Injustice 2 sees a return to the dystopian, ravaged version of the DC Comics universe introduced to us in the original Injustice: Gods Among Us and the spin-off comics. This sequel brings with it a new roster of characters, a new storyline and new game modes.
The game takes place five years after the end of the original title, with the tyrannical Superman incarcerated and Batman, along with those loyal to him, trying to mend the world in the wake of the first game’s events. The storyline this time around focuses less on the conflict between Batman and Superman as it introduces Brainiac as the main antagonist, allowing more opportunities to bring other characters into the fray.
The roster includes 28 characters out of the box with a mix of old and new. Some of the newcomers include Black Canary, Captain Cold, Poison Ivy and Supergirl with the bigger names like Superman, Batman, The Flash and Wonder Woman returning from the original.
Injustice 2’s story mode is split up into chapters, each focusing on specific characters in a similar fashion to both the prior game and NetherRealm Studios’ recent Mortal Kombat entries. Stringing together fights with real-time cutscenes before and after setting up the specific conflicts.
Some encounters allow you to pick which of two characters will take on the fight, giving the campaign some replayability. The game makes it easy to see which pairings you haven’t done yet too which is a nice quality of life feature. The story mode is a good five or six hours long and whilst it doesn’t make use of the entire roster it feels tight and the story flows nicely.
Other game modes include the things you’d expect in a fighting game: both offline and online multiplayer are catered for with the online side of things including lobbies as well as ranked and unranked modes. Single-player modes include the story mode and the usual single match options but also includes a mode where you can gear up a CPU controlled team of heroes to earn rewards.
The biggest addition to the game, however, is the new Multiverse mode. The Multiverse consists of a set of ever-changing events, lasting from minutes to days, encouraging you to return to see what’s new. These events contain a number of fights of varying difficulties, often with extra conditions such as no blocking or only heavy attacks.
Your rewards for completing events include credits and other currencies along with Mother Boxes. Mother Boxes are the game’s loot box equivalent and come in a variety of qualities, from bronze through platinum. Held within these boxes are the main draw of the Multiverse mode; gear.
All the characters in the game have separate levels which you improve simply by using them, every fight earns experience which in turn leads to the ability to equip better gear that allows you to take on harder events. In this mode, gear contributes to character statistics and comes in a variety of qualities, from rare to legendary. Pieces can offer individual bonuses or can bring bigger changes if part of a set.
There is also a cosmetic side to gear, and the game allows you to keep a look you like and still gain the statistical benefits. To complement the gear there is also a range of appearances you can unlock as you play. This provides an awful lot of customisation and means you always have ways to improve your character, both in their looks and their ability.
But how does Injustice 2 actually play? Well, the game is fundamentally similar to NetherRealm’s other titles, with an emphasis on slower, deliberate play. Most characters preferring to trade blows up close mixing moves into combos. Juggling is definitely a thing although you won’t be keeping anyone in the air infinitely here.
Each character has a unique action they can perform. Superman’s provides an increase in power whereas Batman’s summons a trio of robotic bats, for example. There is a meter that charges as you take and dish out damage that gives access to a variety of escape manoeuvres and when fully charged unleashes the now expected super moves.
Characters also have fun banter, both throughout story mode and as individual quips in regular matches. A fun mix of humorous lines for fans as well as lines that provide backstory without being intrusive really work well and help keep the tone from getting too grim.
Combat itself feels responsive thanks to the unwavering 60 FPS and the moves have a satisfyingly solid impact to them. Once you are stringing moves together it flows really nicely but it can feel a little stiff when throwing individual kicks and punches. Interactions across all the environments are fun and are well highlighted without being distracting.
All in all, Injustice 2 is a really fun time and provides a lot of content for fans of both the characters and of fighting games. Multiverse mode provides a good reason to return on a regular basis and the main campaign is really well put together.
Injustice 2 (Reviewed on Xbox One)
Excellent. Look out for this one.
Injustice 2 is a fantastic fighting game with great visuals that is a lot of fun to play casually but with enough depth to master. The new Multiverse mode will keep you playing for a long time while you build the perfect Batman.