Injustice 2 Review

Injustice: Gods Among Us is one of the best video games I’ve ever played. It had a great story, great voice acting, great gameplay, great music, great graphics…

IMG_1734

for the most part. It was pretty much everything a fan could ask for in a DC fighting game. And after nearly a year of build up and anticipation, how does the sequel hold up? It’s every bit as awesome as the first game and more.

First of all, the game looks gorgeous! The graphics are incredible and the cutscenes have amazing cinematography. And while the graphics in the first game are good, it looks like a game from the early 2000’s compared to this game. The motion capture work is incredible and all the characters faces are as expressive as could possibly be. Just look at the scene where Harley talks about all the blood on her hands from before the Joker died.

The story mode is Phenomenal! The first game did have a very cinematic feel that could even fool you into thinking it is a movie. But make no mistake. Injustice 2 IS a movie. It looks, feels and is paced like a big budget summer Blockbuster. Which is fitting since it came out just in time for Summer Blockbuster season. It is a more than worthy follow up to the original. While I could understand why people would disagree, I actually think the story in Injustice 2 is better than the first, at least in terms of pacing. It takes a lot of the themes and elements from the first games story and takes them exactly where they would logically continue. And that’s not to mention the routes they go with the returning characters. For example, in the first game, it’s explained that Superman revealed Batman’s true identity to the world. And through a tweet of all things as explained in the Injustice prequel comics. It’s hard to explain why, but it’s interesting to see how Batman would operate if people found out who he really was. And remember that one criticism I had with the first game regarding the final battle in it? Well, the game actually fixed that problem for me. I won’t spoil how, but it’s great. But the true standout to me was Supergirl’s arc in the “movie”. She’s actually what I would consider the closest thing to a main character, in the sense that she has the most development in the story. And her voice actress, Laura Bailey gives a great performance.

The cast, once again, is awesome. Though there actually a lot of new voices, a few of them actually being replacements for actors from the first game. Like Neal McDonough, who played both The Flash and Damian Wayne, has been replaced with Taliesin Jaffe as the Flash and Scott Porter as Damian Wayne. I liked McDonough’s take on the Flash in the first game, but I liked Jaffe’s take a lot more. He just had a lot more wittiness, for lack of a better term, to him. And Scott Porter as Damian was a huge improvement. Something about Batman and his son both sounding like middle-aged men just felt and sounded weird. Damian in the first game was just kind of a brute. He still is in this one, but Porter just gives him a little more of a personality. Adam Baldwin has also been replaced with Steve Blum as Hal Jordan/Green Lantern. Admittedly, I thought it was an odd choice when I first heard him, but now, I honestly can’t believe no ones ever thought to have him play Hal before because he was a great voice for the character. Other than that, anyone who doesn’t return, simply isn’t here because their characters aren’t here. Kevin Conroy, as I and many others have said before is the definitive voice of Batman. George Newbern and Susan Eisenberg continue to shine as Superman and Wonder Woman respectively. Tara Strong gives quite possibly her best performance as Harley Quinn yet. And Richard Epcar, while not in the game for very long, is great interpretation of the Joker. Though I’m confused as to why Mark Hamill didn’t return to voice Joker now that he’s come out of retirement from playing the character. And Alan Tudyk as Green Arrow? Seriously? Rocksteady? Green Arrow solo game… please? Oh, and I forgot to say it in the review for the first game. Grey DeLisle is the definitive voice of Catwoman.

And there’s also a lot of great new additions to the roster. As I said, Laura Bailey is fantastic as Supergirl. Vanessa Marshall as Black Canary is genius. Antony Del Rio was perfect as Blue Beetle. Ogie Banks as Firestorm was cool. Liam O’Brien was awesome as Eobard Thawne. Freddy Krueger himself, Robert Englund as Scarecrow? If that’s not great casting, I don’t know what is. Now one characters voice I found strange was Jeffrey Combs as Brainiac. Now don’t get me wrong. Combs is absolutely perfect for the role. Like with Steve Blum as Hal Jordan, I can’t believe no ones ever thought to cast him before. I might even go so far as to say he’s the definitive voice for the character. But I have to wonder why Dee Bradley Baker didn’t end up voicing him since it’s clearly his voice in the cinematic trailer you see here. But again, Combs does great so not much to complain about.

