NetherRealm Studios’ Injustice 2 just might be the best fighting game I’ve ever played. There is so much content here, both as a single player experience and as a multiplayer game, that you could spend dozens of hours before you ever played through the quite excellent and cinematic story mode. An impressive roster of DC Comics heroes and villains, supreme customizability through an RPG-like gear system, and an excellent Multiverse mode capstone would is quite simply the most accessible and addictive fighting game in ages. This is our Injustice 2 review.
Injustice 2’s story picks up right where Gods Among Us ended. Superman’s been imprisoned, and the battle lines have been redrawn. Some heroes believe Superman’s goal to stop crime before it starts, by any means necessary (even killing) is the only way to do things. Others, mainly Batman, believe that this makes you no different than the villains. Both sides continue to bicker and fight… until Brainiac begins an invasion and shows Earth’s mightiest heroes that they’re being outright ridiculous with their infighting.
A key role in this narrative belongs to Supergirl, who makes her first appearance in Injustice. Her role here is a lot like that of the CW TV Show. She’s almost a stand-in for Clark Kent, acting as the true north of all the characters in the game. The cinematic flow of the several hours-long story mode is superb, as the game goes from cutscene to fight seamlessly. It’s all levied by some of the best facial animations ever seen in a video game. There are some instances of the uncanny valley, but by and large Injustice 2 raises the bar for animation and captured acting in a game.
The Story’s Just the Beginning
The story is like a primer for the main meat and potatoes of Injustice 2. Once complete, while there’s reason to play it again and take other paths through the narrative, the real fun comes with the Multiverse mode. Essentially, these are daily, weekly, even hourly events that show up across the many different planets of the DC Universe and have unique goals and fights for you to take part in. You can pick your fighter, take on the many different heroes and villains and their shared universe clones in different situations, and earn tons of rewards and gear for everyone. There is, of course, an online PVP mode, Guilds, and Guild Multiverse challenges, and before you know it – Injustice 2 is basically a fighting game MMO.
I found the gear mechanics a novel and unique way to add progression to what’s normally a genre where everything remains static. Thankfully, it doesn’t seem you can outright buy power, but your heroes can overpower other players’ if your gear is simply better. Skill still matters most, but someone with a level 20 hero and decked out gear could conceivably take on a lower level character with no gear just by button mashing and getting lucky.
Overall Thoughts on Our Injustice 2 Review
I suck at fighting games, but I’ve always been enamored with them since the days of Pit Fighter on the SEGA Genesis. When I first saw Blanka in an Arcade, I fell in love with the green brute. And my life was over when Soul Calibur came out with the Dreamcast. Over my gaming career, despite my comparative lack of skill, fighting games have held a special place in my heart. But as I grew older, I wanted games with more depth, more things to do, and more than just tournaments and basic multiplayer components. The men and women of NetherRealm Studios are on my wavelength because Injustice 2 is the most content-rich fighting game I’ve ever played, the first one in ages to captivate me and keep me coming back for more.
Editor’s Note: We reviewed the PS4 version with a code provided by the developer.