To Skip This Would Be The Injustice
HIGH The highly polished, fleshed-out campaign.
WTF The final boss has a move that hits for 50% health.
Injustice 2 starts with a bang — the amount of things available on the main menu is impressive, and there’s a wide variety of modes on offer for any type of player. However, this fighting game from NetherRealm revolves around a fleshed-out story mode, and for many this will be the selling point.
Like the original Injustice, the game stars heroes and villains from the DC Comics universe Including Batman, Harley Quinn, Deadshot, Superman, Cyborg, Aquaman, Joker, Catwoman and many many more, for a huge total of 32.
While the campaign it isn’t long, it’s solid as hell, and a great way to be introduced to the characters. As the player progress through the story, they’ll constantly switch between multiple combatants, giving them the opportunity to experience a varied range of fighting styles. In some scenes, the player can also choose which character they wish to fight with.
The cutscenes and story moments do a great job of making the narrative mode feel like it’s not just a linear sequence of events. The adventure is fantastic, and some of the situations that NetherRealm puts fan favorite DC characters into are nothing short of awesome — Green Lantern deals with rage as an effect of conquering fear, Harley Quinn shows a new side that we’ve never seen (and it really shakes things up!) and of course the ongoing head-to-head between Batman and Superman continues on, just to name a few.
Injustice 2’s gameplay has changed just enough from the original to keep it fresh. Movement feels faster, returning characters have new tricks up their sleeves, and the roster offers new faces like Darkseid, Starfire, Red Hood, Scarecrow, Firestorm, Dr Fate, Swamp Thing and more.
I’m in no way a professional fighting game player, but the devs offer a great training area that got me up to speed and eased me into some of the trickier mechanics and tools – things like using the terrain to attack the opponent, how to string juggle combos, how to perform meter burns and roll escapes, and much more.
The game also lets players use chunks of their special meter to making special attacks stronger, to get out of a juggle combos, in a clash to deal more damage, and of course they’re still good for executing over-the-top super moves. I appreciated these options, and found that this flexible super meter added a nice layer to combat.
Injustice 2 includes a ‘gear’ system, as well. Completing singleplayer missions and just generally playing will award new pieces of gear. There’s a staggering amount of stuff to be unlocked and put on my favorite characters. Naturally, all the gear modifies stat ratings and these stats carry over to multiple modes. However, for competitive players, this gear can be turned off and the players will revert to their stock stats.
On the other hand, while I always enjoy earning a reward here and there, going for specific pieces can feel like a grind – the game often awards things for characters I never use. Every time I got something for Swamp Thing, it drove me a bit mad. This system also feels a bit off in the sense that microtransactions come into play, and the game gives many opportunities to spend real money.
Technically, the graphics are fantastic — characters look and move convincingly, and Injustice 2 also has some of the finest facial animation I’ve seen. Seeing unlocked gear reflected on the characters is brilliant, and simply enjoying the visuals is a treat. However, one small complaint is that I wish I the models would display damage like they did in the previous game, or like NetherRealm’s other series, Mortal Kombat.
The online multiplayer works great. I had no connection issues, and most matches played sharply although I was getting my arse kicked all over the place. When I got tired of having my teeth handed to me, I’d spend time in the Multiverse mode, which offers frequently-updated scenarios and encounters. It’s an addicting addition, and I’d come back to it frequently for the daily challenges, or just to get cool new gear for my favorite characters.
Some players (like me) who aren’t fans of online competition may question whether Injustice 2 is worth a full price purchase, but there’s a lot more content in this package than in the average fighting game, for DC fans and fighting game fans alike. Highly recommended!
— Clifford Goldsmith
Disclosures: This game is developed by NetherRealm Studios and published by Warner Bros Interactive Entertainment. It is currently available on PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. This copy of the game was obtained via publisher and reviewed on the PlayStation 4 Pro. Approximately 5 hours of play were devoted to the single-player mode, and the game was completed. 10 hours of play was devoted to multiplayer and other modes.
Parents: According to the ESRB, this game is rated T and includes Alcohol Reference, Blood, Language, Suggestive Themes, and Violence. This is a fighting game in which players engage in one-on-one battles with popular heroes and villains from the DC Comics universe. Players punch, kick, and use a variety of weapons (e.g., knives, swords, machine guns, laser blasters) to drain opponents’ health meters in melee-style combat. Matches are highlighted by impact sounds, splashes of blood, and colorful light effects as fighters are hurled across the screen or to the ground. As players engage in fantasy combat, they can trigger super attacks and transitional attacks that propel opponents from different levels of fighting arenas. Some super attacks depict blood-splatter effects as characters are injured by creatures and/or impaled with swords. Cutscenes depict additional instances of violence and blood: a character impaled with a sword; a prisoner lying in a small pool of blood; a character stabbed with a trident; a villain’s throat slashed off-screen. The game’s dialogue contains brief sexual references (e.g., “They’re thieves. Rapists. Murderers.”), and some female characters wear revealing outfits (e.g., deep cleavage, tight-fitting clothing) and/or perform suggestive poses. One fight setting takes place in a bar with several alcohol references: signs that read “Beer”‘; drunk patrons in the background; kegs of beer that can be thrown at opponents. The word “sh*t” is heard in dialogue.
Deaf & Hard of Hearing Gamers: The game contains options for subtitles. There are no relevant auditory cues necessary for gameplay and it’s fully accessible.
Remappable Controls: Yes this game has a fully customizable control scheme.
Colorblind Modes: There no color blind modes available in the options.