Injustice 2 And Making DC Characters The Way You Want Them To Be

When superheroes and supervillains fight, it’s probably best to stay out of the way. ‘Gods Among Us’ was a pretty apt subtitle for the original Injustice, given how many of the characters could level a city block without batting an eyelid. While Injustice 2 comes without subtitle, it’s definitely not shying away from that point.

As you’d expect from a fighting game sequel such as this, there’s an expanded roster of characters to choose from. Only a small selection of the cast have been confirmed so far, both in terms of returning characters and new one, but NetherRealm are definitely getting to have a little fun with the DC universe. There’s Supergirl and Jamie Reyes’ Blue Beetle, decked out in his battlesuit, but it’s villains like Gorilla Grodd and Atrocitus who look like being more fun. I mean, one’s a gorilla with telekinetic and telepathic powers, and the other can summon a super powered cat to fight alongside him.

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Thankfully, there’s plenty of scope for button mashing in Injustice 2. To put it bluntly, I’m not good at fighting games, but I just about managed to hold my own and figure out how to trigger some of the bigger and better moves at my disposal. Playing a few matches as Harley Quinn, I started to get the hang of things. Harley’s a lot of over the top fun, with her playfully acrobatic style, the cheek of pulling out pistols in a fist fight, before smacking people with a baseball bat moments later, and a new character trait that calls a pack of hyena to attack.

Atrocitus is quite a change of pace from Harley. Not only is he a bit slower and heavier, his blood and anger-based Red Lantern powers give him a very different visual style. Of course, you’ll play as him because of Dex-Starr, the superpowered cat that is his character trait, who comes in and actually adds a clever new layer of moves. Dex-Starr can be commanded to attack the opponent, shield you and more, adding a few other options in the middle of a fight.

Arenas are now much more reactive to the fights that are raging within them. Of course, there’s still the points in the level where characters can perform certain environmental moves, which change depending on how a character fights – someone big and heavy isn’t about to perform backflips now, are they? And there’s more destructibility, like when Grodd might grab onto Batman and throw him into a cinema’s lit up sign, wrecking it in the process and leaving a real mark on the environment.

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They’re now multi-stage arenas, letting the fight move from one area to the next, via a potentially quite ludicrous cutscene that has one of the two fighters getting thrown through walls and buildings, only for the fight to pick up moments later in a different part of the world. They have that bombastic look in common with the Super moves, with Batman calling in the Batplane for some aerial support, or Atrocitus transporting his enemy to another world, it seems, and calling forth a bull made of his blood-based powers to charge into them.

The more you play with certain characters, the more they’ll grow and develop, thanks to the new loot drops. Superman starts off looking like the guy in blue spandex that we all know, but loot drops might give you a wreath to put on his head, different gauntlets, boots, a new cape, and piece by piece, transform him into one of the other incarnations of the character. Perhaps something in black and silver with a nice hammer and sickle on his chest?

These are more than cosmetic changes though, as each item affects the characters stats, boosting strength, agility, defence and health, or potentially lending them new moves. The concern is that this could start to unbalance the game, tipping the scales between a character that you’ve levelled up and one that you haven’t given as much loving care and attention.

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Of course, there’s plenty of ways around that, and in regard to online play there will obviously be matchmaking, and there’s simple ways to level the playing field for tournaments. For the regular player, Injustice 2 actually handles character progression very nicely, letting both characters in a fight earn experience, and not just the one that you’re playing as. If you really like pummelling Batman’s smug know-it-all vigilante detective face into the ground, he’ll level up at a rate of knots.

That might help keep you coming back for more, giving you more avenues to explore as you choose how to equip your character, but it really boils down to the fighting itself. The heft and weight to the fighting, the grander destruction, the superpowered cat and gorilla… it’s got a little bit more of everything.

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