Fighting games are notorious for having weak plots and two-dimensional characters. This Injustice 2 review will prove that it is possible to have an amazing fighting game with a compelling story. Of course, it helps when you have the entire DC cabinet of toys to play with, including the full line of the Justice League.
This captivating sequel expands on the comic line and adds a new dimension to characters we all know. You will have the chance to play as the Dark Knight, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, and the greatest foe of Gotham, The Joker. Maybe you prefer the raw power of Superman himself and want to dish out some justice of your own? Whatever you like about this universe of characters, there's something for everybody in Injustice 2.
What Is Injustice 2?
This game is a flat style fighting game where two opponents face off in a series of matches. It’s a familiar formula with the super-powered flavors of DC comics thrown into the mix. While playing as a velociraptor or Sub-Zero in older games have been fun, it really can’t compare to playing as Batman or Superman. The game could be fine with just a simple match based fighting system, but it doesn’t stop there.
This Injustice 2 review took us down a dark path in the other-worlds story of the famous Justice League, adding in a rich narrative that’s rare in games of this type. We particularly enjoy the interplay between different factions of characters where sometimes villains like Harley Quinn are forced to align with Batman because Superman has gone evil. Yeah, let that thought soak in for a while and tell us you don’t want to play
What You Need To Know
There isn’t too much we can say that would make the mechanics of the game sound new and innovative. But don't let that sway you because everything that seems stale and underwhelming in other modern fighting games has been reinvigorated in this title. There are great new features in this sequel, like the Gear Box system for rewarding players, or the great random choice replay value in matches, just to name a few of our favorites. This game really gets the basics right, something often neglected in fighting games.
Taking place after the catastrophic events of Gods Amongst Us, Injustice 2 follows Batman and his patchwork team of rebels as they try to recover from the defeat and capture of a despotic Kal El. With Superman defeated and imprisoned, a new villain arrives to fill the vacuum: Brainiac. This glutton for knowledge has come to Earth to not only kill the last Kryptonian (finishing what he started when he initially destroyed Krypton and all the people on it) but to enslave the beleaguered people of Earth as well.
It’s up to Batman and his faction, including Aqua-Man, Cat Woman, and yes, even Harley Quinn, to defeat Brainiac and save the world yet again.
This game has everyone but the kitchen sink—but that might come in a later update. Not only do you have access to multiple eras of Justice League members, but there are even multi-generational options like the Jay Garrick Flash or the John Stewart Green Lantern. If the stock collection of characters don’t get you, how about the Joker, Lex Luthor, or even Mister Freeze?
To further convince you, then might we add: there is an excellent DLC that gives you the chance to fight as one of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Yes, you read that correctly.
The combat system is standard for this type of game. There’s not much we can dissect from this collection of mechanics, save to say it’s not for beginning players prone to button mashing. The directional-based timed fighting system used in this game takes getting used to. The added frustration is watered down by a good balance of difficulty settings, making the option to train and familiarize yourself with certain characters just a matter of practice.
This game is available at most online digital retailers for $15 to $25, with a range of editions and console packages included. Compared to the other games we checked out for this Injustice 2 review, it was one of the least expensive.
How It Compares
We picked a few similar products available on the market to see how they compare for this Injustice 2 review.
- With every match you'll earn gear to equip, customize and evolve your favorite DC Super Hero or Super-Villain,...
- Continue the epic cinematic story set in motion in INJUSTICE: GODS AMONG US as Batman and his allies work towards...
- Players can choose from the biggest DC roster ever offered in a fighting game, from classic fan favorites such as...
There are problems in the game industry in creating compelling narratives in one-on-one fighting style games. One of the following entries in this Injustice 2 review is a prime example of this issue. DC’s Injustice story is engaging, exciting, and relevant through the scores of even matches between characters. This feat is built on the backs of well-known pop culture icons, so there was a lot going for it in the beginning. We should all hope a smart room of writers could craft a compelling reason for these rogues to battle, and our hopes are fulfilled with a layered story about alliances and the consequences of loyalty.
The graphics are phenomenal, with a carefully crafted artistic vision for every character. This game takes a hint from its predecessor and expands on the ability to use your environment to your tactical advantage in a fight, adding in a slew of creative ways to harm your sparring partner.
The controls are a direction based system that’s designed to stop the random abuse of button smashing. This can frustrate for the novice player, but with a little practice and some familiarity with the character, you can learn everything you need to know.
The fights are epic—in the beginning. Though two experienced players can continue to have memorable and challenging matchups, the replay value of the typical pairings can grow stale. Replay value is stifled by the gratuitous cut scenes that interrupt the flow of play.
- The daughter of Johnny Cage and Sonya Blade, has a lot to live up to. Her parents were among the few kombatants to...
- NEXT-GEN FATALITIES - Crush your opponents with the most intense and gruesome finishing moves ever
- Includes Bo'Rai Cho, Leatherface, Jason, Triborg, Predator, Alien, Tremor, Goro and Tanya
The Kombat tournament of the multi-realm is back, again, and it’s as bloody as ever. Activision has been consistent with this series, with little pretension towards being anything other than a fun fighting game. The plot isn’t bad, per se, but it’s not the thing people come for when they want to fight their friends. This edition of the series was produced by the same team that made Injustice: Gods Amongst Us, so there are a lot of familiar elements shared between these two animated side-fighters.
The evil Shinnok, an ancient and powerful warlord, has been released from his amulet prison. The earth-realm sends its best fighters, led by Johnny Cage and Sonya Blade, into the battle once again to save the universe from domination. This new world and back-story give the developers an opportunity to introduce a handful of new characters, which all seem to fit nicely in the Mortal Kombat fighting style.
