Injustice 2 has ramped up from origin story to fully fledged hero rather quickly; the reveal trailer above dropped a week ago and now at E3 we have a playable build of the game. Netherrealm Studios (NRS) have been busy on the show floor conducting various interviews and play sessions. From this we can see how the DC fighting game is progressing thus far.
Many aspects of the first Injustice triumphantly return; this includes interactable battlegrounds, ridiculous super moves, and personalized dialogue between characters. Some features have been tightened up and look much more smooth. For instance the clunky wager system (where two fighters bet super meter against each other) from the first game no longer ruins the pace of battle. The backgrounds and character models look much better as well. The expanded colors of the game really help break away from the gritty grey and green that plague superhero titles.
One of the more exciting things about a fighting game based on an entire comic universe is the roster potential. 6 confirmed fighters have entered the arena: 3 returning and 3 new. It would be impossible to have a DC universe game without Batman and Superman. Aquaman is also back since the character has regained popularity in the last few years. Newcomers include red lantern Atrocitus, Flash villain Gorilla Grodd, and super cuz Supergirl.
There are a bunch of popular and not so well known characters that I would love to see in the game and speculation has already started. Ed Boon, co-creator of Mortal Kombat and head of Netherrealm Studios, has already started his trolling ways and hinted at various characters. The biggest was a tweet about an Injustice 2 shirt that the devs were giving out at a fighting contest for Mortal Kombat X. Symbols printed on the fabric included Harley Quinn’s hammer, Dr Fate’s mask and what look like to be Captain Cold’s gun. This definitely does not confirm these characters but it does give them better chances.
The most controversial part of the game comes from the new gear system. NRS is known for adding experimental features that they hope will innovate the fighting genre (interactable arenas) and this is no exception. Gear does two things; it alters the look of your character by adding body armor, and it changes your fighting stats. There will apparently be hundreds of pieces to unlock. The ability to design a custom fighter that will look different from all others is really smart.
However, the changing of stats in a fighting game has a lot of people, especially competitive players, worried. Gear works as a leveling up system and you can have someone playing a stronger version of the same character. Boon has said that there will be ways to turn this off for online and tournament play. However your feel, the idea of having an RPG like drop system in this type of game does make it stand out.
All this information, consequently, has made me pretty excited for NRS’ next game. They’ve proven themselves with their last three games and they continue to try and push the genre. While they have made some missteps (MKX’s roster and online metagame) they still show great love for the DC source material. Injustice 2 releases in 2017 on the Xbox One and PS4 and will have a lot more to show off in the second half of the year. We’ll be there to spot it in the skies.