class character coat $5 US dollars while each gold class costs $20 US dollars.

  • paulyfunk

    So I was grinding enough to buy a Gold booster pack, I got Bane (cool), and then I got duplicate support cards for Deathstroke, who I don't own,(not cool). Am I right that there's no way to resell cards you don't want? I'm fine if I got two support cards for characters I don't have yet, but if there aren't checks for dupes, or some way to sell back, it seems a little rip-offy. The pack was a great way to go. But won't be much of a deal in the long run if I get a second Bane the next time....

    • H2

      You can sell them now.

  • Morgan01

    I have seen no way to resell a card. You can, however, increase each

  • Morgan01

    Sorry...post,not working well and posting before I complete my statements.

    In addition to leveling each card, they can each also be increased in rank up to Rank 5, each rank making cards more powerful. Each rank requires an additional similar card that you combine. So, for example, if you want to rank a Superman gold card, you need another identical Superman gold card. If you think purchasing a gold card with either in game currency or real money is expensive, imagine having to purchase it 5 times? And, if you get booster packs, the card you receive is random. At some point in the game, you will have to start ranking cards in order to make them strong enough to progress in the stages.

  • paulyfunk

    It does seem like too much investment in the long run. I bought a silver pack, and am saving for one more silver pack to have nine characters, that seems like enough to be able to play a decently long session. I don't own a current gen console, so I won't be able tiger any of the exclusive stuff which stinks, but I guess that just hammers home that this iOS version really feels like a giant ad for the console game.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jaison-Biagini/100001293878571 Jaison Biagini

    best move is to get the last level unlocked. then you can keep playing the first mission over and over to build your bank to buy more characters and up their power. as you unlock more characters you can earn more money. i go for the booster packs instead of buying a specific character. the only downside is you sometimes keep getting the same one. but it does up their level to elite. only thing that sucks is the console game isn't on psn. i have bought very few disk based games. i love having games right on the drive.i keep rock band 3 in the drive to play drums and have around 160 games o the 1tb drive i put in. i REALLY wish the ps4 would just be bigger and use a 3.5 inch drive!!! with everything going the DLing route it would be nice to be able to throw a 3tb drive in my ps4 when it comes out.

  • Wonka006

    I have plenty of space on my iPod, but it isn't downloading. How much space does it take to run?

  • John Dorsey

    Are there any cheats or glitches that aren't phoney?