Quick Look: Injustice 2

What do DC Comics and NetherRealm Studios have in common? One creates the worlds of many popular superheroes like Batman and Superman. The other creates the Mortal Kombat series. So on paper, they don’t have loads in common. But what happens when you smoosh them together, taking the incredible Mortal Kombat engine and DC’s heroes? You get Injustice.

More specifically, in this instance, you get Injustice 2. The original Injustice was a hit with a rapidly told, but well-paced and engaging story, combined with the excellent mechanics of the modern Mortal Kombat series.

So here I am. A good chunk of hours into a game that looks great, but as a fighting game rookie, I have had some hesitation about diving in. Fighters aren’t really my bag, but when something is so highly-regarded, and it’s available on Game Pass, how can I say no?

Story

Those unfamiliar with the story of Injustice (like me!) will be treated to quite the tale! I believe that this is a narrative borne from the games, and sets the stage perfectly to give these DC Heroes and Villains chance to fight each other.

With Superman having killed the Joker in Injustice: God among us, Batman is really miffed. Heroes don’t kill! Although beating people to a pulp is apparently fine…….

With the events of the first game setting-up Injustice 2, it starts out with Batman trying to stop Superman from killing people. Harkening back to the previous game and seeing which characters have sided with whom.

Suddenly, it all seems to be for naught, as Brainiac invades and everyone needs to get hands-on. It isn’t that cut and dry, but you get the gist. Injustice 2 is a comic book story if there ever was one, but it’s delivered in really nice cutscenes with fantastic animations.

Fights are punctuated by narrative beats and the flow is just superb. This is how you tell a story through a fighting game!

Injustice
 

Feels great

I’m no fighting game expert. In fact, I’m known to be largely quite bad at them. That doesn’t mean to say I don’t know how a good fighter should feel!

Injustice 2 is spot-on. The weight and movement of each character has been considered. Pace, power, abilities. Everyone feels unique, and you can find a groove with a few that feel like they work for you. I had a real tough time using Harley Quinn, she just doesn’t flow for me. But oddly, Green Arrow just works for me really nicely. Fluid movement, ranged options and a moveset I don’t find too distracting.

Of course, I’m not playing Injustice as a pro, and honestly, I suspect I’m getting 12% of the moves used with every character I try. In face, that’s probably quite generous. What that shows though, is how accessible Injustice 2 an be, allowing me to use who I want and feel largely like I’m achieving something.

That’s no mean feat! The times I’ve tried to play Tekken or Street Fighter and just failed miserably. My button-bashing methods only work for so long and then I get frustrated and give up. Injustice makes me feel like I might nearly know what I’m doing, and that’s priceless.

I can pick-up any character and have a good idea of how to feel them out for things I’ll personally find useful from them.

Injustice 2 does something for me that a lot of fighters just can’t do. It keeps me engaged, regardless of my ability/inclination to get good.

 

Looks great

Injustice 2 came out a few of years ago now (2017), so I expected it to be a little lacking in the visuals and animation, by modern standards (2021).

Damn, was I pleased to be wrong. Playing on a modest PC rig, I’ve been easily getting 75 frames per second during fights, slick 1080p visuals and just an all-round stunning presentation. My 1660 Super holds up really well here, and I feel like games from 2015 to now are the sweet-spot for it.

PC capability aside, Injustice 2 just looks incredible. The character animations, both during gameplay and during cutscenes are just fantastic. I audibly gasped at one point during a cutscene because of just how good Harley Quinn was animated, even down to eyes and mouth.

Details are amazing, with the imperfection on people’s skin, the textures on costumes and other materials. All the stages are rich environments, with enough going on to set the stage, but never over-bearing or distracting.

Injustice 2 is a bloody good looking game!

 

Sounds great

All of Injustice 2 is scored by a dramatic orchestral background. Implying serious tone and carrying-over those comic-book vibes. It’s perfect for the tone being set here, and never really gets in the way of the action, never distracts from what’s going on, on-screen.

Tied-in with some pretty solid voice acting, you’re in for an audible treat. Yes, the dialogue can be a little bit too much sometimes. Often hitting those comic book levels of conversation. But thematically it works and it was never too much that it was jarring.

Injustice 2 knows exactly what it is and delivers exactly what it needs. We don’t need lush environmental sounds, we need punches, kicks, explosions and chaos. Everything here is crisp, clear and perfect for what’s happening on-screen.

 

Overall

Injustice 2 is a perfect slice of fighting game action. Built by a studio with such pedigree as NetherRealm, it shows. Carrying a lot over from the Mortal Kombat series, you get cinematic special moves, interactive stages and all the incredible animation you would expect.

Tied-in with the great story mode and cinematics. You’re in for a treat. Especially if you get it on Game Pass or really cheap somewhere.

I’ve not touched multiplayer or a few of the other modes yet, and I have a whole lot of characters to try out in the roster. Online multiplayer in fighters isn’t my bag, but I’m going to give it a try.

Being a “Quick Look” I won’t score Injustice 2, especially as I’ll likely never see everything that the game has to offer. But, for what it’s worth, as a novice fighter and a DC fan, I am incredibly happy. Impressed with the detail, the gameplay and everything I’ve seen so far.

If you’re fancying a fighter for a change, you could do much worse than to play Injustice 2. Wonderful stuff, and I’ll be getting plenty more time into it during 2022.

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