Injustice is back and this time the series is bigger, better and more bad-ass than before!! Injustice: Gods Among Us was released back in 2013 and followed the story of a dictator Superman who wanted to put a stop to crime. His method was to prevent crime from even happening by killing anyone who might commit it and, eventually, he was placed behind bars by Batman, but not without the help of heroes from a parallel Earth. Injustice 2 carries on from this story but has progressed a few years; Bruce Wayne is focused on improving the superhero image, Harley Quinn is working alongside the Bat and Kara Zor-El, Supergirl, has arrived on Earth.
The story focuses on one of DC’s most notorious villains, Brainiac, and follows his lust for knowledge. Here on Earth we view metals and gems as precious, he regards knowledge as a precious resource and, in his words, “Knowledge is more valuable if it is rare”. It’s down to a ragtag team of superheroes and villains from both Earth-1 and Earth-2 to save the day.
Injustice 2 has brought in a new roster of characters; we see returning favourite Aquaman, along with Batman and Joker, but we’re also introduced to a few new heroes such as Firestorm and Bluebeetle. Continuity is featured throughout the story, no longer is Shazam a playable character, due to his demise in the previous iteration. But we have the introduction of Black Canary who was “unavailable” to help against Superman’s rise to power. In total there are 29 playable characters to choose from which were decided upon by NetherRealm Studios and DC Comics, similar to the previous game. Darkseid is a pre-order bonus and Brainiac, who isn‘t available to begin with, can be unlocked by completing the story mode. There are also 3 DLC characters to look forward to; Red Hood, Starfire and Sub-Zero. Following on from the success of Scorpion in the first instalment, the decision to bring back another third-party character was made.
Possibly the most interesting and in-depth feature of Injustice 2 is the gear system. Victories will reward you with pieces of gear for the characters; these range from head, torso, arms, legs and other. Each item will boost a certain stat, and high end pieces may even offer special bonuses, like taking less damage from stage transitions. The stats to be boosted are strength, ability, defence and health. The more you play the character, the more gear you’ll unlock, however, you will still receive gear for other characters even if you don’t play them. I really love the entire system, not only does it give you rewards for playing well with your favourite character, but it completely overhauls their traditional image.
I’ve put in a fair few hours in as Black Adam and his costume is now radically different to how he usually appears. Along with items you can also unlock new abilities and colours. I’ve yet to receive many abilities but some will add new moves to your roster whilst others will replace existing abilities, for example, Black Adam can shoot a lightning bolt at the feet of his opponents, but with the ability I have equipped, he shoots it straight forward instead. Minor changes that give you a reason to keep playing. The colours are mostly slightly different shades but certain characters, such as The Flash and Green Lantern, have skins that change the actual character. The Flash can be changed to resemble Reverse Flash or the original Jay Garrick Flash, and Green Lantern can be played as John Stewart, instead of Hal Jordan.
Injustice 2 can be a tricky title to master. The learning curve is steep and if you want to progress online then you’ll need to remember each and every move a character has. It’s not as simple as remembering a sequence of buttons, you really need to understand how each move interacts with the opponent and the timing required to pull off the combos.