By: Max Cannon
Expanding on the idea first explored in Midway’s Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe, the original Injustice: Gods Among Us was a competent fighting game with a cheesy, but bombastic, storyline.
Dishing Out Some DC Justice
Injustice 2 continues the story of the first game with a focus on a single universe, unlike the multiverse brawls we saw in the previous adventure, pairing Batman against Superman while everyone in between has taken a side. After imprisoning Superman in a cell that strips him of his powers, Batman has to protect the entire world from the latest and greatest threat: Brainiac.
Another Batman v Superman showdown.Courtesy of WB Games
The story goes exactly where you think it will and the two inevitably need to strike an uneasy alliance to take down the intergalactic threat. While the beginning chapter sets the stage for an original story, with the seeds planted for some cool arguments between a non-lethal Batman and a Robin with an itchy trigger finger, the plot quickly devolves into some stereotypical and by the books nonsense. There are some really interesting pairings in the story, Batman against Robin, Harley Quinn fighting The Joker, Catwoman and Poison Ivy. While the fights themselves are cool, the setups are poor and often forced.
Official Injustice 2 Gameplay Launch Trailer
Even if the story is weak, its execution is to be admired. Environments look awesome — even though I’d like more interesting battlegrounds — but characters really steal the show. Facial animations are shockingly impressive and the voice actors give expectedly engrossing performances. The choreography of the game’s cutscenes show an attention to detail often sorely missed in fighting games. Even if the plot isn’t a winner, I respect how well the team dives headfirst into the tale they’re telling.
The telepathically empowered Gorilla Grodd.Courtesy of WB Games
The roster of characters feels disappointingly sparse at times, especially when compared to Injustice: Gods Among Us. Martian Manhunter, Shazam, and Lex Luthor are gone and they aren’t exactly made up for with disappointing fighters like Cheetah and Captain Cold. There are some awesome returns and new inclusions — particularly Scarecrow and Harley Quinn — but they seem like they’re holding the best brawlers off for upcoming DLC, and Darkseid is already locked away behind a paywall.
Beat Down the Bad Guys… Or the Good Guys
While I take issue with the story and lineup of fighters, I think this is one of the best controlling fighting games available. While I find games like Street Fighter and Xbox One’s Killer Instinct (my favorite fighting game) to be incredibly fast, Mortal Kombat and Injustice: Gods Among Us felt jarringly slow by comparison. Injustice 2‘s speed nails that sweet spot while controlling like a dream, with either the D-pad or analog stick.
Gorilla Grodd beats down on our Man of Steel.Courtesy of WB Games
Every fighting game strives to play well to both the hardcore gamers and the casual player. Keeping up with the quality of the first title, Injustice 2 should pride itself on being such an accessible game. While it’s difficult to explain the returning Clash feature — which involves wagering bars in a super meter to reacquire health — newcomers should be able to easily button mash their way through many fights. An even balance is struck between easily understood characters with natural combos — like Batman, Deadshot, and Cyborg — and complex, tougher to master fighters — like Black Canary and Firestorm.
Wonder Woman takes down the Blue Beetle.Courtesy of WB Games
Speaking of that super meter, the flashy super moves return and range from jaw-dropping to shoulder-shrugging. While characters like The Flash unleash a time-traveling set of punches, some characters weakly yell at their opponents in a lackluster show of force. Similar to the inconsistency in character choice, there are just as many awesome super moves as there are “eh” ones.
I don’t have any problem saying that Injustice 2 is a better game than its predecessor. The game’s bombastic and nonsensical story is easy to overlook when it’s so well executed and supported by Grade A fighting controls. Let’s just hope that Injustice 3 brings a better cast of characters and battle arenas.
- Character Animations
- Fighting Controls
- Accessible For Mostly Anyone
- Character Roster
- Weak Stages
- Weak Story
Injustice 2 Game Rating
Available for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC
Injustice 2 Box ArtCourtesy of WB Games
Have Your Say!
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