Injustice 2 is the latest game from NetherRealm Studios, headed up by Ed Boon. If that name sounds familiar, it’s because Ed’s been working in the game industry since the dawn of time. He’s the guy that made Mortal Kombat a thing, and that legacy can be felt in the bones of Injustice 2. Let’s not dance around it: Injustice 2, the follow up to the DC fighting game Injustice: Gods Among Us, is a modern Mortal Kombat with your favourite DC characters. This is a good thing, a very good thing. Ed and his team have been tuning and evolving the Mortal Kombat template for decades, and it shows. Injustice 2 is polished, fine-tuned fighting brilliance, accompanied by stunning cinematic graphics, and, animations.
Injustice 2’s story is set in an alternate reality where a grief stricken Superman has been driven to the extremes. The Joker used Scarecrow’s fear toxin, laced with kryptonite for good measure, to trick Supes into murdering his pregnant wife, Lois Lane. As a consequence Superman becomes a criminal-executing, totalitarian, psychopathic despot. Injustice 2 is set 5 years after Batman has toppled Superman’s regime, and imprisoned him in a red-sun bathed vault. The brilliantly cinematic story takes you to several notable locales in DC’s canon, and puts you in control of a cross-section of heroes and villains, as they deal with a new threat, and face internal struggles.
I don’t want to spoil too much of the story, as it’s easily one of the best aspects of the game. The characters are beautifully rendered and animated in engine, through cut-scenes and battles. Veteran DC animation actors, Kevin Conroy and George Newbern return to play Batman and Superman, lending a familiar tone to the DC setting. They’re joined by brilliant voice and character actors like Phil Lamar, and the indomitable Jeffrey Combs, who gives a stand out performance as Brainiac.
Injustice 2 adds level progression, and, a loot system, to keep you coming back for more- and that it will. Long after I finished the story, and had played through it again to see where the branching story took me when choosing the other path, I found myself on a satisfying loot and progression grind. As you battle with heroes, they earn levels that make them more deadly against lower level opponents, and the challenge ramps up. Along with that are random loot drops that change the appearance of your character and buff various stats, letting you kit out your favourite characters with cool looking new helmets, chest plates and shaders, to name a few.
To keep the fight going, Injustice 2 offer classic 1 on 1 competitive battles, both online, and, in person. By all accounts finding an opponent online is fast and easy with very little lag or disconnections.
Then there’s the multiverse mode similar in concept to Mortal Kombat X’s towers, the multiverse offers ladder challenges with match modifiers that make the fights new and slightly varied. It’s in the multiverse where you’ll likely find yourself grinding out your favourite heroes, and earning tons of new, cool loot. It’s a brilliant companion to the story, and gives you plenty more to do, for a long, long, time.
Injustice 2 represents a new high point for the western fighting game genre, combining the best of cinematic presentation with polished game play, and addictive loot grinding. It’s a tremendous game, and well worth your time.