Injustice 2 is out and I have played it extensively. Before I get into what I think of the game let me admit to something...I am not good at fighting games. At least, not these traditional fighting games. So I’m also approaching this game from the standpoint of someone who wants to learn and get better. That being said, let’s get into it!
Injustice 2 is fun! There are a lot of things to enjoy about the game. Where the previous installment consisted of the typical straightforward fighting game modes Injustice 2 introduces new features that can keep everyone interested. Some of those new modes include the Multiverse, the Gear System and Mother Boxes.
The Multiverse is a mode where several alternate earths are presented as temporary threats with rewards in the form of Mother Boxes, gear and other various forms of currency. Multiverses range in difficulty and work as a great way to practice with your favorite characters. Some of the challenges are very difficult, especially for someone who is not very adept at fighting games. So to ease that each character comes with 5 standard and 2 AI loadouts that can be loaded with high level gear that can increase the traits of your character. Some grant advantages that increase damage against specific targets. For example, I have a piece of gear for The Flash that increases damage to all Villain characters by 28.62% and another that decreases damage taken by magic users by 16.24%.
The Multiverse also allows you to fight against characters with abilities, gears and shaders that you may not have unlocked yet. So if you see that a character you fight has a something really cool or interesting that you don’t have you can take note of it and focus on using that character more to hopefully unlock what they have. RNG, or Random Number Generator, plays a factor here as opening Mother Boxes and playing through the different modes grants chances at unlocking the aforementioned items above.
Injustice 2 also introduces Premier skins, which are alternate skins that change the look of a character to be entirely different. The great thing about Premier skins is that they come with their own looks, dialogue and even animation tweaks. So while you play as Reverse-Flash you have all the same abilities of The Flash though his lightning is red and not yellow as The Flash normally has. As of now we only have 7 Premier skins to choose from but rumors are that we will receive more down the road. Also it’s worth noting that applying gear to a Premier skin will affect the stats of the character it will not affect the look.
So let’s address the character roster. If you played the last game, returning characters feel a lot like they did then, however there have been some changes to bring them more in line with each other to create a better balance than in the previous installment. Characters look and feel like they were pulled straight from the comics. The new additions are welcome and create the largest roster NetherRealm Studios has ever had. The game introduces characters like Supergirl, Poison Ivy, Gorilla Grodd, Brainiac, Doctor Fate and Black Canary. Some fan favorites that fit right at home with the returning cast. Captain Cold and Atrocitus are my two personal favorite newcomers. And we have 9 more on the way with Starfire of the Teen Titans, Sub-Zero from the Mortal Kombat series and the fan favorite Red Hood being the first 3 confirmed.
As far as the fighting goes, it feels fluid. There is nothing more fun than stringing together a long combo ending in a huge chunk of damage to your opponent. Each character has their own specials and combo strings that make them all a force to be reckoned with. But take it from someone who doesn’t have much experience in fighting games, you have to practice. I have spent hours playing as one character working on their combo strings and timing. But if you’re always adept at these types of games the combos will take less time to learn and perfect. I have really started to enjoy watching professional matches on YouTube and Twitch, taking notes from the pros.
Then there’s the story mode. And what a story! I really enjoyed the story from the first Injustice and this one is even better in my opinion. Whereas in the last game we played as characters from "our" Earth coming to the Injustice universe to help defeat a tyrannical Superman, this game takes place solely in the Injustice universe. So the story feels much more personal. The basic premise is that Brainiac attacks the Earth and it will take the combined powers of Batman and the temporarily released Superman to defeat him. The animation in this game feels flawless with character faces being the standout. The voice acting is also some of the best I’ve heard in a game. There is a moment where Batman and Superman showdown that really breaks your heart, seeing these two once friends now on opposite sides of justice. Be sure to play through certain chapters a 2nd time to unlock more items and to get a 2nd potential ending.
But the game is not perfect, there are some aspects to which I feel the ball was dropped. For example, collecting gear for the one character you care about will take time and luck. You may come to hate the RNG system as you’re trying to unlock certain abilities or a complete set of EPIC gear. I have been grinding The Flash to unlock his EPIC gear to gain advantages in Multiverse events for which I’m not quite up to snuff. Also this gear affects your appearance so if modding your character to look a certain wait is or isn’t your thing you may find yourself frustrated that your character doesn’t look the way that you want. There is a potential fix for that that also falls into the category of an issue I have with the game.
Injustice 2 has another currency called Source Crystals which can be spent to unlock Premier skins, shaders and to adjust the look of a piece of gear to copy another. While this is a cool concept the only surefire way to get Source Crystals is to spend real money. Yes you can earn some through completing an objective for the first time but there are only a handful of things that net you Source Crystals and they’re one time only events. Also leveling up your profile, but you can only earn 150 - 200 at a time and you stop earning them at level 60. So once that cap is hit then your only options are to spend money. It would be nice if NRS implemented another way to earn this rare and important currency.
Just to have an idea of the importance and value of Source Crystals:
- Premier skins cost: 6000
- Shaders cost: 4000
- Altering the appearance of gear costs: 2000
Overall, those issues aside, this game is a lot of fun. I love that 3 of my favorite DC characters are playable and I’m looking forward to the remaining DLC fighters and Premier skins that have yet to be released. Injustice 2 is, for me, the best fighting game I’ve ever played and it’s one that I will be playing for a long time.