When DC announced Injustice 2, ya boy was ready. Produced by NeatherRealm studios (the amazing guys behind the Mortal Kombat franchise—the games, not the movies), the original Injustice debut had a bevvy of kick-ass characters ready to grapple, punch, and hard kick their way to the top. Featuring fan favorites like Nightwing, Aquaman and Zatanna, Injustice proved to be a fighting game fan boys and gals never knew they needed. So does Injustice 2 live up to the hype machine DC has built? Let's discuss.
For starters, the story mode is fantastic, something not really fleshed out in the original game. Injustice 2 picks up a few years after the events of Injustice: Gods Amongs Us, showing us a Superman imprisoned in a Red Sun cell, Batman's current regime featuring the aid of newcomers Harley Quinn, Blue Beetle, and Green Arrow, while Superman's former allies attempt to break out the Man of Steel, due to an impending alien invasion, compliments of Braniac. But the best part? If you've never been a fan for Superman, then this is the game for you, because by Kryptons exploding sun is the villain of this story. Wonder Woman and Black Adam seem to be #TeamSuperman while Supergirl is the emotional core of the storyline à la Spiderman in Civil War.
Boom! Pow! Kaplunk!
The fighting is exceptionally better this time around, and that's pretty epic considering that the first Injustice was an incredible debut. The combos and string connects land faster and connecting hits are seamless when using grapplers like Black Canary and Catwoman. Even your heavy hitters like Superman and Green Lantern villain Atrocitus have more fluid moves. Though for some reason our favorite Amazon princess still feels rather clunky (and let's not start on her paltry allegiance to the Man of Steel this time around). The game's customizable gear system is a tad confusing at first, but they payoff to power up your superheroes (or villains) to offer them some sweet accessories is always a win.
The Library is Open
One of the byproducts of the Story Mode is getting some some stellar character interactions. Each character taunts their opponent before battle with some sassy and sometimes downright hilarious banter. Harley begging Poison Ivy for a girls night out again gave me some Batman the Animated Series FOMO. Batman and Damian have severe daddy issues as seen by the "you never loved me" type of dialogue. Black Canary shade levels and her readings are even more legendary. Her "Remember when I made your ears bleed, Clark?" If those ain't fightin' words, I don't know what is. The supes bring it. With both fist and super powers and legendary reads enough to bury the Fortress of Solitude.
We're Missing the Rainbow Here
While I'm all the way open to Harley and Poison Ivy's queer subtext in their banter, Injustice 2 is actually missing out on a huge opportunity to include some queer characters. Gay Batman Midnighter would've been a perfect addition to the assassin/grappler characters of the game, while his lover Apollo's Superman-like qualities would've fleshed out the light roster of heavy hitters. Batwoman deserves to be apart of the Batverse here, especially when this iteration of Injustice replaced gay boy crush Nightwing with Damian, who's pretty good, but has nothing on Dick Grayson's windblown tresses and butt-friendly action shots. Even adding more diverse characters like Static Shock or adding Vixen as a character instead of a skin would've improved the representation of this game.
Overall, Injustice 2 holds its own with a collection of amazing characters (though there's definitely room for improvement) and offers a fighting system that brings out the inner betch in us all. So if you're ready for smacking around supes with a Canary Cry or Catwoman's whip, look no further. We'll give Injustice 2 an 8/10 (would play again).