Injustice: Gods Among Us Play-tester Makes Case for Using Stage Hazards

REO, a well known Mortal Kombat player, argues that Injustice's stage hazards are integral to the game.

by on 16th Apr, 2013

Now that everyone can get their hands on Injustice: Gods Among Us (check out the launch trailer!), a lot of tournament talk has been going around. One of the big discussions has revolved around the use of stage hazards. In Injustice, stages have interactive elements that fighters can use to knock an opponent away or slam their foes into for more damage. There’s an option to turn off stage hazards to make the locations simple backdrops to your hero-on-hero action. In tournament play, organizers try to eliminate as many random elements as possible to create a fight that depends more on skill than “getting lucky” with an item or stage shift. For example, the majority of Smash Bros. tournaments turn items off and they only select the “Final Destination” stage. It’s a stage that is flat, small, and has nothing going on in it.

So naturally, people are asking if stage hazards should be allowed in Injustice tournament play. REO is a top Mortal Kombat player and was a play-tester for Injustice. In a post on TestYourMight.com, he argues that the interactable stage hazards are a good thing and should definitely be used.

1.)    It promotes a layer of added depth. Every character uses interactables differently, be it power, gadget, or acrobatic. Even with the differences of interactable use, every character will still use them differently on their OWN to benefit their character play style. There are a ton of possibilities, ranging from a multitude of preemptive set-ups and baits. The yomi and mindgames that go into interactable use, fake-outs, or counter punishments (bounce armor-cancel) are extremely satisfying.

2.) Some characters need them. How are some characters like Raven supposed to get out of the corner? Raven has very poor mobility and methods in escaping the corner. By her utilizing interactables she is now given more options to cover this weakness. The same applies to some characters like Shazam who have difficulty opening an opponent up to get in on by himself. Throwing interactables opens up an opportunity for a knockdown so he can get in. Even the threat of it being an option can make opponents shaky and jumpy when in range, which he can use to his advantage on trying to slip in.

3.) They make the game fast-paced and exciting. You're going to have to make split-second decisions on covering ground trying to overwhelm your opponent with field control. What happens when you have two players with the same train of thought? Hectic fast-paced struggles that promote more aggressive behavior. Some characters can even "set up base" with them which will cause the opponent to rush in and put an end to it before they can capitalize on it. Time outs will most likely be very rare.

4.) Stage awareness is increased to a whole new level. How many of you have great stage awareness and capitalize with the corner being in the back of your mind? Every calculated move you make, whether it be a combo carrying your opponent to the corner, ending a combo to reverse positions, or maintaining great ground spacing is now fleshed out to many parts of the map where interactables are present. You will have to be familiar with every stage and learn how to shutdown other characters interactable use and capitalize on your own.

The game was released today, so the discussion has only started. Some are already wary of using characters like Raven if tournament organizers are likely to turn off stage hazards.

Have you gotten around to playing Injustice yet? Do you think that turning off stage hazards would severely handicap certain characters?

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