Injustice 2 Reviews

  • Slam Shot SamSlam Shot Sam860,521
    24 May 2017 24 May 2017
    6 2 1
    Injustice 2 | Xbox One | Review

    A fighting game based on pitting DC’s biggest and best superheroes and villains against one another was never going to be a hard sell. We’ve all pondered age-old questions like whether Batman or Superman would win in a round of fisticuffs, and 2013’s Injustice: Gods Among Us provided a tool with which to play out these fantasies, seeing critical and commercial success as a direct result. Selling a sequel, however, can be a much harder prospect, but one that NetherRealm and Warner Bros.’ have managed to surmount by meaningfully building on the original’s strong foundation.

    Whether you’re a DC fan and a genre novice excited by the crossover potential in the recognisable cast of characters and locations (29 and 12 to choose from, respectively), or a fighting game aficionado with no attachment to the roster, Injustice 2 caters to your niche. The game occupies a perfect middle ground, being accessible without forfeiting any of the engagement-driving complexity the best fighters are know for.

    At a base level, you’ll launch light, medium and heavy attacks to pepper your opponent with shots that land low, mid, high or overhead whilst they endeavour to block the incoming onslaught, and vice-versa. It’s trademark stuff, adhering to the established design philosophy that sees block beat strike, throw beat block, and strike beat throw. Expanding into the realms of Special Moves and combos is easy, thanks to a focus on simple button inputs and relatively forgiving timing windows in which to execute them.

    Additional systems are layered atop the fundamentals to add nuance and identity to the package, with interactive environmental attacks and cinematic stage transitions being a particular treat. Each fighter has a unique character power, generally providing a timed summon or buff to complement the rest of their arsenal, whilst both taking and dealing damage throughout the course of a bout charges your Super Meter.

    The Super Meter is split into four sections, which, once filled, can be spent individually on modifying Special Moves to deal additional damage and/or present new tactical opportunities, while escapes are a defensive employment that serve as your ticket out of a sticky situation. Each combatant also gets one Clash per match, which can only be initiated when they’re down to their second health bar in an effort to accommodate comebacks. Clashes invite both parties to bet sections of their meter against one another, with whoever places the highest bet, and, thus, puts most of their hard-earnt meter on the line, being deemed the winner before proceeding to either inflict more damage or regain a portion of health, depending on whether they were the attacker or defender respectively.

    Whether you’re a DC fan and a genre novice, or a fighting game aficionado with no attachment to the roster, Injustice 2 caters to your niche.
    If you elect to hoard your power and fill the Super Meter entirely, you can trade it all in for one devastating Super Move. These signature sequences are an over-the-top spectacle, equivalent to Mortal Kombat’s visceral x-ray attacks that, while far less graphic in their depiction, are, undoubtedly, no less deadly.

    The tutorial does a sterling job of teaching the above mechanics and more, but integrating these skills against an opponent that actually fights back is a whole new kettle of fish. You’ll need to experiment extensively to figure out what combinations of attacks work, where and when they work, and against who. Though time consuming, it’s part and parcel of the rewarding learning process.

    Story Mode is a good place to start out and familiarise yourself with a range of characters, as each chapter sees you take control of someone new to get a taste of the different combat styles on offer. What’s more, the narrative is genuinely engaging and presented with abundant production value, making it the premier attraction when it comes to solo play, as compared to the throwaway nature of the mode in so many other fighters.

    Continuing where Gods Among Us left off, Injustice 2 challenges expectations by turning heroes rogue and villains good, though, with Earth’s future in peril at the hands of Brainiac, the sides strike a temporary alliance. The high-stakes tale is brimming with fan service and boasts a seamless, filmic presentation that culminates in an experience that, as cliché as it might sound, is akin to being a part of the latest summer blockbuster.

    The lavish presentation really can’t be understated, with gorgeous character models animating fluidly against bustling stage backgrounds that help the visuals pop - especially if you have an Xbox One S and a supporting TV to play with HDR. Injustice 2 is equally enticing for audiophiles as well, with a seasoned and recognisable voice cast complementing the rousing and bombastic soundtrack.

