Injustice 2 Review
“You’re going to make a difference. A lot of times it won’t be huge, it won’t be visible even. But it will matter just the same.” – Commissioner James Gordon
You are a child. You are outside playing with your newly found friends, ones that might have an impact on who you become. You are inside, alone, playing with your powerful imagination. Regardless of the setting, regardless of your entourage, you look up and just this once, you wish you could become something better, stronger, a hero that saves lives for the greater good. When I was just a little boy, I became something really close to Batman. I used whatever I could find around the house and believed it was a Bat-Tech. We all have it in us… some maybe more than others!
Injustice 2 is, looking from the cover, a fighting game that competes with titles such as Street Fighter V and Mortal Kombat X – maybe a little closer to MK in terms of design. The combat, unlike other games, allows you to spam some of your favorite superhero, and villains, abilities. Superman can use his laser eye beams, Batman has access to some cool techs, and The Joker, guns backed by a gruesome HaHaHA!!! Every single one of the playable characters feels as though they came right out of their respective comic book, some with a little twist to their designs. Given that the universe in which all takes place is an alternate, dystopian one, many of the elements, such as the relationship between certain characters might startle a couple old school comic book fanatics. It’s a new universe, and the story is compelling.
Throughout the main campaign, you play as many characters. As a player who loves to stick with the first fighter I feel comfortable with, just running and gunning through his/her story makes it for me. In Injustice 2, the game gives you a feel of many fighters as you go through the various fights. Within the same experience, you will get the opportunity to play as Batman, Flash, Harley Quin and more. I personally found that some of the mid-long-range characters like Superman can be “strong” simply by spamming some abilities. When that happens, it usually means that the game isn’t balanced. Hit box wise – if you have enough experience to notice those things – no one really is broken.
To be frank, Injustice 2 looks pretty good. The visual are impressive and what really catches you off guard are the transitions between the CGI animations and the actual gameplay. The level of detail is on point, the camera focus gives you the feeling that you are watching superhero movie clips. An element I must give credit for are the facial expressions the characters have during dialogue. For once, I have absolutely no complaints towards that somewhat specific issue.
The game comes with an array of fighters; each have their own playstyles and sets of interchangeable suits. As you play along, you unlock new visual content you can use to make combatants of both good and evil look even cooler than they usually are. Comic book fans will be pleased to know that some of the alternative costumes feature old school classics such as John Stewart and Golden Age Flash. Although not available to all, certain fighters also have skins that complement each other in a way. For example, Flash has an unlockable skin called Reverse Flash – picking this costume also changes the name of the character. NetherRealm takes things further; selecting a special suit potentially unlocks unique in game dialogue. Clashing a conversation between Batman and Mr. Freeze adds that little tingly feeling underneath my skin.
Already, NetherRealm Studios announced DLC packs featuring additional characters such as Sub-Zero (Mortal Kombat), Red Hood and Starfire. By the time that this is being written, a new trailer for Red Hood was published on YouTube (below).
As you can see, the developer and publisher are planning on supporting the game with new content, especially new characters. The gameplay is already on point and meticulous, so adding new warriors throughout the game’s lifespan will certainly encourage pro players to either tweak their technique or just play some other meta character.
The combat in Injustice 2 resembles that of the first iteration, and of course Mortal Kombat. Physics, stage interaction and even hit animation all feel familiar, but somewhat polished. It really does feel like an enhanced version of Injustice. Compared to the first iteration, move sets have been tweaked and/or completely changed.
The final element I wish to mention is the voice acting. In video games, acting is crucial – it is the element that can make or break a character’s charm, eventually leading to a lack of interest. In Injustice 2, the voice acting is, how can I put this… decent. It isn’t bad. The problem is that I got used to listening to certain actors take on the role of certain heroes and villains, and because of that, I feel as though the part isn’t being fully and properly played. The first time I saw the Joker, I imagined it being a voice to the very least close to the work of Mark Hamill, or even Troy Baker. Not only did The Joker fail to the catch my attention, but most of the other fighter’s as well.
Injustice 2 is a fighting game first. Yes, it features a compelling story arc, but in my opinion, the campaign’s only purpose is to introduce two main elements: the main setting and the various playable characters. The gameplay is on point and the visuals contribute greatly into making this title look and feel amazing. Normally, I don’t praise fighting games as such, but I admired the level of detail so much that I gave it a second look from a completely different perspective.
If you are looking for a good fighting game with superheroes and villains as part of the main cast, Injustice 2 is the game you should be playing now. Going back to Gordon’s famous quote, Injustice 2, compared to the previous iteration, features many, but little differences that, in the end, made Injustice great.