- Platforms: Xbox One, PS4 (Reviewed)
- Developer: NetherRealm Studios
- Publisher: Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment
- Release Date: May 16th, 2017
It’s been four years since the creative minds behind the Mortal Kombat series, NetherRealm Studios, transformed the DC Comic Universe into a juggernaut of a fighting game with Injustice: Gods Among Us. Injustice is back once again, taking many features that became popular from Mortal Kombat X, and adding a massive new game mode, along with some incredible character animations and a gripping new storyline.
Injustice 2‘s story takes place shortly after the events of Gods Among Us, with Superman detained in the radiation cell and what was once the Justice League left in shambles. A higher form of evil, Brainiac, launches an attack on earth, with his eyes set on the kryptonians Superman and Super Girl. The characters of the DC Universe must put their ongoing feuds aside in order to stop Brainiac and save not only Superman and Super Girl, but the entire planet. The story mode in Injustice 2 plays very similar to the first game, where fights and cut scenes transition rather seamlessly. Most of the story’s chapters revolve around two characters, with the player choosing which one they want to fight as prior to each encounter. As a result of the options to choose between characters at each chapter there are two endings to the story, offering some replay value to back and pick the other fighters.
Combat wise Injustice 2 plays almost identically to Mortal Kombat X, with the same fluid combo system. Several of the background objects in the stages are interactive, allowing players to leapfrog over their opponent, or smash them for extra damage. The special moves from the first Injustice, which are basically the PG-13 versions of fatalities, are still prevalent in the sequel, and are still larger than life. The clash system where players wager their meter progress for extra damage or health regeneration also returns in Injustice 2.
Injustice 2 features a massive 29 fighter roster, roughly the same as the first game. The roster has received quite the shake up, with several new faces including Black Canary, Darkseid, Deadshot, Poison Ivy, Scarecrow, and more. Each fighter has their own unique fighting style, and no two fighters feel the same.
Injustice 2 has a surprisingly deep RPG element to it, with a major focus on equipping your fighters with gear. Gear is accumulated by playing any of the game’s modes, and you’ll also be rewarded with plenty of Mother boxes, which are essentially Injustice 2‘s version of a loot crate. The gear you collect are unique pieces for each of the game’s fighters, and equipping the gear increases that fighter’s four stats: Strength, Ability, Defense, and Health. Not only will the gear increase stats but it also changes the fighter cosmetically as well. The gear you collect will have a level requirement to equip, which means you’ll have to grind out some wins with your fighter to deck them out in the more powerful set pieces. You can even level match gear that you grow out of if you don’t want to part with certain items.
The largest addition to the Injustice sequel is the new multiverse mode. In this mode players can choose from multiple different ladder-style challenges to gain experience and mother boxes. Once these challenges are completed, the player’s point tally from the challenge is added up and a possibility of three tiers of mother boxes are rewarded. The challenges often have arena and fighter modifiers, similar to the modifiers introduced in Mortal Kombat X. Certain challenges will have a level requirement or require a certain character to play. These multiverse challenges are available for a set period of time, and when the time elapses a new multiverse event will take its place.
The multiverse mode is also available as a Guild. Players in the guild work together to repeatedly complete the challenges and complete objectives, earning guild points and mother boxes. The more you contribute to the guild, the more rewards you will receive.
The level of detail put into the character animation is absolutely insane. During the game’s cut scenes there are often moments where you’ll get a close up of a character’s face, where you can see every pore, wrinkle, or blemish. When a character speaks you not only hear the emotion in their words, but you can see it in their face as well. Even characters in the background during cut scenes have lifelike body language and their presence feels very natural, as opposed to most games where they seem more robotic. The perfect fighter that showcases the stellar character animation is Harley Quinn, as her sassy, loud mouth persona creates some very enthusiastic facial expressions that are textbook photorealism.
Overall Injustice 2 is as perfect of a fighting experience that you’ll ever play. With the game’s massive, diverse roster of fighters, and an ever-changing, constantly evolving multiverse game mode, players have countless hours of gameplay at their disposal. The game’s loot system and gearing your fighters to become unstoppable is extremely addicting, and the polished gameplay and remarkable character animation is the icing on the cake. Whether you’re a fan of the DC Universe, or just a fan of the fighting genre in general, Injustice 2 is a game you cannot miss.