The XL version of this game is a late-generation port from the initial PS3 release. Unlike a lot of other ports, this one holds up nicely, taking full advantage of the late-stage shaders and physics engines they now have at their disposal. The environments are dynamic and don’t add too much noise to the playable area, making the focus on the action in front a lot easier. The gore and violence are as animated and overblown as ever, even introducing several new classes of end-match finishing moves.
Mortal Kombat XL is the most comparable title we played for this Injustice 2 review, and that’s saying something about the quality of both games. These franchises have benefitted from keeping the button hardware static while innovating the play system inside the game. Players can keep their hard-earned muscle memory while continuing to challenge their skills with new fight mechanics.
There are several new playable characters besides all the franchise favorites, plus three variations to each one on the playable board. That number of fighting variations leads to exciting matchups every time, pitting diverse move collections and play styles against one another. The classic challenge tower is still in the game, this time adding new challenges to changing match styles as you climb up the ladder of success.
- The biggest, best high-definition KOF game yet: With tons of play modes, a refined, faster paced fighting engine, over...
- Smooth, stable net functionality with global online play: Challengers can take on opponents anywhere in the world and...
- Console-exclusive content: Featuring characters, stages, and modes not available in the arcades, the home console...
This is the most expensive game we played for this Injustice 2 review, which is astounding when you consider the fact it’s the twelfth sequel to the original King of Fighters. There is a general rule for long-running franchises in entertainment: it only gets worse over time. The King of Fighters XIII is the exception to that rule as the series developers have embraced new visual advancements and fighting game trends. This was a popular arcade machine overseas, so when the consoles had time to port the game for a global market, they gave it everything they had. There’s an expanded character roster, new environments to fight in, and a whole new series of power moves with new build mechanics.
There are a lot of story arcs to cover here, so we might have a tough time really explaining what’s happening in the King of Fighters XIII. It’s the thirteenth in the series, but a direct continuation of the eleventh installment. It is the official conclusion of a late-series story arc for the character Ash Crimson. We can’t judge the complicated storyline too harshly, because this is an Injustice 2 review. DC Comics has built their empire on the back of complicated, crisscrossing, inter-dimensional storytelling, so no one else on this list would compare.
The King of Fighters XIII uses a cell style animation made popular by the latter Super Street Fighter games. This was the cream of the crop in graphics—for the previous generation of consoles. This is an expensive game for the last generation gaming console, so it’s a good thing the animation style brings a dose of nostalgia.
The developers have stripped several of the previous mechanics from this installment, including the Clash system, the Guard Attack, and the way your super XP is calculated and spent during the match. In the place of those old mechanics, they’ve added in some fun yet simplified dynamics. The new Drive Cancel system of fighting mechanics makes the use of your super moves more strategic by adding in a combo execution system that splits the XP bar into a second count called Hyperdrive.
With the introduction of a second combo bar, called the Hyperdrive, you can time your use of special and super moves in tandem. This gives you the ability to stack hit combos like never before. The characters can deliver punishing combinations of moves once they learn how this new system works.
- Be familiar with the Gachi button, by timing your opponents attacks and pressing the gachi button in time, you can guard...
- By combining the direction pad and the gachi button presses, launch combo attacks against your opponents.
- Launch skills and special character attacks at the expense of your MP gage
From the same studio that developed the popular Guilty Gear series comes the final contender in this Injustice 2 review. This is another fighting game where third-dimension models are placed against a two-dimensional plane. It looks great, especially considering it’s near the decade mark since the initial release. Battle Fantasia was originally a popular arcade cabinet in Japan which was later developed for the PS3 & Xbox 360 generation of consoles and brought over to the United States. It was and still is a big hit worldwide. Though it’s not available for later generations of consoles, it is still available online and at second-hand game traders.
The storyline bar is set low in the world of one-on-one fighting games, and we’re not so sure that Battle Fantasia cleared it. Voice heavy story and narratives were a common staple on all game types by the time this was released, so there was no good reason not to update the text-based storyline for this special port edition. These types of fighting games are loved for the fast play and rapid match turnover. Seeing this much reading for such little reward kind of defeats the purpose of these game styles.
These arcade ports are often disappointing, and it’s hard not to feel that way about this game. The graphics were revolutionary ten years before this was ported onto third-generation consoles. The three-dimensional rendered character looked great, but it was stifled by the restrictive two-dimensional movement on the screen. There is a marked improvement for Battle Fantasia, but in an Injustice 2 review, these PS3 port-level graphics just won’t cut it.
This is from the post-button smashing era, so there is an attempt to organize the special button combinations. It’s an impossible task because now we’ve gone from joysticks to thumb-sticks, and with the sensitivity dialed up in newer generation consoles, this can get kind of tedious. It’s not unheard of that you might get ghosted on the more rapid fighting combos.
Battle Fantasia is fun and cartoonish, which can get annoying for someone that likes to play for marathon sessions—oh, and they are not a Nintendo fan. This has a lot in common with Super Smash Brothers. Battle Fantasia is fun and engaging in short bursts, which is perfect for an arcade cabinet, but maybe not so much at home.
Injustice 2 Review: Final Verdict
We compared some serious titles for this Injustice 2 Review, and we enjoyed all of them. But, there was no experience as satisfying as the one we had playing the Injustice sequel. The story was engaging and felt natural in the DC universe. There were so many fun combinations of playable characters we could see great replay value if you and some friends just want to throw down for a couple of matches. It’s because of these reasons we give this game four out of five stars.