The Injustice series is a fighting game series created by Nether Realm Studios, a studioalso popularly known for the iconic Mortal Kombat series. Injustice 2 substitutes characters like Raiden and Sub-Sero for the diverse heroes and villains from the DC Universe. Upon launch, the game provides 29 characters ranging from Superman to Gorilla Grodd, with more characters being released via DLC in the future. With a large and diverse roster, the range of different matchups is exciting. Injustice 2 really impressed me not only with the epic story, but also with the amount of content that was added and the tweaks that they made to fix some of the problems that I had with the first game.
The story mode shows the aftermath of the events following the first Injustice, along with the destruction of the planet Krypton by Brainiac. The story mode overall has a very smooth pace, transitioning from cut scenes, to fighting, back to cut scenes. This is also the first Injustice story mode that implemented chapters that allow the choice between two different characters. Each of these choices leads to different post-fight cut scenes, as well as various endings. To Injustice 2’s benefit, the Mini Game/Quick Time events have been removed. This was one thing that ruined the flow of the story for me in the previous game, so I was glad that they chose to remove them.
The opening scene of the story shows Kara-El (Supergirl) gazing over her beloved city being destroyed by Brainiac’s Betas and his creepy tentacle head ship. She is placed on a rocket and forced to watch as everyone she loves is destroyed by Braniac. This scene provides some raw emotion, and sets the tone for the rest of Injustice’s story mode.
The graphics help bring this story to life. The facial expressions, environments, and effects add to the smooth flow of the game. The expressions of each character help to correctly convey each of their moods to the point where you start to feel what they feel. Even with a standard PS4, the graphics are very well done.
Another excellent addition to Injustice 2 is the new mode, Multiverse. The Multiverse is a game mode where you can acquire different bits of gear and drop boxes, or level up your characters. This game mode adds hours of playtime, and each mission has varying conditions or specifications to shake things up. The progression is also highly rewarding, because gear that you acquire through the more intense missions could be useful future challenges. For example, the first major mission that I did was fight a Lv.1 Superman. I was using a level 8 Blue Beetle. While I was expecting this to be an easy fight, thanks to the level difference between him and my Level 8 Blue Beetle. To my surprise, I did little to no damage while Superman was doing 10-20% per attack. I was able to defeat him, but it was closer than I wanted it to be. This illustrated early on just how important rare gear is for Multiverse challenges.
Customization is one of the larger additions to the game, and I have to say I enjoyed it a lot. By completing story mode missions, multiverse missions, and opening mother boxes you can acquire different gear for your characters of varying levels and rarities, and the rarer items having larger buffs. These different pieces of equipment, along with shaders that you can acquire, help you to change both the look and the stats of your character. The epic pieces of gear also add different effects, varying from exp. boosts or even advantage over certain types of enemies (ex. Batman’s kryptonium set). This adds a whole new aspect of strategy that you can use to defeat harder multiverse levels.
New and Improved Gameplay Mechanics
Nether Realm really listened to feedback from the last Injustice. The first major improvement that they made was the speeding up the gameplay. The previous game felt incredibly slow and sluggish, and it bogged down the overall gameplay. The faster pace in this game really adds to the thrill of superhero fights.
The next new mechanic that I like is the incorporation of air dodges and rolls. By burning one bar of meter, you can break out of a combo while in the air or roll out of a corner. Without this in the previous game, I could easily deal 70%+ of damage in a single combo without any opportunity for my opponent to escape. This feature could be compared to the Breaker, which was added in recent Mortal Kombat games, or the Combo Breaker from Killer Instinct. These two features allow players to have a little more of a fighting chance against others who spam long combos and use the corner to trap their opponent.
The final feature that I really like, and that I’m using while writing this review, it the ability to set up an AI to fight for you in the single player modes. You can alter the AI’s equipment, as well as the rate that they combo, grapple, counter, etc. The upside to using an AI in the Multiverse is that you can level up your characters while you study, watching Netflix, or even write video game reviews. In fact, I was able to level my Batman from Lv. 14 to the max level in the time it took me to write this review. This allows people who can’t have their hands on the controller 24/7 to gain levels and unlock better gear for their characters.
This series will always hold a place in my heart, the first Injustice was my first experience with tournament play, which I ended up taking second place. With the improvements to the combat system the gameplay is incredibly smooth and fast-paced, which provides plenty of intense moments.. With the ever-changing multiverse missions and the massive amounts of equipment to unlock, this game will provide hours upon hours of fun. If you are a fan of fighting games, or even a fan of DC, I would definitely recommend this game.