Injustice 2 Review
Injustice 2 isn’t really your typical fighting game, and although it has all the makings of a solid fighting game – which it is – it is still not ‘typical.’ What is typical? Typical isn’t a bad thing, but it’s an industry constant that does get dated pretty quickly. This this case, typical is that multiplayer reigns supreme, single player is more of an introductory element, and if you cannot compete online, there is not point to even purchasing the game. That’s a typical fighting game, and thankfully for me, that is not Injustice 2.
I’m not a huge fighting game kind of guy, which may make you believe my opinion on Injustice 2 is not valid. I think, however, that my opinion is very valid, especially when discussing the single player aspects of the game. I don’t play fighting games for that one reason: single player is often an hour or two long introductory to the game. Injustice 2 flips the script on this and lays out a wonderful 6-8 hour single player adventure, supplemented by tons of other single player offerings that help unlock loot, weapons, experience, and more for your favorite characters. While many will herald the online as the be-all end-all of Injustice 2, I think the single player modes are more than enough to bring on any DC or gaming fan.
Single Player Modes
There are essentially two single player modes for players to sink their teeth into: the somewhat odd, but still ultimately fantastic story mode, and the always changing Multiverse. Both can be played solo, and both have longevity not common in fighting games. While ultimately Multiverse provides the bulk and longevity of the single player experience, I thought the single player campaign story was not slouch either.
Within the Justice League, problems have been percolating for years, and differing opinions on how to deal with the worlds underbelly – both common criminals and super villains – is ripping the DC Universe apart. The major players on each side are headed by Batman and Superman, the latter who feels all criminals should instantly die, freeing the crumbling world from the evil that holds it. Batman’s rehabilitation plans are in direct contrast with Superman’s plans, and all of the DC heroes are forced to pick sides. It’s an odd tail to be sure, but there is enough intrigue to keep you going as you uncover the plot and see who will ultimately win.
With the ability to choose between two characters in certain situations, the story can be played more than once with some minor differences. The biggest change, however, happens in the dying moments of the story where you will choose between two options, both of which have different game endings. Playing both options is a must, as you will want to see how the DC universe changes based on the route you choose.
The Campaign is a great way to learn the DC fighting style, and with new mechanics galore, the ability to play as many of the games included characters makes this more of an in depth (story) tutorial than just a common campaign.
While I enjoyed playing through the campaign twice on different difficulties – an option for more or less experienced players – it was the Multiverse that really grabbed my attention. Daily challenges are added to the multiverse with varying victory conditions, but when completed, you will be awarded with many customization – both aesthetically and game play wise – as well as experience for your favorite fighters. Should you choose to take these fighters online, the attributes associated with the new gear will be altered to create a balanced and fair fight, but the aesthetic look will remain.
The way the Multiverse is set up really entices the player to log in daily and complete the required challenges. The anticipation of rare loot is what drove me back to the mode day after day. Although challenges may require you to use fighters you normally wouldn’t, more often than not, you will be able to focus your training, leveling, and loot collecting on your favorite DC hero.
Easy to Learn, Hard to Master
Getting the controls down for play on the two easiest modes is easy, and will be enjoyable for payers new to the fighting game genre. However, to make progressions online and in single play difficulty, it will take time to master the various abilities and moves of each and every fighter. Although many fighting games create a strict mechanic that all players follow – for example, perhaps a combination of X + X + Y would do a special move – Injustice 2 does not, making the unique moves of every fighter, well, unique. What might create a special move for Batman probably won’t for Superman, and vice versa.
It is this mechanic that is both outstanding and frustrating. On one hand, it does force the player to lock in on a few favorite fighters and learn their mechanics, and also providing hours and hours of gameplay as you attempt to add more and more fighters to your arsenal. On the negative side, however, the story campaign can be incredibly frustrating to complete as you are forced to use new fighters time after time, without understanding their various move sets.
On lower difficulty levels, button mashing will work, and I would argue that for this reason, Injustice 2 is probably the most accessible fighting game I’ve playing a long, long time. While you might not be able to take your game online, you can easily complete the campaign, fight friends who have the same skill level as yourself, and complete many of the objectives in the Multiverse. Striking a balance that works for all gamers is often a difficult task for even the most accomplished video game designers, so I give extra marks to these developers for the work they did on Injustice 2.
If you’ve been intrigued by fighting games in the past, but have been uncertain on whether or not you will enjoy one, Injustice 2 is the perfect gateway for you. With a robust single player experience that tops all other fighting game experiences, there is little not to like about Injustice 2. Whether you play this game online, or just enjoy the single player experience, there isn’t much to complain about in this complete package.