NetherRealm Studio's first experiment with the DC license was the 2008 crossover title Mortal Kombat Vs DC Universe. Although the game had its flaws, it was still a very solid fighter that laid the foundations for 2011's rebooted and vastly improved Mortal Kombat series and 2013's Injustice, a successful fighter based solely on the DC comic books.
Although the first Injustice game was technically very similar to Mortal Kombat, it felt distinct enough with its own features and mechanics to set it apart from its sister series. It also proved to be just accessible as the MK series, which meant it was perfect for new players who were largely only attracted to the DC license.
The game provided comic book fans and gamers alike with a story worthy of the DC Universe. The original Injustice story seemed to be slightly influenced by The Justice League: Crisis On Two Earths storyline while Injustice 2 has a lot of similarities to the Superman: Unbound animated movie — the game's opening is almost identical to that of Unbound.
Injustice 2 is a fantastic sequel and is almost everything you would expect it to be. The online aspect is almost flawless, with very little lag to experience. Additionally, the single player content is completely unrivaled. Injustice 2 may be one of the best fighting games available, but there some drawbacks. So here we take a look at 8 of the games best features and 7 of the worst.
15 Best: Very Accessible Gameplay
If there's one complaint leveled at most fighters, like Street Fighter, Virtua Fighter, Tekken and even Marvel Vs Capcom 3, it's their inaccessibility to newcomers. Street Fighter V, in particular, has a pretty terrible tutorial mode, that abruptly stops before getting to the more complicated moves.
Despite NetherRealm Studios' ambition to woo the eSports crowd, Injustice 2 is incredibly easy to pick up, and has an in-depth tutorial mode to help ease new players in. Regardless of the game's accessibility, it's an incredibly deep and technical fighter with distinct and impressive special attacks that are relatively simple to pull off.
It's quite an achievement that Injustice 2 is able to be among the most technical western-made fighters on the market, while also being one of the most accessible games in the genre.
14 Worst: Unlocked Gear Doesn’t Transfer In Local 2 Player Mode
Unlocking Gear and the extra costumes in Injustice 2 is a great addition to the series. For example, being able to unlock the John Stewart, The Reverse Flash, or Power Girl skins as alternative costumes is more than just cosmetic change, they’re fully voiced by different actors and help add another layer of comic book authenticity to an already great game.
However, it was slightly disappointing that a second player/guest user in the local multiplayer mode is unable to use any of the content that was unlocked by the main user. While this is understandable for users that want to use customized characters associated with their ownPSN name, there should definitely be an option for a guest user to be able to play as the unlocked Reverse Flash or Power Girl too. It just seems to be a slightly silly oversight when two players sitting on the same couch under one household can’t access the same content.
13 Best: The Super Moves
Just like the original Injustice game, each character features their own special moves and characteristics. All of which add a great level of individuality to each character, while at the same time using moves that would instantly be associated with their cinematic and comic book representations.
Of course, the biggest moves in Injustice 2 are each character's special moves. The moves can be unleashed once you have filled up the characters meter, and the moves are pretty spectacular to watch. Superman's special move, in particular, looks like a fight scene straight out of Man Of Steel. Of course, the game's stunning visuals really help bring these scenes to life.
12 Worst: Unskippable Super Moves
Less patient gamers (especially die-hard fighting fans) may take issue with the fact that the game's special moves are unskippable.
The special moves are like mini cutscenes themselves and as spectacular as they are, they may become a bit repetitive for some players, especially those looking to take the game online.
Die-hard fans of games like Street Fighter or Tekken may feel that the Injustice's flow and speed would be interrupted by such lengthy special moves. Being able to skip the moves, would easily remedy that issue — hopefully this will be addressed in a future update.
11 Best: Improved Environment Attacks
The environmental attacks in the original Injustice were fun to pull off, and added another maneuver to your arsenal that could get you out of a bind. These moves were crucial when battling an opponent who could overwhelm you with combos.
Injustice 2 has expanded this feature even further, by adding more environmental weapons for you to take advantage of during combat. There's a particularly memorable scene where a DC supervillain, Killer Croc, emerges from the sewer waters under Gotham City, and smashes the unsuspecting victim through a wall. Getting to see these techniques play out in-game is a riot.
10 Worst: No Team Battles
Games like Dead Or Alive, Marvel Vs Capcom and Tekken Tag Tournament have a tremendous tag team feature that added some longevity to the battles, forcing the gamer to adapt different tactics.
The lack of an optional tag team feature in Injustice 2 is definitely a missed opportunity for the series. The game's plot centers heavily around The Justice League, The Regime, and now the newly formed Society — so getting to see characters team up would definitely make sense from a narrative perspective.
DC enthusiasts would have probably relished the idea of teaming up certain characters like Darkseid and Superman, allowing gamers imaginations to run wild. Perhaps NetherRealm will add a team up feature in the inevitable sequel, or better still a co-op mode.
9 Best: Single Player Content
Mortal Kombat developers NetherRealm Studios have always provided far superior story campaigns to most of the Japanese-made fighters. Street Fighter V's awful story mode is a prime example. NetherRealm clearly recognizes that there's still a market for fans of single-player fighting games. Considering how quickly the competition amps up online in the fighting game community, no one can blame players for wanting to keep to themselves.