    Progress is rewarded with Gear, which can then be equipped to influence a relevant character’s appearance and stats - strength, defence, health and ability - provided they meet the level requirement to use it. You level fighters simply by taking them into battle, earning experience points proportional to your performance at the conclusion of each bout, win or lose. The wide range of character-specific Gear and Shaders available is somewhat staggering, allowing you to extensively adapt each combatant to make them truly your own in terms of both their look and play style. For purists that don’t like the sound of tinkering with the game’s balance, it can also be kept purely cosmetic (which is standard in ranked online play).

    The wide range of character-specific customisation options are somewhat staggering, allowing you to extensively adapt each combatant to make them truly your own in terms of both their look and play style.
    Gear fiends will definitely want to spend some time in Multiverse mode, as that’s where they’ll see the highest payouts. Multiverse, a universe-hopping staple of the DC comics, is a nice way of contextualising the transition of Mortal Kombat’s Living Towers, with new multiverses constantly cropping up for limited timeframes, each home to a string of encounters against new takes on existing heroes and villains under differing rulesets. Mother Boxes are rewarded for beating a multiverse and function in much the same way as Overwatch’s Loot Boxes, dishing out a random selection of items for a random set of characters when opened.

    Mother Boxes can be bought with in-game credits, which you’ll earn a steady stream of and can sell unwanted Gear for, while items you’re fond of can be refreshed with Regen Tokens to bring them up to your current level. The rare Source Crystals, however, which serve to change an item’s appearance while maintaining its stats, are a more premium commodity, requiring you to part with some cash if you want to make frequent use of them. Thankfully, Gear is earned at a fair clip, so you should never be left wanting enough to feel pressured into it.

    Joining a Guild is a direct route to more loot, with all members working towards specific objectives in order to share in the victory spoils. Guilds are also a good place to meet like-minded players with which to play online, as, unfortunately, both ranked and player bouts suffer imbalanced matchmaking and opposition that spam the same few attacks.

    When you do find applicable human competition, the game takes on new life, with mind games that wouldn’t necessarily be utilised by or against the AI coming into play. Unpredictable use of cancels, delays and cross-ups keep everyone on their toes, making for some edge-of-your-seat encounters. While infrequent and only occurring at peak times, it’s just unfortunate that spotty netcode can occasionally throw a spanner in the works. As is the case with any precision-based fighter, anything other than flawless online performance renders the game near unplayable.

    Despite that, Injustice 2 has dethroned the mighty Mortal Kombat X as king of our hill, in the process cementing NetherRealm’s place atop the genre. Sumptuous presentation, unrivalled storytelling, deep customisation systems, endless Multiverse possibilities, and a mostly solid online experience that can only improve with time make Injustice 2 the full package.

    Pros

    + Accessible without sacrificing any depth
    + Stunning audiovisual presentation
    + Vast customisation options
    + Story Mode puts other fighters to shame
    + Multiverse and multiplayer add an immense amount of longevity

    Cons

    - Some issues with lag in online bouts
    - All too common to be matched with a far superior opponent

    9/10

    Achievements

    For a fighting game, the achievements are pretty easy going. It's mostly a fun list to work through with plenty of simple stage and character-specific stuff, though you are letting yourself in for a bit of a grind with playing 200 online matches and getting all characters to level 20 - though that can be boosted relatively quickly using the method outlined here.

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    Originally written for Pass the Controller, a copy was provided for the purpose of this review.

    You can check out my PlayStation reviews over at TrueTrophies.

    Thanks for reading!
    4.5
    Showing only comment.
    The SCHWARTZ 00very well written and very thorough. Nice review. I disagree with the final score, I'd give it an 8. I just think the dial a combo fighting system is wearing out its welcome and while its forgivable now, Netherrealm is gonna have to reinvent the wheel by the time the next one is ready. But there is undoubtedly a ton of content for the money and the multiverse stuff ensures there's always something to do if you're in the mood for a challenge or if you want to grind for some gear.
    Posted by The SCHWARTZ 00 on 30 May 17 at 03:51
  • Baby SheamusBaby Sheamus728,640
    21 Sep 2019 16 Jul 2020
    2 0 0
    Injustice 2 Review

    Introduction Injustice 2 is a sequel to Injustice: Gods Among Us, released in 2013. Four years after that, Netherrealm Studios released Injustice 2, a fighting game with a cast of DC Superheroes as the fighters. The game concept is simple. Like any fighting game, two opponents go one on one facing each other and have to inflict damage to drain the opponent's health bar to win. But before I dig deep into anything, lets start off with the playable characters.

