First and foremost, the story mode for Injustice 2 ditches the crazy multiverse hopping for a streamlined, single Earth tale. While there are slight rumblings of Superman being freed after the end of Injustice: Gods Among Us, the real story is the pending invasion of Brainiac. The story follows the basic beats one would expect of a traditional comic book crossover, with each character getting their time in the spotlight before Batman/Superman wraps up the narrative.
|At it's heart, Injustice 2 is a Supergirl story.|
Interspersed between the gameplay are amazing cut scenes that push the story from fight-to-fight, and this is where everything shines. The lip syncing and eye movements are absolutely stunning, and it makes the characters we all know and love come to life. Also: Kevin Conroy returns as Batman, which is always a good thing. Between the tight storytelling and the amazing cut scenes in between fights, Injustice 2 sets the bar for a story mode in a fighting game.
Without dipping into spoiler territory, there is only one major downside to the narrative, and that is a giant lack of Wonder Woman. She takes a back seat pretty quickly thanks to her position as a supporter of the terrorizing Superman of the Injustice universe, and thus she is viewed as a ‘bad guy’ throughout most of the story. This is a huge disservice, and frankly a missed opportunity for Netherrealm and DC to do something truly special for the undisputed Goddess of Comics, especially with her own solo movie coming out in a few short weeks. The original Injustice saw Man of Steel skins for both Superman and General Zod, so one can hope that Princess Diana of Themyscira will be getting the same treatment.
|There are always challenges in the Multiverse mode.|
The meat and potatoes of the game is of course the fighting. While the control scheme and mechanics are mostly the same from Injustice to Injustice 2, there are two new additions that make the game feel more tactical and fleshed out. The first of these is the ability to spend part of your special meter to cancel out of a combo midair. This one simple addition allows frustrating air combos to be broken, and gives you an edge when you can feel your opponent dominating you. And all you have to do is pull a trigger.
In addition to being able to break air combos, every character now has a tactical roll. By double tapping towards your opponent and pulling the meter burn trigger, your character becomes invulnerable and immediately closes the distance to their opponent. This is a great way to counter annoying players who stand in a corner just spamming ranged attacks for hopes of an easy win.
Despite the amazing cut scenes in the story mode, there are some graphical shortcuts in the fighting engine that are frustrating. Some characters use recycled animations from Mortal Kombat X and Injustice, bringing up that weird feeling of ‘cannot unsee’. Poison Ivy may be a new character to the lineup, but most of her moves and animations are taken from Killer Frost from Injustice. Some characters even borrow from already existing characters, like when Atrocitus uses a special move from Wonder Woman’s removed whip stance. Black Canary uses a lot of the same animations as Sonya Blade. Darkseid is pretty much a re-skined Zod. These copy+paste animations are not game breaking, but it is disappointing that Netherrealm didn’t put the effort into making the actual game as beautiful and unique as the cut scenes.
|Do you like loot boxes and multiple currencies? Injustice 2 is built on them.|
What is even more frustrating though, is that you will get drops for characters you don’t even play. While that is fine in something like Overwatch, where every loot drop is cosmetic, the loot in Injustice 2 has stats attached to each item. By having stats and power gains on each piece of gear, you feel cheated because it isn’t for a character you regularly play. The cherry on top of all of the frustration the loot box system provides is that there are item sets for characters. Unlike something like World of Warcraft, there is no way to figure out where your next best item comes from. It is all random.
While there are huge improvements made in the single player story and the fighting mechanics, the forced addition of random loot and micro-transactions brings unnecessary roadblocks to an otherwise enjoyable fighting game. The added mechanics allow anyone to pick up a controller, and become a competent opponent with the explanation of a few simple button presses. There are already 9 planned DLC characters, so Injustice 2 will be supported for months to come!
This post originally appeared on RoguesPortal.com.