Injustice 2 is the sequel to NetherRealm Studios’ 2013 fighting game that pitted the greatest DC Comic heroes and villains against each other in a dark original story set in an alternate DC universe. The sequel not only perfects the fighting system of the original game, but adds even more new and interesting elements to its overall package. The roster of Injustice 2 adds new fighters and brings back a few popular heroes and villains, but becomes even better and more diverse thanks to the new Gear System that allows you to customize every character to your liking. If you wanted to own a great fighting game based on comic book characters, then Injustice 2 makes a solid and convincing case for being one of the best out there.
The story mode of Injustice 2 is one of the game’s big highlights that fans of the original will be most interested in diving into first. The plot of the original game continues in the sequel, following the aftermath of events that took place before in Injustice: Gods Among Us. Batman is trying his hardest to rebuild the world after Superman’s failed attempt at seizing control of the world with his regime. A growing threat involving some of the DC Universe’s greatest villains, named the Society, appears and sets in motion plans to lure a greater threat, the cyborg Brainiac, to the already damaged world.
If you enjoyed the story of the previous game, then you’re absolutely going to love the story of Injustice 2. The presentation and storytelling is some of NetherRealm Studios’ best work, improving on a lot from what we’ve seen from their previous games. Characters and backgrounds look phenomenal in the dynamic lighting, which helps add to the severity of some events during the story.
All of the DC heroes and villains on the roster get their moments to shine, with only a few getting slightly less spotlight than everyone else. Whether the conclusion of the story itself is good or not is entirely up for debate, but the variations in events for many of the story based fights will want you to see every battle and complete it in full.
The fighting is the real star of the show here, improving greatly upon what was given in the first game. Many returning characters have adjustments and balance updates to their move sets, as well as an assortment of new special moves and combos. The Super Moves from the original make a return and all look glorious in their cinematic presentation and brutality. Batman will hoist an opponent into the air and let Batwing damage them with missiles and gunfire, while newcomer Doctor Fate will drag them into the his amulet and use the power of Lords of Order to deliver massive damage. Every fight feels like a special event that not only looks and plays good, but has a level of excitement and flair that other fighting games seldom share.
The Gear System is the biggest addition to Injustice 2, adding a whole new level of depth to the combat and customization to the total experience. Every fight you have, no matter what game mode, gives you both experience towards your character and player rank, as well as a chance to obtain gear to equip to your characters.
The gear you find can come from winning battles or opening up Mother Boxes obtained from completing matches on and offline, which give you even more gear for you to equip to anyone on the roster. The gear you equip changes the appearance of your fighter and gives different stat boost and abilities, with some being huge nods to different comic iterations of the DC heroes and villains.
Gear itself can play a huge factor in a matchup within Injustice 2’s new Multiverse mode, a variation on the Living Towers game mode from NetherRealm Studios previous game, Mortal Kombat X. You can participate in battles with various conditions and gain even more gear and loot from completing them, using any of the gear you find and discovering new challenges over time.
This is one of the best game modes included with Injustice 2 since it is constantly changing and offering new rewards for players who spend time with it. In some cases, the challenges and stipulations for some battles in Multiverse may seem a bit unfair or incredibly difficult without having the right gear for a character.
Some fights are just way too difficult if you haven’t played enough to level up a specific character, making their rewards seem almost obsolete. However, you can wait for the in-game timed refresh for challenges and have a totally new multiverse challenge open to you. The rewards for completing challenges are great and really open up new gear options for every character, but it’s highly recommended you experiment with the entire roster to get the most of the Multiverse rewards you obtain.
Injustice 2 online is more of what you would expect if you’ve played the first game, but with a few extra additions to make it more rewarding for players that battle online. You can join online lobbies and ranked battles for traditional rankings and combat, but also have a new Guilds option available. Joining or creating a Guild will allow you to gain more rewards as a group, opening up new gear and giving your characters more experience to level up.
Daily and weekly challenges for Guilds further enhance this with even more opportunities to score more loot as you play. For those that love playing fighting games online and love the cooperation as much as they love the competition, this is an ideal feature that will make playing Injustice 2 online even better.
Injustice 2 is a great improvement upon its predecessor, taking what we loved about the first game and providing more new additions alongside all of it. The overall presentation is fantastic and compliments a single player campaign that, while not the greatest story, continues an already interesting story about the DC Universe. The fighting system is great and deep with the implementation of a Gear System that rewards you the more you play. Multiverse is an ever-changing mode that will keep you busy with new challenges for a long time as you hunt for more loot for your characters to show off online. NetherRealm Studios has set a new bar for providing a lot of value in a fighting game and gives everyone an incredibly solid experience that the competition should definitely take note of.
This review was based on a digital review code of Injustice 2 for the PlayStation 4, provided by NetherRealm Studios.