While we always enjoyed watching our favourite Superheroes duke it out against each other, it would always come back that their differences would be settled and everything would be just fine. This is not the case with NetherRealm’s Injustice: Gods Among Us, where the DC Universe seen so many deaths of fan favourite heroes and villains that it would put Game of Thrones to shame, and generally, most of the characters haven’t been re-conned to come back to life (except for one notable exception).
With the first game a huge success, the sequel was inevitable, and this time we don’t only get more of what made the original great, but a deeper challenge mode, a stronger multiplayer and a new gear system.
Injustice 2 continues the universe where Superman killed the Joker after losing Lois and his unborn child and became a tyrannical overlord of Earth. After being defeated by different world Justice League, Superman, Cyborg and Robin (Nightwing) had been put away while other members of the Regime disappeared. Batman is attempting at building the world back up when a new threat appears in the form of Brainiac.
While the story still remains a highlight of the series, it is notably weaker than the original in terms of story telling. The story is ripped from a popular Superman arc called Superman: Brainiac (which was also turned into an animated film called Superman Unbound) in which Brainiac finds Earth and begins to collect Cities in order to lure out Superman and Supergirl as their existence is deemed a mistake as they should have died on Krypton. The story is adapted well to the Injustice Universe, throwing the broken heroes together and giving most of them a real reason to fight.
My biggest problem with the story mode is the actual fights, players take control of specific heroes in order to push their story, however some characters battles feel like they’re thrown in for the hell of it as if the writers are trying hard to give us a reason for specific heroes or villains to fight each other. For example, throughout much of these battles, I had fought Swamp Thing and Doctor Fate twice while The Joker was only around for one scene. These kind of throw away fights makes me wonder why these characters, while being fan favourites, were included when the DC Universe could have a lot more to choose from that would fit into the story.
Aside from the Story Mode, the game includes a new Multiverse Mode, which the closest thing it can be compared to is Mortal Kombat X’s Living Towers, in which new universes appear and provide challenges for players in order to win in-game money, loot boxes, and gear for characters while taking on various challenges. This is also where you can find the standard Single-Player matches where you can blast through a story for each character of the game.
Much of Injustice 2’s gameplay has remained the same with a light, medium and heavy attack option, as well as a unique super-power which can summon sidekicks to help, boost powers or raise defensive capabilities. The ability to throw/interact with background objects and the supermoves have also returned in force, while the level-transitions are also back but seem very lackluster from the original. Like with the previous title, moves are simple to remember and pull off thanks to NetherRealm’s ability to keep move input to a simple two direction plus attack command.
While it’s not the game changer we all thought it would be, the new Gear system is a very interesting turn to the game as it gives slight boosts to characters and make them look good while doing so. The biggest controversy around the gear is that it is designed to be earned randomly through battles or with Loot-Box like Mother Boxes, which can be purchased with Microtransactions or won by completing Multiverse Events. That being said, gear can be used in multiplayer matches however the stat bonus is only based on match types that will allow them, otherwise they’re more of a cool way to customize your character.
With the new Gear, the Multiverse mode and a stronger competitive multiplayer, Injustice 2 has the ability to keep players busy for a long time, add new characters over time via DLC and the game could see a much longer lifespan then most fighting games on the market. All in all, this is another knockout from NetherRealm that can’t be ignored if you’re a fighting game fan.