Injustice 2

Injustice 2

Producer: Warner Brothers
Release Date: May 11, 2017
Platform: Xbox One, PS4
Rating: Teen
Genre: Fighting



Super Sequel
Written by Jesse Seilhan

2017 is a landmark year for fighting games, as both the Street Fighter and Mortal Kombat franchises are celebrating big anniversaries, at 30 and 25 years, respectively. While SF definitely created the blueprint for how fighting games should feel, flow, and look, NetherRealm Studios has been right next door, offering a different perspective and taking way more risks. Branching away from MK was one of the biggest of those risks, adapting the DC Comics universe to its blend of over-the-top violence with a fleshed out story mode and interactable environments. The first Injustice game proved that the formula could work and it became a fan favorite by delivering the quality NRS was known for without having to rely on violent gimmicks. But, for the sequel, the developers went even further, introducing loot, new modes, and a crazy story.

Starting with the story mode, you play a new character every chapter, usually one of the good guys and gals taking on a ton of villains. You’ll play as Batman, Cyborg, Firestorm, and Green Arrow while tackling Gorilla Grodd, Bane, Catwoman, and more, sometimes with the choice of you want to fight this particular battle. You’ll journey from the depths of the Batcave to Brainiac’s spaceship, with plenty of stages in between, most of which filled with things to throw or blow up during battle. Stage transitions are back, allowing you to knock your opponent through a wall and into the next portion of the stage, doing a ton of damage along the way. Super moves are more ridiculous than the first game, in a good way, as little montages play out in front of you before being wrecked in a way that would kill mere mortals.

But the loot loop is really the distinct difference this time around. In Injustice 2, every character has their own leveling up system, which you improve by winning matches, completing challenges, joining guilds, and fighting online. After every match, you have a chance for a loot drop, ala Diablo or Destiny. It might not always be for your character, much in line with those other games. The game also doles out loot boxes for completing certain tasks, complete with their own rarities. So what’s in this loot? It’s actually kind of insane, as you get more than just cosmetic items. Aquaman can get a new lance that does way more damage, Harley Quinn might earn some armored up corsets, and every character has dozens of different colors and outfits, including legendary ones that can turn Captain Cold into Mr. Freeze. Even crazier is that fact that entirely new moves can appear in a loot box, and equipping them might make your Wonder Woman better than mine if you have this special move and I don’t.

A game like this lives and dies by its roster and this one is stacked. Each handle uniquely and a few of the new people added to this sequel, such as Swamp Thing, Darkseid, and Scarecrow, feel unlike any character NRS has made before. You can even match up computer-controlled versions of these characters and watch them duke it out online, with the winning team getting some gold loot boxes to open. Join a guild in order to complete massive challenges, like toppling a series of buffed enemies, to earn shared rewards for the entire guild. While the S.T.A.R. labs mode from the first game is gone, the towers made famous in the MK series take their place. You face off against a number of baddies that have various stipulations, such as no jumping, half health, or random missiles that show up and home in on you. One of these towers is a mini-arcade story mode, complete with a 30-second semi-animated ending for each of the 28 characters.

Honestly, this is a pretty easy game to recommend. It’s got some of the most iconic fictional characters of all time battling it out using NRS’ amazing fighting engine, filled in by tons of modes, a loot system, and smooth online netcode. The first Injustice was awesome, proving you didn’t need to rip someone’s spine out in order to enjoy this brand of fighting game. This Injustice improves on the formula in nearly every way possible, and with their new and highly-detailed facial animations, their 12+ hour story mode is even better than most DC movies these days.

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