E3 2016: Injustice 2 Preview
Injustice: Gods Among Us was not only a great fighting game, but it was also a very entertaining superhero story. A nightmarish twisted universe where Superman was pushed past his breaking limits and decided to become a totalitarian dictator? A world where everyone has superhuman strength and toughness – hand waved away as Kryptonian Nanotechnology for the normally non super powered heroes – which meant that Harley Quinn could get into a fist fight with Wonder Woman and not get splattered? A world where everyone was fighting everyone else in epic brawls for a variety of crazy and awesome reasons? Injustice was a hell of a lot of fun, and now NetherRealm Studios is making a sequel.
Nothing’s been revealed on the story thus far, but that’s actually one of the things I’m looking forward to most. NetherRealm Studios more or less popularised cinematic story modes for fighting games, and their delightfully cheesy plots that result in everyone fighting everyone else are always entertaining. With evil Superman having been defeated and his dictatorship demolished by Batman and the regular universe’s Justice League, I’m guessing evil Superman makes his triumphant return and escapes from his prison. Because come on, it’s the DC universe. Their prisons/asylums might as well have revolving doors.
So far only a handful of the roster has been revealed, with some expected returning characters – Batman, Superman, Flash, Aquaman, Wonder Woman, because duh – as well as new ones such as Supergirl, Atrocitus, and Gorilla Grodd. The character select screen suggests roughly 28 characters, with DLC characters being likely down the track. I’m hoping they’ll pick from a wide range of characters, as well as a few more obscure ones. Fingers crossed for a member of the Great Ten or something. August General in Iron would make an awesome fighting game character!
Gameplay wise, there seems to be little in the way of changes. Characters have similar move sets, they maintain their special trait abilities, like Batman’s bat swarm, or Superman’s attack buff, stages have interactables and transitions, and aside from refinement, like a new meter burn escape move, there seems to be little in the way of changes to the standard gameplay formula. Except for one very significant one: loot.
That’s right loot. The wonderful, addictive, compelling, and probably downright unhealthy gameplay feature that is randomly generated loot. How many hours have you spent in RPGs, hunting down the best looking and most overpowered gear? Well now you can do that in a fighting game. The cinematic trailer, which initially baffled me with the constant robotic shifting power armours, was referring to this. Fights will grant you random loot. The random loot can be used to customise your characters. Not only does it cosmetically alter your character and some of their moves, but it also buffs the characters. Small things like increases to health or damage, or even larger things that will completely effect how a special move is used to plays out. The loot and customisation system seems like it’ll add a very compelling and addictive role playing element to the game.
Thankfully though, for the sake of competitive balance, the director Ed Boon has declared that these buffs can be turned off and matches fought normally, without the benefit of a level 100 Superman decked out in the most legendary of gear brutalising some level 1 Batman equipped with only common garbage gear.
Either way, I’m seriously looking forward to Injustice 2. For the no doubt entertaining story, for the joy that is superhero brawling, and for that sweet, sweet loot.
About: Simon Mawson
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