Injustice 2 is the latest title from Netherrealm Studios and it is getting a lot of attention for all the right reasons. They’ve been talking a big game since their announcement and they have indeed been backing it up. Injustice 2 follows up on the story from the first title after Batman has captured Superman, but now a new evil has come into play and things take a turn.
The biggest talking point about Injustice 2 is the new gear system. Gear comes in five different pieces: Head/Cape, Torso, Gauntlets, Greaves, and Accessory. Accessory is the most interesting one in my opinion because it is unique to the character, like Superman’s Emblem or Batman’s Utility Belt. Gear also comes in three levels of rarity, ranging from Common, Rare, and Epic. Gear contains stat bonuses that will affect one to four base stats that your character has. Strength determines the damage your character’s normal attacks do. Ability determines the damage special attacks do. Defense determines the amount of damage you take while blocking. Lastly, Health determines how much damage you can take.
In the same vein as Gear, characters can also equip abilities to enhance their playstyle. While abilities aren’t quite the same as gear, they do have a specific slot in a character loadout and some abilities are so powerful that they require two slots to be used. The one great thing about the gear system in Injustice 2 is that everything you do in the game has the chance to drop gear. Not only that but gear drops tend to be favored towards the character that you are currently playing. However, it is possible to turn off the gear drop bias.
Some gear also comes with augments. Augments give different modifiers that may make it easier to defeat a specific character archetype or give more money for winning matches. Rare and Epic gear give better augments than common, but some Epic gear has set bonuses. For example, Supergirl has an Epic gear set that allows her to start the match with one bar of super meter.
Injustice 2 is packed to the brim with content for players who prefer playing solo. You get a story mode, a Multiverse mode which is like the Living Towers of Mortal Kombat X, AI Battles, and more. Netherrealm reinvented what it means to have a story mode in a fighting game with Mortal Kombat 9 and have been consistent ever since. Injustice 2 has a story mode that is every bit as good as its predecessor. I won’t get into spoilers, but the story is every bit as intense as you could hope for from a game involving a power mad Superman and the realization that doing the right thing isn’t always black and white. While the story of Injustice 2 isn’t as long as MKX or the first Injustice, there are multiple character paths to choose from and Netherrealm also included two endings to the game.
The Multiverse is a series of different worlds that reset on a timer ranging from a few hours to a few days, and some may even last for over a week. Multiverses have different levels of difficulties and some require you to play as specific characters, have a character at a certain level, or even have a stat past a certain threshold. Some Multiverses have boss battles and they can be extremely trying. But defeating a boss can net you some of the best gear in the game. Multiverses also have objectives that can grant you Mother Boxes (I’ll touch on this later).
Another single player mode is the "AI Battle Simulator", which allows players to set up a team of AI controlled heroes to either attack or defend from opponents and give you rewards. Injustice 2 also has its own implemented clan system known as Guilds. Guilds have their own multiverse that requires team coordination and your Guild can get buffs if you have multiple members online. It’s all connected without ever having to fight other human opponents.
For players who enjoy the thrill of human competition, you can play online Ranked matches that are a simple 1v1. Ranked matches automatically disable any character gear and boost both characters to level 20, so while you will still have all the aesthetic properties you will be fairly matched up. For those who don’t want the pressure of being ranked, there are player matches which include King of the Hill, Hot Seat, and 1v1 matches. Player matches allow gear boosts and uneven character levels, but you can turn them off before matches if both players agree on it. I must say, usually when a new game releases its online services get hammered and it’s a struggle just to get online. However, Injustice 2 has had a superb netcode since launch.
Mother Boxes are the Injustice 2 version of Loot Boxes. Mother Boxes come in five tiers: Bronze, Silver, Gold, Diamond, and Platinum. Mother Boxes are obtained through completing challenges in the Multiverse. Being part of a Guild can also grant you Guild Mother Boxes. Mother Boxes give gear, shaders, and abilities. The higher tier of Mother Box, the better the tier of gear you will receive. You should note that hoarding Mother Boxes is pointless because they will drop at the level your character is. However, you can use a special token to boost your gear to your character’s current level.
As much as I enjoy Injustice 2, it is not a perfect game. The combo system, which is not that deep, is more or less the same as the first one so if you played the first one you should feel right at home. Unfortunately, Injustice 2 doesn’t have a combo tutorial for newer players so you’re going to spend a lot of time experimenting. At the higher difficulties, the computer seems to button read and will react to your attacks with attacks that have a greater frame advantage and even keep you in a block stun loop. There are ways around it, but it’s a true annoyance.
Overall, Injustice 2 is a fantastic game and should provide players with a huge amount of content for months to come. I’ve been playing almost nonstop myself and don’t imagine that I’ll be stopping anytime soon, especially not with the impending DLC on the way. I give Injustice 2 4.5 TOV Stars out of 5.