Quality and quantity.
Injustice 2 is a game that goes all-out in everything that it does. It is chock-full of content, both for competitive players and for those who simply want to enjoy its single player modes. It has a bombastic, enjoyable campaign that is full of fan service. It has some of the best, most crisp visuals and animations you will ever see in a fighting game, with flashy, superbly directed cutscenes. With Injustice 2, NetherRealm Studios, who have been growing in stature as notable developers of fighters, have finally put out a game that is full of content and high on quality. As a result, what we have is an excellent fighting game that can be enjoyed by both, veterans of the genre as well as newcomers.
Just like its predecessor, Injustice 2 is quite an unusual fighter in that it places a great deal of emphasis on its story. Injustice surprised a lot of people with just how engaging its story really was, and while Injustice 2 doesn’t reach quite the same levels, it still tells a story that, if you decide not to take it too seriously, will definitely provide you with a number of memorable, enjoyable moments. There’s a lot of fan service in here, and the campaign constantly keeps conjuring up scenarios which consist of all sorts of team ups and face-offs. Want to see what it would be like to see Batman and Harley Quinn teaming up against Damien Wayne and Superman? You won’t be disappointed.
"What helps is that the campaign is told through some of the best, flashiest, most well-directed cutscenes you will ever see in a fighting game."
It should be noted that the portrayal of a select few characters may disappoint some veteran DC fans. The Joker, for instance, rather than being the manic, charming, infectiously humourous character that we know him as, is portrayed as a gothic and drab villain. On the other hand, Injustice 2 also features some excellent portrayals for a number of characters, such as Gorilla Grodd (who is a newcomer to the roster), Green Arrow, and of course, Batman.
What helps is that the campaign is told through some of the best, flashiest, most well-directed cutscenes you will ever see in a fighting game. The cinematic quality of the narrative is unexpectedly top-notch, coupled with some smart writing and great voice over performances. What’s more, this is aided a great deal by sharp, crisp visuals and excellent animations, all of which showcase a great attention to detail, right down to the facial animations and lip syncing.
Being a fighter, though, Injustice 2 would fall flat if it put all its eggs in the presentation basket. Thankfully, that is not the case here, and the game features some of the best action we have seen in a fighting game in the recent past. What helps the most is the fact that the action has been sped up significantly, meaning that simple actions like walking or jumping or dodging are much faster for all the characters than they were in the original. This means that the often plodding, deliberate pace of action in the previous title is replaced by faster, flashier moves with much less down-time in between.
"Injustice 2 strikes a perfect balance between being a game that welcomes newcomers and being a game that can keep veteran fighting fans coming back."
The addition of environmental attacks also lends a great deal of depth to the action. The number of options available to players in terms of combining all sorts of moves, special moves, dodges, environmental attack s and everything else that you have at your disposal is simply staggering. What’s most notable about Injustice 2, though, is the fact that despite all the depth and layers to its gameplay, it never comes across as dense or intimidating. Injustice 2 has a number of tutorials to teach you about all of the basic, fundamental cogs in its machinery, and while they barely scratch the surface in terms of what the game has on offer, they do an adequate job of introducing newcomers to its plethora of complex systems.
What is also noteworthy is that Injustice 2 is one of those rare fighting games that not only has a pretty big roster of characters, but also justifies that size. Each character legitimately feels and controls differently from all the others, so much so that often they have nothing in common with each other- not even the most basic attacks. The campaign does a good job of introducing you to all of them, and trying them all out in the other modes of the game, tinkering with all the different options, picking your favourites, and then mastering their techniques to perfection is more enjoyable than you can imagine. There are a few characters who don’t play or control as well as some of the others, but that is ultimately to be expected in a game with a roster this big.
Injustice 2 strikes a perfect balance between being a game that welcomes newcomers and being a game that can keep veteran fighting fans coming back. The visual flair and the relative ease with which one can understand and get into the game’s systems means that even people who do not necessarily enjoy fighting games much will be able to get a great deal of enjoyment out of Injustice 2. At the same time, the number of options the game provides to you means that you will be able to spend countless hours just tinkering with its combos and perfecting your timing, allowing you to truly master its systems.
"Injustice 2 truly leaves no stone unturned and holds back absolutely nothing in terms of both, quantity and quality."
And for those people who want more out of Injustice 2 than a simple DC crossover title full of fan-service, you will not be disappointed. The seemingly simple act of collecting all sorts of gear and loot and items and then customizing the characters in your personal characters to your heart’s content would normally be a background activity in any other fighter. In Injustice 2, it is the star of the show. Upgrades and rewards range from boosts, buffs and debuffs to your characters to simple visual changes, like a new cape, or a new cowl, or a new sword. Put together, all these upgrades once again provide players with a vast array of options, allowing you to truly make your characters your own.
What helps is that these upgrades and changes are consistent across all modes of Injustice 2, except ranked online matches, meaning that there is a real sense of progression and achievement across the entirety of the game, and it feels like you’re adding to that progress no matter what you’re doing in the entire game. While the game’s inconsistent and, at times, annoying currency system hampers the cycle of collecting upgrades, it is ultimately an insignificant issue in the grand scheme of things.
And boy oh boy, there’s a lot of modes here. There is, of course, the single player story mode, and as if it weren’t enough to have one that was already as enjoyable as this one is, NetherRealm have also added branching paths and alternate endings to it, adding a great deal to its replayability. There’s also the Multiverse mode, which puts you in the middle of battles with randomly generated scenario modifiers. The Multiverse mode is an excellent new addition that is probably what will keep you coming back to Injustice 2 more than anything else, thanks not just to the fact that by its very nature it is unpredictable and, hence, extremely enjoyable, but also because it is the mode that will provide you with the most rewards and upgrades.
Injustice 2 truly leaves no stone unturned and holds back absolutely nothing in terms of both, quantity and quality. It’s a game that is brimming with content, and has something to satisfy everyone- for DC maniacs; for fighter veterans; for those looking for a deep, layered fighter; for those looking for a leisurely, accessible experience. Injustice 2 is bigger and better than its predecessor in every way possible, and quite possibly the best fighter to have been released on any system in the past few years.
This game was reviewed on the PlayStation 4.
Excellent visuals and animations; Flashy, wonderfully directed cutscenes; Enjoyable story; Staggering depth and complexity and yet still very accessible; A wealth of content on offer; Great roster of characters; Will keep you coming back for more thanks to addictiveness and replayability.
Some characters feel less developed, both in terms of story and how well they control; Inconsistent currency system.
Injustice 2 is a game that has enough content for two decent games- or a staggeringly incredible one.