Warner Games and Netherworld continue their alternative take on the DC Comics’ universe with Injustice 2.
Build from the ground up for the new gen consoles, Injustice 2 features some breathtaking visuals and inspired redesigns for DC’s ironic characters.
The DC Universe of Injustice is messed up. Following the imprisonment of Superman, with Batman having toppled his totalitarian solution to the human races warlike nature, Wonder Woman and Black Adam plot revenge. Meanwhile another group, The Society, a group of DC villains led by Gorilla Grodd, threatens the status quo. The arrival of Super-Girl and the appearance of Braniac, further charge the situation. Will Batman require the help of the Man of steel, once more?
The Multiverse-hopping of the previous game is abandoned with Injustice 2’s single-player campaign being set entirely on the alternative Injustice Earth. This gives the game the freedom to do as it pleases with the DC characters without upsetting fans with continuity issues.
The single-player campaign has the production values of a computer-animated movie but sometimes it does seem forget that it is a game. That being said, it’s an awfully good story, making for a great interactive experience. The cut scenes are outstanding, perfectly framing bouts of combat between a host of different characters. Not only does the campaign offer plenty of variety, it also gives you a good taster of many different characters so you can start to pick you favourites.
The ability to modify characters’ looks allows you to create unique versions of your favourite characters. As you play you unlock new gear that offer both cosmetic and ability upgrades. The inclusion of micro-transactions and day-one DLC characters is not so welcome. Purchasing Source Crystals with real money allows you to buy Mother Boxes containing random gear items for your characters.
Gameplay-wise Injustice 2 feels a lot like its predecessor, which isn’t a bad thing as the game does stray from the generic formula of fighting games. I particularly like how, instead of a series of rounds, the bouts are one fight, which each opponent having two health bars, one presumably a shield and the other their squishy body.
The animated super-moves are entertaining, but brutal unblockable strike that can switch the battle around. Your character’s super-move only becomes unlocked once you have filled the gauge at the bottom of the screen. The bar is filled by unleashing a barrage of attacks on your opponent. But you can also gamble some of this latent power for a meter burn move, unleashing a furious attack earlier on.
Certainly, by the end of the single-player campaign you are going to be familiar enough with all the characters in the game to know your favourites and have a good handle how each of them plays.
With the campaign out of the way, InJustice 2 keeps on giving, with solo play extended via single fights and the mini-campaigns offered by The Multiverse. The Multiverse features a series of fights available for a limited about of time. They not only offer a great challenge but also another way to gain gear for your characters.
Multiplayer features your usual online bouts that can be played as single verses fights or as an online tournament. An interesting addition is the AI Battle Simulator, whereby you select a team of AI-controlled characters to do battle with another player’s characters.
Injustice 2 isn’t just a great DC Comics fighting game, it’s also a great fighting game in its own right. The ability to customise your characters is a great addition to the game, giving you an extra incentive to win as much as you can in order to unlock the best gear and increase your stats. Of course, to wear all the very best gear you are going to need to get your characters up to the right level, which means more fighting.
Each character, although established in the comics, has been tweaked enough to make their fighting style both unique and entertaining. The visuals are outstanding and the who package is finely polished.
Comic book fans and fans of fighting games really ought to give this one a go.
Released: May 2017
Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One
Publisher: Warner Bros. Interactive</p