    Characters Injustice 2 allows you to play as: Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Supergirl, Green Arrow, Atrocitus, Gorilla Grodd, Deadshot, Harley Quinn, The Flash, Blue Beetle, Bane, Poison Ivy, Brainiac, Robin, Black Canary, Swamp Thing, Catwoman, Cheetah, Cyborg, Doctor Fate, Dr. Fate, Green Lantern, Firestorm, Green Arrow, Black Adam, Captain Cold, Scarecrow, and Joker. Paid DLC characters consist of Darkseid, Red Hood, Starfire, Sub Zero, Black Manta, Raiden, Atom, Hellboy, Enchantress, and The TMNT.

    Characters analysis So this is a pretty good cast of DC superheroes and villains. Now I'm not really into superheroes too much, (I've played some Batman games which were excellent and a ton of LEGO games) but it didn’t seem to effect my experience in Injustice 2. You might think that if you don't care about DC superheroes, then this isn't the game for you but that isn't the case. I personally really like the playable characters, it seems like there isn't too many so everyone seems special in their own way. I've always been a Batman main, which probably makes me look very basic, but every character is different and can suit different playing styles. Want to be quick and agile? The Flash is for you. Want to be big and Strong? Bane or Atrocitus might do the trick. Or perhaps you want to use projectiles? Green Arrow and Doctor Fate are there for you.

    Game mechanics I’ll try to give a simple rundown of the game mechanics. The A button corresponds to heavy attacks, Y is for medium attacks, and X is for light attacks. Also, B is for special moves. Heavy attacks can bounce your opponent which is good for combos, and can also sweep their legs or bounce them off the wall. Y and X will do normal moves but certain combinations can do cool moves. Lastly, special moves are different for every character. They’re all simple little attacks like a short burst of extra strength or a mini shield. Health Bars are unique in Injustice. Unlike Street Fighter, draining the health bar doesn’t reset the winner’s health, the battle continues until both bars are drained from either opponent. This simply means that their isn’t rounds like in Street Fighter or Tekken. Another mechanic is the super move, executed by pressing RT and LT at the same time. If landed correctly, a cut scene will display your character beating up your opponent for a lot of damage and in a cinematic manner. Arena transitions are also a nifty touch. Simply press back-A to launch your opponent through the stage and end up somewhere else! Yet another mechanic is a clash. A clash starts when one opponent holds down RT. Thus, the two fighters will share some words and the two opponents will have to choose how many bars of their meter to use. Every clash has a defender and offender. If the offender uses more bars, then he/she’ll inflict damage. If the defender gives up more bars, then he/she’ll regain health. As I was just talking about, the meter is used for multiple reasons. If it’s full, you can unleash a super move. You can also put super armor on your moves if you use a bar from it. The meter can also be used in clash’s as I just mentioned.

    Story Mode Okay, there isn't much I'm going to say in order to avoid spoilers for those who haven't played it yet. Like story mode in Mortal Kombat, you do One on One matches mostly the whole time with cut scenes in between each fight. Each chapter is designated to a certain character, so you'll get to practice a lot of different characters throughout story mode. However, at some points you'll get a choice of who you want to play as between two options.

    The Multiverse Here's one of the features that makes Injustice 2 really stand out from the rest. The Multiverse is a section in the single player menu that allows you to check on rotating events that shift at certain hours and offer different rewards each time. You can get gear, abilities, boxes, etc. (don't worry I'll cover what these things are later). In the multiverse you can play as whoever you want and unlock gear for those characters too, which is cool if you want to unlock things for certain characters.

