A player's choice of battle arena will be just as important as their choice of character in InJustice: Gods Among Us, says NetherRealm Studios co-founder Ed Boon.
Speaking at the EB Expo in Sydney today, Boon said that the arena that players choose can be instrumental in their fights. Where arenas in fighting games tend to be backgrounds that players cannot interact with, Boon said that every arena will have its own unique elements and different characters will be able to interact with them in their own unique ways.
In a demo he showed at the EB Expo, Boon pit Superman against Nightwing. He described Superman as a "power character" – a character who uses brute force and strength, and Nightwing as a "gadget character" – one who relies on external mechanisms to win, and these different character classes will have different approaches to interacting with the arena.
"So throughout the arena you'll see objects scattered everywhere – they're not just pretty visuals, they have a function in gameplay," Boon said. "So if there is a car in the arena and Nightwing has been cornered, he can jump onto the car and use it as a bounce pad to jump to the other side of the arena.
"Superman, being a power character, can pick up the car and just slam it."
Boon's demo showed that many of the arenas have multiple levels. In one match, Cyborg threw The Flash into an elevator which took them to a whole different arena on a different level. In a fight inside the Bat Cave, players could hit a red button and rockets would launch from the Batmobile and hit the opponent. As a fight proceeds, the arena also receives damage, with electrical wiring being torn from ceilings in some levels (which can also be used in battle).
Some arenas will only have one level while others will have up to three. Boon said that the arenas are responsive environments that players can use to their advantage if they know what their characters can do in certain environments.
"Our goal was to do something with the gameplay that is a dramatic departure from the existing stuff," Boon said. "We just wanted to celebrate the super hero experience."