Injustice 2 review

Posted by Steven 'Dreamking23' Chavez • May 19, 2017 at 8:16 a.m. PDT

NetherRealm Studios and Warner Bros. have returned with the second installment in their exhilarating fighting game series that brings DC Comics' strongest heroes and villains together for the ultimate battle. Injustice 2 is here, and it comes jam-packed with all of the eye lasers, batarangs, and Swamp Things you could ever want.


With 29 familiar faces ripped straight from the pages of their comic books, a multitude of modes, and the brand new gear system that allows players to earn and equip items that improve their favorite fighters, there's a quite a lot for fans to dive into right out of the box.

The first thing you'll notice about Injustice 2 is just how amazing it looks. Character models and back drops are highly detailed, and the numerous environmental effects really make the game a treat to watch in action.

Coupled with the powerful sound and musical score, Injustice 2's presentation is something to behold.

I can't help but feel a chill running down my spine whenever I see Scarecrow emerge from a cloud of fear toxin in Joker's Playground. The character design, scenery, and music work together so perfectly to really immerse the player into the battle, and that's what Injustice 2 is all about: synergy.

From the unique lines of dialogue characters deliver when interacting, to the numerous gear pieces expertly crafted to assuage the die-hard comic book fan appetite, the attention to detail put into Injustice 2 is astronomical. Fighter personality and player individuality shine bright like the Red Sun in this brawler.

But Injustice 2 is more than just a shiny coat of paint. What lies underneath, it's gameplay, is smooth and better than ever. The action of each match is fast-paced, and though I experienced some issues with random moves unintentionally firing off, I was able to bypass this by altering the control scheme and deactivating negative edge (a mechanic that allows moves to be performed by holding and releasing a button as well as pressing it) and input shortcuts. After that, it was smooth sailing.

Fans of single-player modes will not be disappointed with what Injustice 2 has to offer. The Multiverse brings forth a seemingly limitless variety of missions and challenges to complete. Ranging from your standard Battle Simulator (arcade mode) to much wackier missions like "Hyper Drive" -- which prompts players to defeat a ladder of opponents with the game speed turned way up -- it feels like there's always something new for you to do.

The Multiverse is the main mode in which you'll acquire the gear needed to beef up your favorite fighters. Earning credits to buy gift boxes (which contain multiple items) and scoring gear pieces after fights is the name of the game, but the acquisition process is a double-edged sword.

On the one hand, the prospect of getting the flashiest and best gear for your main character is great and quickly becomes addicting, creating longevity in the game's replay-ability. On the other hand, the gear reward system's random nature can make it tedious to pick up fresh items for your main character(s). Cracking open boxes and playing matches with you fighter of choice doesn't always garner gear for them, and while the latter does seem to better the odds, it's not always a guarantee.

One personal gripe I found with the gear system's abilities -- pieces of equipment that replace character special moves with different ones -- is their under utilization. Without the ability to use these alternate moves in tournament mode or ranked matches, I feel as though NetherRealm missed a large opportunity to add another layer of depth to the game.

Keeping stat regulation intact, these abilities could have operated similarly to Mortal Kombat X's variations, giving each character several options for their best and worst match ups. That being said, this omission wasn't enough to really hurt the Injustice 2 experience for me.

Speaking of which, if you're the type of person who prefers to battle against other human opponents online, you'll be happy to hear that Injustice 2 definitely delivers on that front. Earlier this week, we posted a more in-depth impressions piece about the online experience, so be sure to check it out.

One of the crown jewels for NetherRealm Studios games is the story mode. The company has built up a reputation for creating strong, immersive story experiences, and they certainly continued with that motif in Injustice 2.

The tale is broken up into several chapters, each putting the player in control of a specific character, sometimes two. This time around, NRS has done away with the quick time events found in Mortal Kombat X, and instead have gone with a more fluid approach.

Beautiful cut scenes transition seamlessly into matches and back again, and each character on the game's roster is given their time to shine. When all was said and done, I found myself more attached to a handful of our heroes than expected, and I despise Brainiac. Damn you, Brainiac!

Closing thoughts: Injustice 2 is one of those games that I kind of wish I had more to complain about. The key components players look for in a fighting game are all represented here and each is executed exceptionally well.

An epic story mode, great online play, a plethora of customization options, and the quest for the best gear via the Multiverse add an immense amount of replay-ability to Injustice 2.

A more streamlined way to pick up gear for specific characters and utilization of abilities in ranked matches would have been very welcome additions to the game, however, these omissions do not hinder the overall experience all that much.

Injustice 2 is a game that you won't want to put down any time soon, and you probably shouldn't anyway because there's so much to do. The DC Comics brawler is yet another impressive addition to the NRS catalog of fighting games.

Pros:

+ Gorgeous visuals effectively immerse players into the world of Injustice 2.

+ Attention to detail is outstanding and really brings each character's personality to life.

+ Netcode holds up very well, offering fans a smooth online experience.

+ The gear system gives players a myriad of options to personalize their favorite characters.

+ Story mode is epic and exactly what you'd expect from a NetherRealm Studios title.

Cons:

- Obtaining gear for specific characters can be tedious due to its randomized nature.

- No way to use abilities in ranked mode.

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