As if we weren’t already spoiled this year with great tactical shooters, open world adventures and roleplaying games this year, along comes another game that’s sweeping the charts and doing gangbusters in sales. Warner Brothers Interactive Entertainment and NetherRealms Studios has delivered Injustice 2, a fighting game that pits iconic DC characters against one another in epic over the top battles.
Catching up on the lore is easy.
Set in a version of the parallel reality where Superman has become irredeemable, Injustice is set in an alternate dystopian universe in which the various heroes and villains of the DC beat the snot out of each other because reasons. Injustice 2 follows the first game with Batman and his allies trying to put the world back together. You can pick up the first Injustice for as low as 250 PHP ($5) online and finish it in an afternoon, but WB Games has no problems letting websites upload the whole story on YouTube.
Wait, so how do mere mortals survive super punching?
Pills made from Kryptonian nanotech called 5-U-93-R is why. In the first Injustice, Luthor is an ally of Superman and created the pills to help the Man of Steel create an army. It’s not long before Batman’s rebel insurgents get a hold of the pills, and Harley Quinn later distributes them to the entire Joker clan. The pills increase bone and tissue strength, tensility and durability, which means Captain Cold doesn’t get liquefied by a punch from Supergirl. Comic book science, everybody.
Play through the story mode first, because it’s awesome.
Complaints have been made about the single player content in Street Fighter V, which seem rather silly since fighting games are competitive spirit first, narrative focus last. But NetherRealm Studios’ commitment to story astounds. Injustice is still grim dark nonsense, mind you, but with tongue firmly in cheek. Which means you’ll get to see some of the DC Universe’s biggest names get their time to shine without the restrictions of a movie’s three act structure or special effects budget.
Character customization is totally a thing.
Completing challenges in the ‘Multiverse,’ rewards you with loot boxes and gear, which enable you to customize individual fighters. That means with the right gear and shaders you can revert Harley Quinn to a jester outfit with colors of your choice, make the Blue Beetle look like Optimus Prime or turn the Flash into a purple fetish monster. It’s not just cosmetic though as some gear can enhance stats, which matters in game modes where the auto-balance settings are off.
Gear and loot management is important.
You’re probably used to the loot system of games like Overwatch and Counter-Strike, and Injustice 2’s is just as complex, moreso for a fighting game. Pro tip: open your boxes when you get them, as what’s inside doesn’t level up with you. Try everything you find and then sell it right away for more currency you can use to roll for the stuff you want. And hold on to the best-looking low level gear you’ve got as you can transfer that sweet look onto higher level gear later.
You can earn in-game rewards without actually playing.
The AI Battle Simulator lets you designate three of your heroes as AI-controlled defenders against other players spoiling for a fight online. It’s an easy way to earn experience and loot boxes with literally zero stress on your gaming hands. You’ll find loot and other rewards waiting for you even when your heroes lose. Want better rewards? Go ahead and micro manage the heck out of your defenders by giving them the best gear possible. You can still use them in other modes anyway.
There’s a mobile game that’s actually worth your time.
It’s a free-to-play three on three fighter for Android and iOS devices that’s kind of a lot like Marvel’s Contest of Champions. You swipe and tap to beat the living snot out of your opponents and collect gems to unlock chests filled with upgrades and characters to build a roster of heroes with increasing power. The game isn’t too greedy about parting you with your money for faster progression and it’s enough fun to be had between actual quality time with your PlayStation of Xbox.
The facial animations are just amazing.
Bad animations can really cripple a video game’s ability to immerse you in the story, while good animation draws you in by adding emotion and nuance. Injustice 2 benefits from facial animations that leap just enough ahead of the uncanny valley to make every story beat work, no matter how goofy. In an early chapter of the story mode, Harley Quinn manages to chew gum and scenery at the same time. That’s a testament to how effectively line delivery, emotion and performance were captured.
What are your thoughts on this game? Share them with us below!