Title: Injustice 2
Format: PS4, Xbox One
Developer: NetherRealm Studios
Publisher: WB Games
ESRB Rating: T (Teen)
Release Date: May 16, 2017
The Grade: A-
Injustice 2 Haiku Review
Massive launch roster
Play Multiverse forever
Supes still a butthead
What is it? The sequel to “Injustice: Gods Among Us,” the popular fighting game from 2013. In the first Injustice, gamers saw Superman kill the Joker in an act of vengeance for destroying Metropolis and killing Lois Lane. This sparked a battle between heroes in how Earth should be ruled. Superman formed a single, unifying government called the One Earth Regime with a legion of heroes. Batman, believing Superman to be a dictator, formed his own underground insurgency.
In this next chapter of the war between Batman and Superman, bonds are broken, new alliances are forged and a new evil group called the Society, led by Gorilla Grodd, threaten the planet.
Highs: “Injustice 2” takes everything that worked so well in the critically acclaimed “Injustice: Gods Among Us” and improves upon it. The fighting mechanics have been fine tuned, there’s a hefty 28 heroes and villains in the launch roster, the game looks fantastic and there’s an endless amount of things to do.
Most fighting games give lip service to their single player campaign but not “Injustice 2.” The story mode runs about eight hours and does a great job of blending in the fiction from the comic books of the same name, giving them a twist, and then telling an original story. New characters are introduced not just to expand the roster, but with plot driven purpose. As a comic book fan, I appreciated this level of commitment on a different medium.
Once the single player campaign is over, players averse to testing their skills online still have plenty to do thanks to The Multiverse. This new mode offers players a myriad of gameplay opportunities that change every few hours. Each Multiverse planet has its own missions, set of rules, modifiers, rewards and difficulty levels. And because missions are time limited, there’s always something new to experience.
Of course, if you really want to challenge yourself gamers can jump online. You can battle with friends, host a tournament, and compete in ranked and unranked matches. Guilds are also available, so friends or like minded gamers can team up to earn XP, Achievements/Trophies or work together on daily and weekly challenges.
One of the most interesting aspects of “Injustice 2” is the ability to customize your character with gear and special moves through loot. Everything you do in the game earns you different levels of rewards. Players can improve and customize their favorite heroes by leveling up and experiencing as many different modes of the game as possible. Earned rewards can improve your favorite characters strength, ability, defense and health, making them even tougher to defeat.
Lows: While I love games that reward players with loot, after a while I found collecting boxes and regenerating and transforming gear to be a bit of chore. Buying loot boxes is a great convenience, but what you get from them is completely random and once you reach a certain level, some of the items you get are utterly useless. This leads to a repetitive cycle of buying and selling boxes to eventually get what you want. It’s a time consuming distraction from what this game does best.
The Grade: Normally I shy away from the fighter genre. I’m not particularly adept at fight games so I usually get my hat handed to me online. But “Injustice 2” is so balanced and robust that anyone will enjoy it, from the hardcore fans to guys like me who’d normally shy aware from this type of series. “Injustice 2” truly has something for everyone.
Gazette Media Columnist Terry Terrones is a veteran video game journalist. He has written for numerous publications including GamePro, GamesBeat, PC World, GameZone, and Official Xbox Magazine. You can follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/terryterrones.