DC comics may not be winning the battle on the big screen, but it’s definitely taking the war when it comes to games and the latest big-hitter is NetherRealm’s Injustice 2. It’s a fast-paced fighting game and it’s packed with a lot of entertainment value with a lengthy story mode, excellent roster of characters, moves and modifications, plus the thrill of fighting it out with the likes of Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, and Bane online against players from all over the world.
It’s a lot of fun as soon as you pick up the controller and while there are tutorials and practice modes you can get into to hone your fighting skills, it doesn’t hold you back in terms of getting straight into the action. It’s got a broad scope, so if you want to just pick Harley Quinn and button mash for all you’re worth, you can do, but equally there’s a lot of depth to the mechanics, with move stats and combo link play to get into if you’re looking to really do some damage online.
Story campaign review
Like previous NetherRealm fighters – like the original Injustice game and Mortal Kombat X – Injustice 2 has a lengthy and impressive story campaign. Not only does it explore the characters featured in the game with enough individual detail to warrant a film for each of them, it also does it with the kind of delivery that the DC Cinematic Universe desperately needs.
The plot picks up where things left off at the end of the previous game with Batman and Superman at loggerheads over the treatment and punishment of the criminals that they encounter. It’s a smooth transition into the new story, which introduces Brainiac as the main antagonist for the game as he appears on earth to wreak a similar devastation to the one he instigated on Krypton years ago.
Injustice 2 story trailer:
With side factions and a number of enemies in the complex and unravelling storylines, it really is a great experience to play, and that’s before you even consider the wide variety of fights you’ll have to take on along the way. Admittedly, it’s a story that centres on good guys vs. the bad guys, so it might feel a little one sided to begin with, but as allegiances change around and characters switch sides, it covers a lot of the bases before it closes out.
You will need to book yourself in for the long haul for the Injustice 2 story campaign, because it is huge. As with Mortal Kombat X, NetherRealm has thrown the kitchen sink at it and just when you think you’re getting close to the end another new twist in the story develops. This makes for a lot of rich content to make it through, cementing the game in your memory as one of the coolest new developments to come from DC in recent years.
The gameplay is fast, brutal and as sophisticated as you want to make it. If you’re not used to the gaming mechanics from the previous Injustice game or Mortal Kombat X then it will take a little bit of time to get used to. That’s not necessarily a bad thing as you get to spend time getting to know the game and working out how to develop your own fighting style with the hyper responsive and accurate controls.
It’s all about timing, working out combo strings and honing in on better accuracy of delivery, while also getting a feel for how to defend against each of the characters. Once you’ve taken the time to pick this up a little bit better, you’ll be in a good position, or a least a better position, to take on other fighters in online multiplayer.
Injustice 2 gameplay trailer:
However, it’s pretty ferocious out there, so even when you think you’re good you could still get destroyed relentlessly in the online play. It’s a shame there isn’t a slightly better matching system for beginners as it really does throw you in at the deep end. It can be a bit soul destroying if you’re not that experienced, or if you’re just starting out, so you’ll need to put in a lot of game time to close the gap.
If you don’t mind putting in a little effort, there’s the Room mode, where you can try to find players at a similar level to you, but if you head straight into Matches or Ranked fights then you’ll probably have to face off against a veteran, so you might want to prepare your ego for a little bruising until you sharpen up your skills.
One of the best features in the game is the level of customisation you get to uncover, with upgrades, new moves, improved combat skills and a whole lot of variety in spandex-wear. You can then build these out as loadouts that you can select for versus fights, allowing you to select different move sets or costumes depending on the situation and who you’re facing.
Injustice 2 doesn’t really push the boundaries as such, but it is a beautiful looking game with super-slick animation and fine-tuned rendering. It’s probably on a par with Mortal Kombat X visually, but with the addition of the coolest super heroes from DC comics, so the end result is very nice indeed.
The fight sequences are incredibly fast-paced, but the game handles this smoothly without even the slightest hint of stuttering or glitching whatsoever. Within the framework of a 2-D side scrolling fighting game it’s pretty much as good as it gets, especially with the epic animated super moves, Clash sequences and environmental transitions.
There are also a lot of great looking cut scene animations for the story mode in the game with strong facial rendering and cool styling for the characters. There are a few minor corner cutting exercises here and there – like Swamp Thing’s wade out into the water, which looks like someone might have just said, “that’ll do” – but for the most part it’s pretty impressive.
Injustice 2 crams in a lot of fun that will keep you entertained for months. It’ll take you a while to build up your skills to really attack the online multiplayer ferocity, but the game is a joy to play, so it’s well worth the effort. The game has picked up decent review scores across the board from other critics (averaging around the 4.5/5 mark), so we’re not the only ones to have fallen for the sheer wrecking-ball impact of the game. With both Wonder Woman and Justice League release dates approaching, maybe the fighter is a good sign that DC is back and better than ever.
Injustice 2 review: 4.6/5