Platform(s): XBOX ONE, Windows, PS4, IOS, Android
Release date: May, 2017
The Caped Crusader and the billionaire. The last survivor of Krypton and the reporter. Most of DC Comics’ heroes lead double lives, all in an attempt to blend into society as seemingly ordinary people who don capes and masks when trouble arises. NetherRealm Studios’ 2013 fighting game Injustice: Gods Among Us also balanced duality, finding success as a fun fighting experience coupled with a popular story. Injustice 2 once again delivers knockout blows with its super-powered story and fighting, but finds a third way to entertain through an addictive collecting component. Injustice 2 doesn’t reach the same level of narrative intrigue as its predecessor, but remains enjoyable for an entirely different reason. Although penned as a direct continuation to the original game and comic series, no moment is as shocking as Superman ripping out the Joker’s heart; the tone also isn't as dark. This sequel instead takes the more clichéd angle of uniting heroes and villains to stop an intergalactic threat. Brainiac, a space traveler intent on destroying Earth, can control anyone’s will, and has forged his own army of familiar faces. The lurking fear of Superman being freed from his prison is a nice plot thread that adds a layer of uncertainty to the arc, but almost every sequence boils down to “everyone fights everyone.” NetherRealm delivers dumb fun in this story, which unfolds through lengthy sequences filled with epic fights, witty banter, and layer upon layer of fan service. The level of detail in the character models is impressive, as is the framing of the action. The story is as much fun to watch as the game is to play, maintaining a bombastic assault on the senses from start to finish. You won’t find much to think about in this narrative other than if Green Arrow’s dad jokes could be any worse, but that's part of its charm – this experience focuses on the powers of the heroes more than what's going on inside of their heads. The fighting is once again a ridiculous show of power. At any given second a hero could be punched through a pyramid, thrown into space, or mauled by Harley Quinn’s hyenas. The game feels tighter as a whole, and many of the returning characters feel new again, for better or worse. I enjoy Batman’s techniques more in this sequel, but find Superman to be strange in both appearance and functionality. The roster, while lacking some heavy hitters for narrative reasons, offers a nice variety that pulls equally from DC’s gods and titans as the vigilantes, such as the Bat family and Suicide Squad. Injustice 2 is a huge game, offering a lengthy story-based campaign, a great fighting experience, and a nearly endless supply of notable loot. The small tweaks to combat go a long way in creating a more dynamic flow, which resonates well in multiplayer matches. I ran into a little lag in a few online bouts, but the game ran smoothly most of the time. Even if you don’t enjoy the competitive aspects of the fighting genre, this is a game you can dive into for an enjoyable superhero story. Brainiac is a tough fight, but anyone should be able to march to him and take him down on the easiest difficulty. With DC’s cinematic universe pumping out one bad movie after another, Injustice 2 is the best way to see just how powerful and diverse its heroes are.
Review By VideoGameBroadcasts.com team member
Let me start by saying that I really like this game. It looks great, has a lot of characters, and has a decent story. My only gripe with this game is the learning curve. Everything is thrown at you at one time and it takes a lot longer to get used to the timing and the controls. If the tutorial was built in through the first bit of the story I think that would be a big improvement. If you love DC comics I would definitely recommend picking up a copy of this game.