Here’s what you should know before Injustice 2 releases
With the announcement this past week of Dr. Fate as the newest playable character, Injustice 2 continues its march toward its May 16th release date (May 18th in the UK) for both the PS4 and Xbox One game consoles. Fans of both fighting games and the DC universe are eagerly awaiting the sequel to the successful 2013 game from Chicago-based NetherRealm Studios. Studio founder Ed Boon and his team have been slowly but surely releasing information on this game via Twitter and various social media outlets ever since the game was first leaked just prior to 2016’s E3 in June of that year. Followers of the game have had to keep track of all these various posts for months, but here’s a rundown of everything we know so far.
A New Threat?
Injustice 2 takes place just after the events of the first game. Superman has been defeated and his regime has crumbled while Batman and his team are left to pick up the ashes. It is unclear as to what role he will play, but based on some of the trailers that are available on the game’s YouTube channel, Brainiac will play a prominent role in the story line. He is promising a redrawing of the lines. Whether this could mean that Superman and Batman finally team up against an imminent threat is yet to be determined.
One way to get a better idea of what the story may look like would be to take a look at the confirmed characters. According to IGN, 20 characters are confirmed with one character being a confirmed pre-order bonus. The list is as follows (note some characters are listed because of promotional materials rather than a confirmation):
Brainiac (unconfirmed but story related)
Darkseid (Pre-Order bonus character)
Green Arrow (included in mobile game promotion)
Green Lantern (included in Ultimate Edition promotion)
Robin (Damian Wayne)
There are also some characters that have been teased in promotional materials (Green Lantern and Green Arrow) as well as characters being part of other character’s attacks (one trailer shows Black Manta involved in combat but is, as of this writing, unconfirmed as a playable character). Based on these characters, the opportunity for interesting meetings and character development outside of the comics exist with possible future implications for the books. The fact that the Robin included in the game is a grown Damian Wayne confronting Batman is a juicy opportunity to delve into that relationship. What will Damian Wayne have to say to his father after all these years?
New Gear, New Way To Play
As for the gameplay of Injustice 2, fans should come to expect the engine from Mortal Kombat X and the first Injustice game to be refined and tweaked to perfection in order to offer smooth gameplay. According to Vince Ingenito from IGN, the game will run at 1080p at 60fps to provide a crisp picture of combat. There will be no fatalities (a la Mortal Kombat) but super moves will be included with devastating attacks and screen filling mayhem. Furthermore, the same IGN article highlights that the most interesting change to the gameplay is the inclusion of gear that will provide incremental upgrades to your characters, in an RPG style that will provide a bevy of customization options. For example, an item, when equipped, might provide more damage or health regeneration. Similar to Overwatch’s loot boxes earned through gameplay, players will also be able to access gear that can provide small modifiers to characters as well as cosmetic changes to satisfy the diehard fans of DC (Gaslight or Knightfall Batman anyone?).
Typically, the FGC (Fighting Game Community) tends to frown on fighting games that offer any kind of leveling system but according to the same IGN source, Ed Boon was adamant that players will be able to compete with vanilla versions of their characters with no buffs or modifiers. He states:
“Geared-out, leveled-up characters could be excluded in favor of vanilla versions in versus modes, and even that there would be some sort of matchmaking options that would separate players who wanted geared and non-geared characters, so there’s no world in which serious competitive players will be forced to engage with this system if they don’t want to.”
Similar in the vein of the no items option in Smash Bros, players will be able to compete online with these version in order to avoid ‘cheap tactics and victories’. This should ensure the game will be embraced by the FGC and be featured in tournaments thus ensuring another successful run of the game.
Injustice Comics March On
As for the comics, DC Comics will continue to offer book based on the series. Injustice: Ground Zero (currently on the market) offers players insight to the events of the game’s story line through the perspective of Harley Quinn. Coming in April, DCcomics.com reports that a new line of comic books based on events leading up to Injustice 2 will come out that will be written by Tom Taylor and with artwork provided by Bruno Redondo. Fans will recognize them as the team that brought us the first batch of books based on the Injustice video games. The goal of the team will be to bridge the gap between the two games. Writer Tom Taylor tells DCComics.com:
“Our overarching goal is to tell one complete story between the comics and the games. There are a lot less ‘Gods Among Us’ in INJUSTICE 2 than when we started our story, but we hope to join Batman and the world’s finest Superheroes in cleaning up the mess an evil Superman and his regime left behind.”
Injustice On The Go
The Injustice experience will not be limited to console games and comic books. Available for Android and IOS, NetherRealm Studios is planning to launch an Injustice 2 app. According to his February 15th Twitter post, Ed Boon tweeted:
“Yes #Injustice2 is coming to mobile! Brand new app with tons of new features, modes & all new combat system! More info soon!”
In typical fashion, the game’s makers continue to tease new content as we get closer to the release date.
A Trinity of Editions
The game’s publisher, WB Games, confirms on game’s website that they will be providing three editions at launch that will be providing bonus content to those willing to spend a few extra bucks on some items. They are as follows:
Standard Edition ($59.99)
Digital Deluxe Edition ($79.99)- includes 3 DLC fighters; Premier skin for Supergirl; Defender Shader Pack
Ultimate Edition ($99.99) – 9 DLC fighters; Premier Skin for Supergirl/Flash/Green Lantern; Destroyer and Defender Pack
The editions and their content align with Ed Boon and his teams’ dedication to being more aggressive with respect to DLC than they have been in the past. Injustice 2 promises to overshadow the amount of content included in previous games such as the first Injustice game and Mortal Kombat XL.
For more coverage and updates on Injustice 2, keep following dccomicsnews.com.