    Customizing Characters I'm going to have to say a lot about this one. In Injustice 2, every single character has their own level that goes up while you play as them. Every character also has their very own gear load out that you can customize and improve. But in order to equip gear and such, you'll have to unlock them. Now unlocking gear can be done in multiple ways. Sometimes completing battles will grant you random gear for a character. Or, you can unlock or purchase Mother Boxes which are basically crates that give you random gear. Gear is classified into three classes. Grey is common, Blue is rare, and Gold is Epic. But aside from that, all gear has level requirements, so the character who can equip that gear needs to be the required level. All gear has a sell price, and you can sell them for credits to buy new Mother Boxes. Gear doesn't give new moves however, it just increases attributes. Another thing you can get, but far more rare are abilities. These nifty finds can give your character a new move or technique that can be used in battle. Any character may only equip two at a time however. And lastly, you can unlock Shaders (which are basically alternate colors/skins).

    Online Play Online play can be pretty fun in Injustice 2. You can play ranked matches, player matches, and King of the Hill, etc. In ranked matches, your forced to fight the first person you can connect to, and then you fight them in a 2 out of 3 matchup. You’ll probably play competitive players in this area, so this isn’t a good place to start. Rather, you should begin in player matches. Now, you can accept or decline opponents you connect you. The game even shows you their level, career record, and connection strength. So if your opponent looks too challenging for you then you don’t have to agree to fight them. Once you accept your foe, you get to fight them in one match, and you can rematch, select a new fighter, or leave after the completion of the match. Another online mode is KOTH (King of the hill). As you may have known, in KOTH, you join a lobby of about 8-10 players. Two people fight at once, the king and challenger. The rules are simple, if you beat the king, you become the king. The other people in the lobby go in a rotation until they can challenge the king. So the king keeps fighting new people until he/she is defeated. One more online mode I’ll mention is AI Battle Simulator. In this mode, you can have three AI fighters of yours go against three AI fighters of another person.

    Graphics and Sound This game has great graphics. The battles always look smooth, the sound is so realistic, the voice acting is great, and some of the character interactions are pretty funny. You can’t ask anything more than this game has to offer with graphics and sound.

    Achievements As you may have seen, Injustice 2 has a lot of achievements. 62 from the base game, 12 from DLC, so 74 altogether. I currently sit at 73 out of 74 and I’ll explain the one I’m missing in a bit… As you can tell from the TA score, this game is a tough completion. There’s a ton of achievements that are super easy (basically anything that requires certain characters). Some of the tougher achievements consist of playing 200 online matches, KOTH achievements, reaching level 20 with EVERYONE, and everyone’s favorite: Cat Fight. Playing the online matches isn’t necessarily hard, but it takes a long time. The KOTH achievements are much easier by boosting, I literally had to do it with two Xboxs! Another one I didn’t mention was winning after your opponent has over 90% of their health and you have less than 10%. There are three ways to do this. You can either be inhuman and actually pull it off legit. You can be losing badly and then your opponents controller dies. Or you can boost like I did. Reaching level 20 is as grindy as a gear, as you’ll find yourself beating a second player in local versus for hours and hours. And lastly is the granddaddy of 'em all. “Catwoman must defeat Cheetah with the final hit coming from Cat Call.” If you haven’t played the game then this must sound easy, but the hard part is unlocking cat call. I have been trying for over a year through the Multiverse and I must have pretty bad luck because I still haven’t gotten it. Maybe one day…*

    Summary Alright, that was a long review wasn’t it? I’ll close this out with a final score/summary.

    Single Player - 9.5/10
    Multiplayer - 9.5/10
    Game play - 10/10
    Graphics/Sound - 10/10
    Achievements - 8/10
    Fun - 10/10

    Score - 55/60 = 92% (5 stars) rock

    Overall, this a great game. If you enjoy fighting games then this is a must have. Even if you don’t I would recommend this game to you because it’s simply an amazing game. The single player and online modes are fantastic and the game is overall a ton of fun.

    *EDIT: On July 5th of 2020, I have finally obtained Cat Call and completed this game!
    5.0