The fighting genre isn’t something I’m wholly familiar with. I’ve always found 1v1 fighting games fun when playing against friends, but as the genre has moved into and embraced online gameplay my interest has waned. I’m all good when fighting my friends, as we generally have a good time and are about equal skills levels. But my fun usually ends when I try to take a game online and get destroyed by anyone with a modicum of skill in the game, something I usually don’t possess.
NetherRealm have always been an exception to the rule for one reason – stories. I loved Injustice: Gods Among Us and really enjoyed Mortal Kombat X because not only were they fighting games, but they also came with legitimately enjoyable stories I could consume.
So when Injustice 2 was leaked last week I was excited. A game that combines my love of the DC’s cast of superheroes and villains with video games, and one that continues the excellent story of the Injustice game and comic series, is exactly the kind of thing I have been waiting for. One of Injustice’s greatest strengths is its deep alternate universe storyline and how it uses the DC characters.
“When we did Injustice it’s a perfect marriage. You have Superman and Batman and Aquaman and they’re not talking to each other, not acknowledging each other? That’s a waste of [a] great opportunity with them. In Injustice and in Injustice 2 we’re going to have a really deep cinematic story experience, like watching a movie and participating in the fights.”
One thing that might tempt me to dive into the other modes that will ship with Injustice 2 is the new gear system. Injustice 2 comes with RPG mechanics – characters have stats for strength, defence, hit points and ability power. Players will be able to augment their characters with loot drops – new pieces of equipment for characters that can boost their stats and really allow them to tailor each character to their own play style.
“We call it a gear system and in the simplest of terms gear can be described as costume pieces that power up your character. You’re always going to be getting these drops of gear – a new cowl for Batman, a new utility bet, new boots for Superman and they come with power ups for your character. So you can do a little bit more damage on the environments or your attack damage is a little bit more or your defensive blocking damage is a little more.”
As you may expect from a NetherRealm Studios fighting game, the gameplay looks incredibly slick. Fights look super responsive and fast paced, set on the backdrop of gorgeous looking environments and excellent character models. There are six characters revealed for Injustice 2 at E3 – Aquaman, Atrocitus, Batman, Superman, Gorilla Grodd and Supergirl (plus The Flash and Cyborg were in the announcement trailer) with space for 22 more.
One of my favourite memories of playing the original Injustice game was activating a super for the first time. I was playing the game at EGX with a friend, recreating The Dark Knight Returns, and was prompted to activate Batman’s super move. The series of events that took place on the screen was so gloriously over the top I think I might have cheered in amongst my gleeful laughter.
All of this is back with amazingly OTT super moves and environmental transitions. Every time I saw a super move pulled off in the Injustice 2 gameplay I couldn’t help but grin. And that’s a pretty good sign that this game might just be something great.
Injustice 2 launches in 2017 on Playstation 4 and Xbox One.