To those unfamiliar with arcade fighters, this genre can be a pretty intimidating prospect.
The reason for this is that while most the developers of most of these types of games push the idea that they’re easy to play but hard to master, most of their focus tends to be directed towards the latter consideration than the former.
In other words, those players who just want a hit and giggle with these games usually find out after a session of button bashing, that they’re hideously ill-equipped to face a lot of human opponents.
Injustice 2 Review – Welcome you noobs
Injustice 2 sidesteps this problem in two neat ways. First, the balance between noobs and arcade fighter veterans is superb; the former may get their arse handed to them in the online arena, but a meaty and rather well put together superhero single-player mode will keep them occupied for ages. Furthermore, it’ll likely inspire them to investigate the depth this fighter offers – after all, who doesn’t want to ‘git gud’ at being Batman?
Second, Injustice 2 boasts one of the better teaching modes seen in a game of this type. A brief tutorial will ground players in the basics and then there’s a practice mode where they’re encouraged to investigate further. On top of that, the learning curve in the single-player isn’t too steep, probably because developer NetherRealm Studios has put a decent amount of work into the story and doesn’t want anyone put off by an intimidating difficulty level.
So it won’t be long before players are ready to test their mettle against human opponents.
Injustice 2 Review – The plot’s the thing
As was mentioned, the campaign is worth exploring, not just as a primer for the online mode, but rather it’s… really good.
It’s utterly bonkers and, yes, a lot of its plot’s contrivances are there simply to pit superhero against superhero, but NetherRealm deserves some credit for making the story anchoring their game’s single-player engaging throughout. It’s dark, somewhat gritty and players are encouraged to keep playing simply to see the next bend in the plot’s twisting road.
The story picks up from the first game with Superman in prison (a red sun cell that keeps his powers contained) and his brutal regime in pieces. However, it’s not long before Braniac and Gorilla Grodd are on the scene threatening the entire planet and Batman has to release his old friend/nemesis in order to save the day. If it sounds pretty straightforward, don’t be deterred; things get pretty twisted pretty quickly.
The campaign will take around five to six hours to blaze through and, on top of the fact it’s a blast play, it’s also incredibly easy on the eyes. The animation of the entire cast is superb and the action that blows up the screen is frequently eye-popping. The voice acting is lively is right on the nail even if the dialogue could use a few more jokes.
Injustice 2 Review – Get good, get gear
Anyone who played the first game in this series, Injustice: Gods Among Us, will be in familiar territory. NetherRealms used what worked in the first game and then added tweaks and tucks. Players kick off with the basics, graduate to throws and Super Moves (fantastically OTT attacks that require a power meter to be filled) and before you know it, they’re executing air escapes, putting opponents in juggles and adding thumbstick curls and flicks to their attacks.
Aside from bragging rights, players have another reason to explore all the depth Injustice 2 has to offer: gear. One of the game’s new features is that it offers goodies to players in the form of skins and stats. In a way, it’s an RPG-lite; every battle players take part in earns them points with which they can improve their different heroes in the strength, defence and speed departments.
To a degree this system gives regular players an edge but it doesn’t make every confrontation totally lopsided. There are also a bunch of outfits players can unlock too. There’s nothing too outlandish – you can’t dress Batman up as Wonder Woman – but there’s enough variety to be getting on with.
Injustice 2 Review – Verdict
Injustice 2 is a fantastic game. It’s welcoming to both newbies and arcade fighter veterans and boasts one of the better single-player modes in a game of this genre for ages.
If you’ve ever wanted to dip your toes into this genre or if you’re a seasoned fighter looking for a game to eat up the rest of the month, Injustice 2 fits the bill and then some. This game offers great depth and decent rewards to those wishing to up their skill levels and for those who just want to kick Superman’s arse with button-bashing… well, it does that too
- Injustice 2 was reviewed on a PS4. A review copy was provided by the publisher.