We are living in a golden age of superhero cinema, but unfortunately for DC Comics fans, Marvel Studios has left their movies in the dust. Fortunately, however, NetherRealm Studios (creators of the Mortal Kombat series) has taken more notes from the DC animated films and less from the Zack Snyder/David Ayer interpretations to produce an incredibly entertaining fighting game that is just as fun to watch as it is to play.
"Injustice 2" is the follow-up to 2013’s "Injustice: Gods Among Us" and it builds on its predecessor's legacy in incredible ways. Many of the staple characters like Batman, Superman, The Flash and Harley Quinn are back while newcomers like Swamp Thing, Scarecrow, Supergirl and Robin make for welcomed additions to the roster.
Fans of the series will be happy to know their favorite characters play relatively the same as they did in the first game with small tweaks that make them feel more versatile and fresh.
"Injustice 2" is notably gorgeous and catches the eyes of most. Beautifully designed characters move around the intricately detailed environments all while the lighting engine makes all the moving parts come together in a way that looks quite realistic. The facial animation is phenomenal and while sometimes slipping into the uncanny valley, makes for easy immersion while watching the characters react to a shot in the ribs or a kick to the head.
The story picks up right where the last one left off, having the heroes divided on either side of Superman’s tyranny. The conflict arises when Brainiac, who destroyed Krypton and it now looking to destroy Earth, shows up and those who imprisoned Superman realize they may need the Man of Steel’s help in order to win. The writing is great, albeit corny, but is expected when watching a story about superheroes and villains whose disagreements can seemingly only be solved by punching each other in the face.
The game plays exactly like "Mortal Kombat X," NetherRealm’s last project, with the difference being in clashes and super moves replacing fatalities. Clashes occur when one player in their second bar of health holds the meter-burn button, interrupting the fight so both players can wager part of their meter in hopes of some regained health or damage dealt with the opponent. The super moves allow players with a full meter to deal a sizeable amount of damage in the form of an awesome cutscene specific to each character.
Two major additions to "Injustice 2" provide an incredible amount of single player content, especially for a fighting game.
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Every fight you participate in, whether it's online or in single player, grants you gear or loot boxes that give you random gear. This gear replaces parts of the characters you play as and changes both the aesthetics of the character and the stats they have.
One loot box can give you a new Joker head that boosts strength, new Wonder Woman arms add defense and a Superman cape that gives him some extra health. While this seems strange in a game that relies on specific balancing for each character, getting the new gear adds a whole new level of progression that keeps you coming back to see what awesome piece might drop next. Also, fighting game purists need not worry as the gear can be turned off online for fights based on pure skill.
The other huge addition is called the Multiverse. This single-player mode presents new “planets” every few hours or days that have different variables and player challenges that can be completed for bonus loot boxes. One planet could feature bombs going off during every fight, forcing the player to play much more defensively, while the another could offer the player assists from other DC heroes periodically throughout each fight. The Multiverse has provided the most fun offline experience I’ve had in a fighting game in years, and I go back to it almost daily to see what’s new.
"Injustice 2" is, so far, the best fighting game of 2017. Featuring plenty of offline content including a well thought out story mode and the Multiverse, and having gorgeous and insanely fun to play online content, these game provides seemingly endless enjoyment and reasons to keep playing.
Games on the Plains highly recommends this game to DC fans, fighting game fans and Marvel fans who can suck up their pride enough to enjoy something awesome.
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