Definitely an OK, good game if you are into the fighting genre of video games and even more so if you enjoy superhero games. While I wish the story was focused elsewhere, it definitely could of been worse. This is the kind of story, where you play as a variety of characters and your enjoyment goes up and down depending on if they are your kind of play style.
I liked it a lot, a HUGE Batman/DC fan, the MK game with the super hero skin was super enjoyable, but no matter what the gear stats rubbed me the wrong way. Crates, drops, levelling up gear, i don't want it or need it anywhere near a fighting game. Even though i enjoyed it a lot it just RUINED the whole thing for me. Big s hame.
I got the "Legendary Edition" of this game with a very generous discount on a sale, coming with all DLC content except for the "God" and "Demon" shaders for character customization (a weird omission). Honestly, I'm very glad I didn't pay full price (getting the game and every DLC becomes insanely expensive).
At first glance this is an awesome game. It plays well, has a nice roster, great graphics, and even what seems like a really cool character customization system. The game plays much more fluidly than the first one, and looks gorgeous and colorful (which Gods Among Us most certainly wasn't), so for the first few minutes it's a pretty good experience. But the hole goes deeper...
My problems actually started at the tutorial. Yes, the tutorial. For some reason, this game's tutorial is insanely, ridiculously hard. There's a section on "block pressure" that I still haven't finished and probably never will. Who playtested this? I've never had difficulty with any other NRS tutorial (including Mortal Kombat 11, which I've also seen its tutorial get criticized but I could finish it just fine).
The roster is interesting, even if you take only the base characters into account. The abundance of Batman representatives is often criticized, but the likes of Firestorm, Blue Beetle and Gorilla Grodd are certainly inspired picks, for example, although the absence of iconic characters like Shazam and Lex Luthor (for story reasons - attesting that story modes in fighting games were a mistake) is felt. Arena selection is very scarce, leading to a bit of repetitiveness, with only 12 stages (8 of them have transitions raising the actual total to 20) - compare with the first Injustice, which had 15 stages, all but two having transitions making for a total of 29 arenas to fight. Only places visited in the story mode are present in the Injustice 2 stage selection (unlike the first game where some areas were there purely for versus mode enjoyment), and due to circumstances in the story, iconic locations like the Justice League Watchtower, Themyscira and the Hall of Justice are absent, further showing how story mode hampers this game.
And what about the gameplay itself? Well, as I mentioned, at first glance it seems alright. Fighting works well. Then you notice how bad the issue with move balancing is - it's more notable with zoning (this game has a huge zoning problem), but there's overall A LOT of very spammable moves that you see often not only in online, but the AI gets in on the action too! It makes fights very boring unless you're on versus mode with either a good, fair player or AI in very specific difficulties. In fact, the opponent AI in this game borders on bullshit. A big chunk of this game's grinding (more on that later on) is done in the Multiverse mode, which is basically a differentiated arcade mode that changes every few hours. The AI in Multiverse is ridiculous, making the experience very frustrating. There are also modifiers with baffling effects, like spinning the screen around or randomly turning the game upside down - these two were notable for me because they made me legitimately nauseous. You can put your own friendly AI (which is adjustable) to go through Multiverse for you, which makes things way easier, but what's the point of playing a video game if you have to sit through an AI doing things for you?
Customization is a big selling point of this game that NRS emphasized and it's what the grinding is directed at. You can customize each character's body parts as well as one special item that's specific to each character. Boy, is it a grind. You get gear from lootboxes (called Mother Boxes in this game - nothing in common with the actual Mother Box items from the comics except for the name) or after some matches, and it is all completely randomized. You can get repeated gear, you can fill up your inventory if you're not careful, you can spend years grinding without finding a piece you want. Gear is divided into common, rare, "epic" and "legendary", but aside from the legendary gear, it doesn't matter much in practice - I spent months grinding for a single "common" head piece for Black Adam. Legendary gear is another problem altogether: there's only one for each character, and you unlock them in the Legendary Multiverses, which as a concept is fine, but each stage of these multiverses has ABSURD requirements like playing 3000 minutes with the character, finishing 200 multiverse events with them, finishing 100 matches with a certain combo etc. It's another tedious grind that reeks of artificial longevity, but works more as a turn-off for the game because of how tedious it is. There are also shaders, which are color palettes you can equip on your loadout. One shader for each character is obtained by playing through arcade mode (a "simulator" in the Multiverse mode), and another one is either a story mode reward or, for characters who don't have a story chapter, a random reward. The rest of them are either random rewards or you can buy them with source crystals. Source crystals are a kind of currency in the game that you can get either by leveling up your profile (which takes longer the more you play the game), playing through story mode for the first time, finishing the tutorial and in Guild mode (a mode where you join a group to finish special Multiverse events together). Oh, and you can also buy source crystals with real money if you don't want to grind - hooray for microtransactions in fully-priced games, right? Needless to say it's another grind, moreso because shaders can be VERY rare drops.
But gear isn't only cosmetic! They actually affect stats. This fighting game has these RPG-like elements with stat-changing gear and character levels (more grinding). This means not only that you can't just equip what you think looks cooler on your character without risking getting terrible stats, but whether you'll have difficulty or not fighting an opponent because they have better attack or defense boils down to whether you're lucky enough to get good gear in this game's busted RNG. In versus mode you can turn "competitive mode" on to disable stat changes, making your gear purely cosmetic and prevent it from upsetting balance, but that will also disable any custom abilities you might have equipped on your character, such as Robin's "Staff of Grayson" which gives him Nightwing's moveset from the previous game. So no matter what, you're bound to get screwed over!
Story mode is decent, all things considered. There's some really good parts, some really bad ones and some okay moments. I might not like some of the paths taken for the story (I particularly despise "evil Superman" depictions, but I actually give this one a pass since this game takes place in the aftermath of the "bad universe" from the previous one) and find the ending (both of them) ridiculous, but I can't deny NRS made a good job on selling the story. The voice acting (both in the original and Brazilian dubs) is on point and so are the visuals. It really feels like you're watching a big Justice League story unfold. Doesn't keep me from thinking the resources, time, effort and budget spent on cutscenes should go towards more substantial base game content, but I won't have the audacity to say the story mode is actually bad.
All in all, despite me going hard on it, Injustice 2 is a good game, and I can even say I like it - I just think it makes you suffer too much through baffling mechanics so you can even begin to have fun with it. But if you only care about pure fighting and nothing else, and have nice people to play with, Injustice 2 won't disappoint. Just make sure to get the Legendary Edition on a sale, because a gigantic amount of the game's full content is DLC that will weigh on your wallet if you try to get all of it at full price.
In terms of a follow up, this was much better than the first one. Expanding the amount of DC characters used, creating a new system of items to collect and the interesting choices for guest characters make this game worth it. It also shows how much better Netherrelm studios are getting with their fighting games.