Injustice 2 is the highly-anticipated sequel to the much-loved fighting game by the illustrious NetherRealm Studios. Does it match the quality expected from fighting game fans and comic book aficionados alike?
As both a DC Comics fan and a lover of fighting games, I loved the first game, and spent a ton of time with it! NetherRealm has only improved in the time since, and since the game is running on the improved Mortal Kombat X engine, the game feels smoother and better than ever.
Graphically, the game looks fantastic, with special notice going to the outstanding particle effects. Characters like Firestorm and Scarecrow, who utilise fire and gas extensively, animate extremely well, and all the characters look great, especially in the story mode cutscenes. Everyone emotes very well, and there’s tons of weight behind their movements. The game is also more colorful than its predecessor, which is a very welcome change.
The gameplay is wonderful, playing like a slightly simplified version of Mortal Kombat X. Simple, in this case, certainly doesn’t mean bad. You’ve got 3 main attack buttons, a “character power” that changes drastically depending on the character used, and the four shoulder buttons (flip stance, throw, meter burn, and stage interaction). The game is quick to grasp, but fairly deep, as evidenced by high level play seen at tourneys such as EVO. Each character plays uniquely, some drastically different than the others, but all have a good depth to them, and tons of moves each.
The sound is great, with tons of talented voice acting, and tons of memorable character interactions and lines. The music is… kind of just there? Not many songs were particularly memorable to me. The soundtrack seems to have a more cinematic feel to it, which is great, but leaves less of an impression to me, personally.
The story is very well done, though a bit darker in tone than I prefer, but that’s to be expected from NetherRealm. I shan’t be discussing it in much detail so as to avoid spoilers, but the long and the short of it is that it picks up some time after the first game, and focuses wholly on the alternate universe with the Superman who took over Earth. Superman is in super jail, and Batman (unmasked as Bruce Wayne) is trying to rebuild the world. Soon, the world is attacked by Brainiac, and Batman has to decide whether he can save the earth without Superman’s help. Somewhat unexpectedly, the game features multiple endings, giving it a bit of replayability, though it needs no help in that department.
The game features tons of modes, including the main story mode, arcade mode, and the online mode, which I’ll talk about in a moment. It also features ‘Multiverse mode,’ similar to the Living Towers from MKX, which feature unique challenges, rotated in and out on a weekly basis. This keeps the game feeling fresh, and always providing you with new content regularly. Online play is solid, with little to no lag at most times. The netcode is excellent, and, even living in a rural area, I had a great time playing online. You can either do traditional Ranked or Player match, or join a room, similar to how programs like Fightcade handle online play. Online, I had a great experience, and you can learn new techniques and combos by watching matches. I got mostly destroyed, but still had a great time with it!
Character customisation is a new feature, with the ever-present “loot box” mechanic in the form of “Mother Boxes,” which can be bought or earned as you play. Each contains costume parts of varying rarities, or shaders that change the color pallet altogether. It’s a very welcome change, and if you’re not so great at the game, it can help to make it a bit easier for you, or you can tweak characters to your own personal play style. If you’re worried that it’s a “pay to win” style microtransaction, don’t be. You can switch on tournament mode, and characters will be in your custom duds, but with their base stats for a truly fair contest.
The game has improved in nearly every way over the last entry, graphically, and with a much-improved engine. Grab a copy and spend some time online, or simply enjoy the well-crafted story! Whether you count yourself as a DC fanboy, a fighting game freak, or a mixture of the two, you’re sure to have a great time.