One thing that Injustice 2 definitely has that’s superior to the first game is it’s replay value. While I do often pop the first game in for fun, there’s not really much to do on there apart from play the story mode, do single fights or play online. Yeah, there’s the S.T.A.R. Labs missions, but they’re pretty boring and since I have the ultimate edition of the game, I already have all the skins playing those missions would’ve unlocked. But with this game? 2 words. Gear System. There is still a form of character skins in the game, I’ll talk more in detail about that in a bit, but now, whenever you play through the game, whether it’s through the story mode or the Multiverse, I’ll talk about that in a bit as well, you’ll gain new pieces of gear and even new abilities that you can mix and match to create your own personalized version of your favorite characters(Well, the ones that are in the game at least.). The idea is to make it that if you, say, play as Superman online against another person who’s also playing as Superman, your Superman will play at least somewhat differently from their Superman. It’s a ton of fun to look through all the new gear I get and since I often get gear that I can’t access until I get that particular character to a certain level, it just motivates me to play that character more. The gear pieces are split into 3 categories; Common, Rare and Epic. Common gear will have some small stat upgrades, but will mainly just be meant for cosmetic customization. Rare gear will have great stats. And Epic gear has really great stats and there are actually certain Epic gears that form into particular costumes for characters. For example, Batman towards the end of the game puts on a more powerful suit than the one he wears throughout the majority of the game. I don’t know what exactly will happen once I gain all the gear pieces for that suit, but I can’t wait to find out.

Now Premiere Skins are where things get particularly interesting. Now we actually got something akin to these in the first game with two particular skins. Those being the Arrow TV series Green Arrow skin which replaces Alan Tudyk’s Green Arrow with Stephen Amell’s voice, costume and likeness, and the John Stewart Green Lantern skin which, of course changes Hal into John Stewart and now voiced by Phil Lamarr, who voiced him in the Justice League animated series, which is awesome. The ladder actually returns for this game. To simplify, it alters a characters voice and dialogue during gameplay. Next to John Stewart, we have Supergirl turning into Power Girl, The Flash turning into Eobard Thawne, Captain Cold turning into Mr. Freeze and Cheetah turning into Vixen. Of course us Arrowverse fans want to see skins of those versions of certain characters with their actors voices, but there are so many other premiere skins we’d love to see. Like you could have Val-Zod, the Superman of Earth-2, as a skin for Superman. And rather than have Phil Lamarr do yet another voice in the game, why not get Mehcad Brooks from the CW’s Supergirl series? I know it’s an odd choice seeing as it would essentially be Jimmy Olsen as Superman, but I think it’d be cool. And if Netherrealm feels they NEED to have him another Mortal Kombat character, have Raiden be a skin for Black Adam.

But the Premiere skins actually lead me to my first negative. You can’t use the gear system on them. Well, technically you can, but it will only effect your stats. You can’t customize the look. The closest you get to customizing the premiere skins is that when you get the skins, they come with two slightly different color palettes. You see one of the gear system selections is shaders, which give your character a new color scheme. It’s in this selection that you select the skin and then assign it as one of your custom gear load outs. I find this kind of annoying, partially because there’s a very simple solution. Have the premiere skins be applied through the heads section of the gear system. Now some might say “What about the Power Girl skin? She doesn’t where the S symbol on her chest.” So what? The point of the gear system is to create your own unique look for the characters. You wanna give Power Girl the S symbol on her costume? Go ahead. You wanna have Supergirl without the S symbol? Go ahead. It’s up to you. Oh, and also VIXEN SHOULD NOT JUST BE A SKIN FOR CHEETAH YA MORONS!!!!!!!! And that’s all I’ll say about that.

Deathstroke is not in this game, which is disappointing because his gear system would’ve been epic(no pun intended). I don’t know who my favorite character to play as is because there’s a lot of good ones, but I’m leaning towards either Scarecrow or Green Lantern. Swamp Thing is fun too.

My least favorite character to play as is probably Brainiac. I don’t know why, but I find his moves and combos really hard to pull off. Plus, he seems to move really slow, especially when you jump. It’s like my opponent somehow uses the Flash’s time slowing ability.

I have some other issues, but there mostly nitpicks. Injustice 2 is everything I wanted in a sequel to Gods Among Us and more. Injustice 2 gets a 9.5/10. Now if you’re not interested in actually getting and playing the game and you just want to watch it as a movie, here ya go. But get comfy because it clocks in at a little under 3 hours. But trust me, it’s worth the watch. If Letterboxd let you put video games on lists, this would be pretty high on my favorite movies of 2017 list.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s