Those who are fans of DC will definitely see that Injustice 2 is a game that’s worth playing. This is a must-have title for those who love the fighting game genre and superheroes. It’s by far one of the most enjoyable and visually pleasing games of 2017; this being a statement that a lot of critics can easily agree with. But what makes this game so great? Does it deserve the attention and praise it has received? Let’s go through this one step at a time.
Platform Reviewed: PC
Platforms Available: PS4, Xbox One, PC
Developer: NetherRealm Studios
Publisher: Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment
Release Date: November 14, 2017
This review is based on a review copy provided by Warner Bros Interactive Entertainment.
Lets start with Injustice 2’s story mode. Batman and his allies are doing what they can to piece the world back together; years after subduing and incarcerating Superman to the point where he’s no longer a threat to everyone on earth. However, a new faction of villains known as the Society (Lead by Gorilla Grodd) emerges and plans on ruling the world. As the heroes do what they can to stop them, they soon find out that there’s more to the Society than they know. A threat that’s much bigger arises, and one that forces them into making a very important decision; Should they risk releasing Superman and have him help stop the impending doom that awaits all life in the galaxy?
It would be much better to go in depth, but doing so will take up the majority of this article. Another reason for this is because it’s definitely going to be hard to follow the story.
Allow me to say this now; This is a game where you have to play the first game and read the comics if you want a better understanding of the plot.
Although it’s not too difficult to follow (Basically good guys stop bad guys and then stop an even bigger bad guy), there are a couple of plot elements that you’ll connect with more had you read the comics beforehand. Plus, DC superheroes and villains are thrown left and right out of nowhere which makes it feel like a jumbled mess; players who are just getting into Injustice will definitely feel alienated when it comes to understanding why they randomly pop out during cutscenes.
But even with that, the game’s story mode is absolutely fantastic. The transition from the custcene to the actual fighting is as smooth as butter, and transitioning back is just as slick. You can actually feel the emotion that certain scenes want to portray, and they all do it so well.
Although, Supergirl’s facial animations feel a bit…off. This problem is very clear when the game shows you a flashback to her younger days. While the rest are fine in this aspect, hers looks as if she’s trying too hard to express emotion. Though this only happens for a few cutscenes, it’s still something to take note of. Other than that, she plays out fine.
The dialogue between characters is very entertaining and the writers did a great job in capturing their essence. One problem is that sometimes it tries a bit too hard to reach out to this generation of gamers; An example being an unprecedented reference to the Lord of the Rings during a particular scene.
Let’s move over to the game’s audio and visuals.
As recently stated, the game looks gorgeous and just about every visual aspect is finely detailed. Even if you lower just about every option in the settings to medium, things such as the character models, background, and even the menu screen looks fantastic; playing on low settings isn’t half bad either. You’re given a lot of options when it comes to boosting up or dumbing down performance or graphics; so this shouldn’t be much of an issue.
The game’s audio is no slouch either as even hearing punches connect will tingle your ears. Everything from hearing lasers shoot out and structures exploding sound crisp. You’re getting your money’s worth if you’re buying something that looks and sounds good.
Now let’s see the characters that you can choose from.
You’re given around 28 base characters that you’re allowed to choose from. Of course, there are going to be characters and skins that you’ll have to pay to unlock, and some of them are really worth obtaining; One good example being Cyborg’s delicious looking “Grid” skin. Still, you can make due with what you already have. Every single one of them has their own unique combos and move sets; that’s something a lot of people should appreciate in a fighting game as character clones are pretty common nowadays. All of them control really well and you’re definitely going to want to try out what each character has to offer.
It’s time to get into the meat of the game: the fighting mechanics. While the usual combos and Super moves are still here, there are a lot of mechanics that are bound to fly over your head; especially if you’re a beginner. This would include things such as meter burn, roll escape, and even special moves. You can even make use of the environments to dish out more damage to your opponent; doing things like smashing a trash bin over their heads or sending them flying through a wall. But if you want to do all this, you’re going to have to learn what buttons to press in order to do specific actions.
And this is where the tutorial comes into play. One of the best things about this is that you can access the tutorial anytime you wish, and it’s not just for teaching you the basics. The tutorial teaches you just about everything you need to know, and it goes beyond that by teaching you advanced maneuvers. It’s really nice that the developers thought of it all the way through to ensure that everyone learns what the fighting has to offer.
It even teaches you how to pull of Injustice 2’s latest fighting feature, the Clash system. If players meet certain requirements, they can have their heroes lock up against each other. Once this happens, the two will wager their power meters and after a certain period of time, the one who wagers the most wins. Winning means extra bonuses such as regaining a bit of lost health. It’s definitely something players will want to master as it can turn the tide of the game around.
And let’s not forget one of the best things to pull of in a superhero fighting game: the super moves. These are incredible attacks that, if it lands, will deal a lot of damage to an opponent. While this is a great way to take out opponents, they look really satisfying to pull off. And to think that each hero’s super move is unique, this means you should definitely try them all out. You’ll be surprised at just how amazing each one is made and they all fit well with their characters.
All of this can be a lot to take in, but you’ll want to learn how to do them all if you want to get the most out of every character.
And for every fighting game, there’s always a versus mode, and Injustice 2 has one that does it….justice. You can choose between offline versus mode or the two types of online multiplayer mode. I say this because Injustice 2 gives you unique options with its online capability. On one hand, you can play the traditional one-on-one versus mode, and the other where you pit your A.I team against real players.
Let’s talk a little bit about the latter. The online A.I battle simulator mode allows you to create a team of heroes called “defenders” that will go against real people looking for a challenge. Think of it like playing in a Bot match but you’re fighting against A.I that was handpicked by a real challenger. This can be very beneficial for you as watching the results can give you various goodies; this is under the assumption that your defenders win. You can even give yourself an even better chance of winning by customizing your defenders with upgraded gear, increasing things like their power or defense.
And for the one-on-one online matches? It plays as it should. So long as you have a decent internet connection and a computer with good specs; then you shouldn’t really worry about freeze frames or input delays that much. Although they’re still a bit present, it doesn’t ruin much of the fun.
For the controls? Just like every other fighting game, this is best played with a controller rather than a keyboard. While you can map the keys to the different button inputs to make it more comfortable, nothing beats the feeling of playing with an actual controller where you feel like you’re actually in, well, control!
And last but not least, the way the characters interact with one another before a match? Simply outstanding. No matter who you pick to use and who you go up against, they all have something different to say. The developers did a really good job in that department, as there was no doubt a lot of lines spoken and voices that needed to be recorded in order for every single character to interact differently with one another. This also happens during hero clashes as well! It’s clear that the developers put a lot of love into the game, and that’s something we should all appreciate.
Overall the game is one of or if not, the best fighting game of 2018, and you should definitely put this on your list. If you already have it? Then you’re one of the lucky ones.