It's fair to say that Injustice 2's focus on single-player content is the best seen in a fighter since the likes of Soul Blade and Soul Calibur. In fact, the single-player aspect of the game is worth the price of admission alone, and can be thoroughly enjoyed without ever having to set foot in an online battle.
8 Worst: Missing Favorites
Injustice 2 sports a great roster of varied characters for fans to choose from, and as a result will keep fans of the DC comics busy for a long time. However, the biggest downside for fans of the original game is the missing characters from God Among Us.
The new characters like Dr. Fate, Damien Wayne's version of Robin, Black Canary, and more, are fantastic additions to the series and their fighting styles bring a lot to the table. Nevertheless, they should have been in addition to returning fighters from the first game. Missing fan favorites like Nightwing, Shazam, Sinestro, and Deathstroke are definitely a missed opportunity in the sequel.
7 Best: The Clash System
The Clash system from Gods Among Us is back, and looks better than ever. It really helps capture those frames you see in comic books when your favorite heroes and villains are in the midst of battle.
Some of those iconic comic book moments are finding their way into the superhero movies too, with many of the battle scenes being recreated on screen — with Batman V Superman or Captain America: Civil War being recent examples, and Injustice 2 is helping take that idea even further.
The winner of the Clash system is determined by how much the characters super meter is wagered during the scene. For example, if one player wagers 1/4 of their meter bar and their opponent wagers 3/4 then their opponent will win the outcome.
6 Worst: Stat Boosted Gear
Injustice 2 features and RPG-style gear system which, for some players, may be a double-edged sword. On one hand, some gamers will no doubt love the idea of getting new level specific armor, weapons and abilities for your characters, while other gamers may get frustrated at the notion of battling other players that could possibly have a strength or health advantage over their own character.
The worst aspect of the mechanic is that the Gear can act as a gateway for Injustice's microtransaction system, which unfortunately is the easiest way to obtain the game's most valuable in-game currency known as Source Crystals.
The plus side is that players have the option to disable the stat boosts, leaving the gear there purely for cosmetic purposes, but that may nullify the point of grinding for gear in the first place. Traditionalists may also question why Superman or Supergirl would need any armor in the first place.
5 Best: Custom Skins
Stat-boosting aside, the customization options in Injustice 2 are great. While some DC purists may dislike the idea of customizing a character so off-brand that it leaves them barely recognizable. Many gamers will love the idea of personalizing their very own superhero character in different outfits, skins and gear.
Fans of RPGs and sports sims —where you can customize your character down to every last detail— will definitely get a kick out of tinkering with the different shades, and creating your own alternative outfits. It's always good to have a choice of alternate character outfits in a fighting game and Injustice 2 takes that so much further than other fighting games. Being able to customize your favorite characters is an excellent way of adding a bit of your own personality and identity to the final creation.
4 Worst: Lack Of Variety In Story Mode
As stated, the story campaign in Injustice 2 is fantastic on so many levels, and the way the game almost seamlessly transitions from cinematics into battles is great. However, as great as these battles are, it would have been nice to have seen a bit more variety in the battles. Going back to the lack of a tag team mode, such a feature that would have worked perfectly in the context of the story's campaign.
Adding some objectives or obstacles to the formula to gain extra items would have been a great addition too but these weren't implemented in the otherwise near perfect story mode.
3 Best: The Multiverse
Despite having a slight lack of variety in the story campaign, Injustice 2 more than makes up for this in the Brother Eye Multiverse mode. The Multiverse does a great job of fleshing out the single player content. Those who are familiar with Mortal Kombat's Living Tower's mode should feel right at home with this system.
The Multiverse mode adds even more longevity to the game's already deep single-player mode. In the Multiverse you'll fight your way through randomly-generated challenges for specific gear rewards, and each challenge can add special limitations and obstacles that you'd need to overcome like low gravity, hidden traps and much more.
2 Worst: Mortal Kombat DLC
One of the biggest complaints fans are having with the game's upcoming downloadable content is the addition of Mortal Kombat characters. Although it's understandable that NetherRealm would want to do a bit of cross-promotion with their other big fighting franchise, the issue is the inclusion of such MK characters instead of DC characters.
Now that one of Mortal Kombat's oldest characters Sub Zero is confirmed for an appearance, and the silhouette of Raiden is teased in background for the DLC's promotional campaign, that's at least two MK characters that we know of so far.
Injustice 2 is a comic book game that will no doubt attract fans of the previous entry — and fans of the DC universe. It's understandable that these fans would be disappointed that they aren't getting more DC characters instead. It is also fair to say that most gamers would prefer to see the return of Deathstroke instead of the inclusion of Sub Zero.
1 The Best: Multiple Endings
Echoing the praise we've heaped on Injustice 2's single player campaign, is the game's superb use of character endings, and alternative endings in the story arc.
Adding to the game's replayability, the story mode has two endings depending which characters perspective you chose during a certain chapter. Luckily, once you have completed the game you won't need to replay the entire story from the start, you can select the correct chapter and continue the alternate path from there, so you won't need to restart the entire campaign.
Additionally, in a feature that should please old school fighting fans: each of the 28 characters to choose from has their own individual endings. You can access these endings by playing through the battle simulator mode in the Multiverse, where you'll eventually face off against the game's final boss Brainiac.