Game: Injustice 2
Platform: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Android and IOS
Rating: T for Teen
Fighting games tend to get repetitive, fast. Having one on one battles in the same arena time after time can become monotonous without having an extra layer of gameplay to supplement the tedium. Luckily for players, the recently released Injustice 2 has supplements in spades, making it one of the most entertaining fighting experiences to date.
Battle of the Gods
The story of Injustice 2 picks up where the first game left off. The Justice League is in shambles after the previous game’s civil war. Superman, believing criminals should be killed, led Wonder Woman and Cyborg to war against Batman and friends, who believe criminals should be imprisoned. Now, some years later, Superman is restrained to a special cell, and the Justice League is no more. Unfortunately for earth, this is when super-villain Brainiac decides to invade. Unlike most baddies, Brainiac does not want to take over the world, he wants to absorb its knowledge and discard the rest. This alien invasion leaves us wondering if Batman will face the threat alone, or if he will unleash Superman back into the world in order to defeat a greater evil?
The plot does an excellent job of representing characters like Superman, Supergirl, and Brainiac as God-like figures, with others in the game greatly fearing them. This terror is exemplified when Firestorm is willing to blow himself up rather than allowing Superman to be released. This sense of terror is believable thanks to the excellent voice acting from the likes of famed Batman voice actor Kevin Conroy. The narrative grants us an unprecedented feeling of control not often seen in a fighting game’s story mode. Some sections allow us to choose one of two heroes to play as, altering the story ever so slightly, allowing for much sought after replay value.
Hero or Villain
Have you ever asked yourself what it would look like if the world’s greatest heroes clashed? Well, wonder no more. Injustice 2 portrays every bone-cracking punch and blinding explosion in gritty detail. Each hero and villain has their own unique play-style and powers. The Joker can power up by laughing maniacally while pressing the same button as Catwoman unleashes a brutal whip combo. Similarly, objects within the stages can be tossed and swung if you are playing as a powerhouse like Bane or used as a springboard to escape sticky situations if you are controlling a nimble character such as Harley Quinn. Enemies can also be thrown out of stages, creating a small cutscene before the skirmish resumes in a new area. After the battle has raged for a time, your superpowers charge and then can be discharged in the form of a super-move by pressing L2 and R2 on the PS4 controller and the right and left trigger on the Xbox One. These moves can be anything from Supergirl taking her adversary into space to Poison Ivy’s gigantic plant wrapping its tentacles around her foes.
The graphics in Injustice 2 have some of the best visuals I have ever seen in a fighting game. Characters grimace from punches and snarl when they are about to attack. But attention to detail isn’t enough to make a game great, or prevent it from becoming boring. Developer NetherRealm Studios implemented an RPG leveling system in which players can acquire new outfits and weapons for each character. Headgear, chest, legs, and arms can all be customized. The higher the level, the better the equipment. This allows players to spend hours just collecting items.
Injustice 2 is the perfect blend of storytelling, RPG elements, and beloved comic book personas, all enveloped in a neat package of fighting game greatness. Gamers who don’t enjoy fighting games won’t be swayed otherwise by Injustice 2. However, those who love the genre will spend hours relishing in all the extras.