Once again it is time for DC’s heroes and villains to clash in epic combat.
Injustice 2 is the second installment in the 2D-fighting game series created by NetherRealm Studios. The games are based on the superheroes and villains of DC comics and the storyline of Injustice takes place in an alternate reality separate from the main DC universe where Superman has become a despotic tyrant. While the story of the first game focused on characters from two different realities (DC is very fond of alternative realities), the second one focuses solely on the one where Superman became a tyrant. The story picks up where the last one left off: Superman has been defeated and imprisoned by Batman’s insurgency, and the kryptonian’s regime is no more. But peace is a fragile thing, and this time it is broken by the invasion of the alien called Brainiac. With the fate of the Earth hanging in the balance, heroes must put aside their differences and reforge old alliances.
While the story of Injustice 2 is surprisingly good for a fighting game, that is not the most important aspect of the game. The most interesting new feature is the RPG-like gear system. As you play you level up your characters and earn new gear for them. New gear boosts your 4 stats (strength, ability, defense and health), as well as gives you access to other buffs and even new special moves. In addition to this, the different gear pieces also change the appearance of your characters, allowing to create a unique look for your heroes and villains. The gear system adds an interesting new layer to the fighting game formula, and it is something that I hope to see in the future. While the system adds a nice level of customization, it also adds some issues familiar to RPG players. The first one has to do with leveling up. The max level cap for characters is 20, and it takes quite a bit of time and grinding to get there. It did not bother me that much, but I can imagine some players finding this tedious. The second issues is managing your gear. While you earn gear from playing and opening boxes, you will end up with a lot of gear, and most of it will be useless. Navigating the menus and managing your gear is not that riveting, and at times it can feel like a chore.
The fighting itself is very well done. The controls are responsive, the combat is fast and the action is extremely enjoyable. The combat system is quite easy to pick up, and it also contains enough depth for veterans to enjoy. The game also encourages players to explore what combos and abilities can be combined with what. There are plenty game modes to choose from all kinds of players. The mode I have spent most of my time playing is the Multiverse, a mode that contains series of matches against AI opponents with varying modifiers that change regularly.
To summarize, Injustice 2 is an example of how to do a good sequel: it adds plenty of new features, and it improves over the original in every aspect. Add a good story mode into the mix, and you have a game that I can recommend to any fighting game fan.