Power up and build the ultimate version of your favorite DC legends in INJUSTICE 2. With a massive selection of DC Super Heroes and Super-Villains, INJUSTICE 2 allows you to equip every iconic character with unique and powerful gear earned throughout the game. Experience an unprecedented level of control over how your favorite characters look, how they fight, and how they develop across a huge variety of game modes. This is your super Hero. Your Journey. Your Injustice.
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Honestly, I know little to nothing about fighting games in general. Every time I play one I just button mash my way through low-level bots. However, as someone who is a fan of DC Comics, I got this game as a kid after having enjoyed the story of the first game. And overall, I think this game tells a decent, very simple story. It’s cool to see these characters interact in ways they probably never would under normal circumstances. I wouldn’t say the narrative is necessarily a standout, but it gets the job done and is much easier to follow than other fighting game stories. I still think the first game had a more effective narrative though, mostly due to the fact that Injustice 2 largely feels like a retread of the first’s.
The first Injustice was a really fresh take on the DC universe, and Injustice 2 is the natural progression of both its world and gameplay. The roster is really great and has some deep cuts; it’s much larger than the first game’s, and the armor system it introduces adds a fun layer of personalization to each character. How you unlock these pieces of armor is pretty grindy though, and sadly, largely revolves around annoying loot box mechanics. At a certain point, the customization just didn’t feel worth it as I had to manage so many pieces of armor for so many characters.
I couldn’t tell you if the fighting mechanics are good or not, but I thought it was pretty fun. The characters are varied and comic-accurate, the special moves are pretty cool, and the combos are nice. This game never really blew me away, but due to my lack of experience with fighting games, I think that was an inevitability. I had a decent amount of fun with it.
I love the way Netherrealms games play, and increasingly the way they look. I also think they are generally pretty creative about how to incentivize a single player to continue playing their games, especially compared to the only other fighter franchise I've really had any passion for, Street Fighter. Between their towers, their cosmetics, their story modes and even just the general zaniness of each fight and detail of the animations should you ever be foolish enough to log on to an online match, Netherrealms is among if not the most considerate developer of fighting games for single people with no game playing friends.
That said, WHEW is Injustice 2 a bloated and confusing mess. Like Mortal Kombat 11 it features hundreds of cosmetics that affect how and why you'll fight with a given character, earned through a literal handful of currencies (my favorite comment on a random Reddit thread asking to explain these currencies: "I assume by the lack of information in this thread no one understands?" - hoofrog) that make the whole thing idiot proof in that idiots will never penetrate its logic confidently. While baffling in execution, it's a pretty perfect encapsulation of what makes comic book properties so fun for artists AND players as there's a near endless number of looks for each character to embody.
But most of that isn't what I care about, because again I'm a solo player and more to the point I don't find the cosmetic lust all that appealing in its own right without people I eventually want to show them off to, so for me and Netherrealms it all comes down to the story mode. Coming off the heels of the original cut of Zack Snyder's Justice League, and following directly from the events of their own telling of the League's origins three years prior which was pretty strong, Injustice 2 is a whacky, ridiculous hodgepodge of ideas and half-baked dialogue that constantly floats just out of reach of cognition.
It's been long enough I can't really parse what I experienced here anymore - something about Brainiac, Gorilla Grodd (lol) and everyone flipping between being mind-controlled or not? - but I'm not sure I could have even if I'd been aware of this website and written this write-up immediately upon uninstalling the game. Looking back on the game, though, I can tell we never fully gelled: I first fired the game up on January 1st, only made it to the halfway point of the story mode over two months later while only 30% of the people who booted this game (A PS+ offering, I might add) even finished the campaign (I did so two weeks after making it halfway - I recall the Snyder Cut had dropped and I was in a Justice League fugue state). Meanwhile, so many of the other trophies are Civilization VI levels of specific and clearly designed for the hardcore player who, I guess, might've never launched the campaign in the first place.
To reiterate, I think Netherrealms has been on a real heater since rebooting the Mortal Kombat franchise in 2009 and I consider their games essentially must-buys though I often wait for a significant discount before jumping on board due to my heavy bias towards the narrative. Moments like these (and, if I'm being honest, much of MKX) make me feel justified in doing so because Injustice 2 is bizarrely uneven in execution and content despite being so clearly considered and labored over.