Injustice 2 is the sequel to Injustice: Gods Among Us, which released back in 2013 and was developed by NetherRealm Studios. After having spent hours on Gods Among Us and finishing the story twice throughout its lifetime, both last generation and this one, I certainly feel that I am ready to take on all the enhancements that Injustice 2 sports and the challenges it may throw my way. I go in excitedly prepared.
Injustice 2’s story takes place directly after the events in Gods Among Us, which you will need to play to get the entire gist; however, to understand the basic story, this game kindly gives you a flashback cutscene which somewhat explains what you have missed. In Injustice 2’s story, you play as multiple DC superheroes and super villains as they try to stop the evil Brainiac from taking over the world. Basically, there are twelve chapters in Injustice 2, and each chapter has you playing as a different hero or villain, identical to Gods Among Us. So, in the first game, Superman turned evil and killed the Joker to try and stop a nuclear bomb from destroying the universe. Injustice 2’s Superman is still evil; however, all the superheroes must team up to save the universe from Braniac, and this includes the heroes who have sided with Superman. The story is good for any comic book fan, but it is way too similar to the original Injustice’s story; however, there is some great writing here and even some funny one liners.
So, as mentioned above, the story of Injustice 2 has you playing as various characters throughout the story. This is great, as it keeps the content fresh and exciting whilst giving you a taste of the way each character plays. Every time I was starting a new chapter, I was excited to play as a new hero and to learn their new moves and their awesome super moves that look phenomenal and deal a lot of damage to your opponents. In case you have never played an Injustice game before, and you are looking into getting into the franchise now, I will do a quick rundown of how the key elements of the gameplay works. The first major element that you will notice are the environmental attacks; these are helpful when you are low on health and need a helping hand. You can use the environmental attacks whenever you see a flashing object that can be used. All you have to do is press R1 when you and your adversary are close to the object, and you will automatically use the object to attack. These attacks look really cool and do significant damage which can turn the tide of any battle.
Another huge feature is the returning arena transitions, these can be activated when you and your opponent are at the edge of the fighting area. If you kick away from your opponent, an animation will play which will lead you to a new area in spectacular fashion, and this also damaging your opponent. The last feature I’m going to talk about is the super move that any character can perform, these are huge damage dealers and look freaking amazing! As you deal or receive damage, you build up an energy bar which can be used when it is full, activating ‘Meter Burn’ moves or using the full bar to activate characters’ aforementioned super moves. Simply pressing R2 and L2 activates your super move, granting you to a cutscene animation that looks amazing, and every single fighter you play as has their own.
Okay, so now that we have gone over the basic features of Injustice 2, let’s get down to the nitty-gritty. The game is faster paced than the original and will make for fun moments at gaming parties or even fun moments playing against your friends online to see who is the top dog.
Gear is a new addition to Injustice 2, which can be unlocked and equipped to any characters to grant them specific buffs. There are a few ways you can earn new gear for your heroes, one of which is by completing certain chapters of the story, then completing stages in the brand new Metaverse mode, which has you fighting in Mortal Kombat-style ladders to cleanse the multiverse of new threats, or fighting online against human opponents. It rewards players as an incentive to complete the story and earn cool new gear, as well as those who like to fight online. Another way of earning new gear is by opening ‘Mother Boxes’. These act like Battlefield 1’s supply drops and reward you with randomised new loot, dependent on which rarity the box that you opened was.
The loot and gear system is the biggest change to the Injustice series yet, it introduces a new type of feature that I have never seen done before in a fighting game. Basically, each fighter has stats (Injustice 2’s stats are strength, defense, health and ability), and these introduce new kinds of meta that players have to think about when they are playing matches online. An example of this is being up against Superman while wearing a full set of Kryptonite Armour; this will hugely help you against Superman, as it’s his biggest weakness. This could be very helpful to comic book fans, as they know what the strengths and weaknesses of the heroes are; however, for the non-fans, they could be completely oblivious and miss the opportunity that this system provides.
Developer: NetherRealm Studios
Publisher: Warner Bros Interactive
Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC
Release Date: 16th May 2017