Injustice 2 Review

Richard Walker

Guess what? The world is in perilous danger once again, meaning it's high time Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman and the rest of the gang all got together to fight it, right? If only it were so simple. In Injustice 2, forging alliances is a tricky business, and in what might be NetherRealm's best story mode yet, all is never quite what it seems, especially in the wake of the events in Gods Among Us. Who can you trust?

This time, it's Brainiac who's decided he wants a piece of the action, doing his usual thing of wanting to consume a planet, suck out all of the knowledge and other good bits, then discard what's left over. What unfolds is a compelling yarn, featuring the entire roster of DC heroes and villains pummelling each other as Earth's fate hangs in the balance. Injustice 2's story is not only lengthier and more dramatic than what's gone before, but it also enables you to choose between characters at certain junctures to keep things interesting. The whole thing looks stunning too.

This is what happens when Supes gets a bit lairy down the pub.

Injustice 2's meaty campaign is at the heart of a fighting game packed to the gills with a vast array of modes that cover practically every base imaginable too, whether you just fancy a quick dabble with a fight against the AI or want to delve deep into the massive Multiverse mode. There's something for everyone, and that's before you even take into account the wealth of possibilities that the new gear system affords.

Every single battle brings with it a selection of rewards, be it simple currency for unlocking 'Mother Boxes' filled with new gear, various pieces of high level loot, another set of currency to transform gear or regen tokens to regenerate whichever pieces of apparel you like. This is all accessed via the Brother Eye hub, where you can also purchase and unlock new boxes filled with items for Injustice 2's roster.

As gear systems go, it's pretty deep, enabling you to not only cosmetically alter each of Injustice 2's thirty characters (including Darkseid, if you pre-ordered, and Brainiac, unlocked by finishing the story), but also lend each boosts to their stats. It's here that you can also see alternate characters, like Reverse Flash, Nightwing, Power Girl, Vixen and John Stewart Green Lantern, or apply a variety of different colours and such. Unfortunately, it looks like some of these alternate characters will be DLC (a few are currently listed as 'not for sale'), although we're hoping you won't have to pay for them.

That's the reward system then, but the actual fighting mechanics are obviously where it's at. Injustice: Gods Among Us was no slouch as an accessible, deceptively deep fighter, but Injustice 2 feels even more fluid and immediate. You can't really get away with button mashing either, as combos are king, and stringing them together seamlessly is the only sure way to achieve victory, especially at the game's higher difficulties. And especially online, if you come up against someone well-versed in NetherRealm's stable of fighting games.

Clearly, Mortal Kombat X has had something of an influence on Injustice 2, although for the most part, the core fighting systems haven't really evolved all that much since the previous game. That said, it certainly feels tighter, and the differences between each character is pronounced, meaning a different challenge to master depending on who you pick. Often it's better to stick with one character, learning their moves and various nuances, before choosing to take on another.

Again, the super meter enables you to pull off enhanced meter burn moves and initiate clashes, while advanced techniques include the ability to recover in mid-air, or dodge roll through attacks or projectiles. The coup de grace, of course, is the Super Move, a devastating cinematic finisher that sees your chosen hero or villain staging an elaborate series of attacks that eats up roughly half of your rival's health bar. Battles feel weighty and pack real impact too, in NetherRealm's reliably robust style.

Transitions and environmental attacks also make a comeback, ensuring that Injustice 2 is every bit as dynamic as both the first game and Mortal Kombat X. At times, it can make other fighting games look positively pedestrian by comparison. Injustice 2 really knows how to create a proper super-hero/super-villain smackdown. That's one of the best parts of the game; enjoying the havoc and destruction that unfolds as epic battles run their course.

Once you've dispensed with the epic story, which sees uneasy alliances being formed and broken, as DC's heroes and villains face up to an all-consuming threat, there's real meat to be found in Multiverse mode. Not entirely unlike Mortal Kombat X's towers, the Multiverse comprises several different planets, each with their own series of live events. It's one of the best ways to earn Mother Boxes too, should you reach the score target set before you.

As a replacement for the previous game's S.T.A.R. Lab, The Multiverse is something you're more likely to return to again and again, with a regularly updated set of challenges to tackle, while the AI Battle Simulator is a novel take on a spectator mode of sorts. You assemble a team of three AI characters, then have your friends or other players challenge them in AI battles, or you can watch them fight another player's AI. Victory reaps rewards and you can view the match back if you want to see the action again.

Fate's magic or Atrocitus' rage. Which will win out here?

Alongside local versus and local multiplayer tournaments, Injustice 2 also provides a decent online portion to get wrapped up in, with straightforward Ranked Matches rubbing shoulders with both Versus and King of the Hill Player Matches, as well as Rooms where you can meet up with rivals and play online matches for as long as you like. It's online honed to the bare essentials, trimming away the fat to leave behind the crux of what you want from a versus fighter's multiplayer component. Matchmaking is fast, stable and reliable too, or at least it was when we tested it.

Which is a good thing because you'll need to play and win a lot of online matches as part of the game's expansive achievement list. Taking in all of Injustice 2's myriad facets, you'll be plugging away at this list for a good while, collecting gear, completing the story and its alternate paths, pulling off every Super Move, executing transitions, then finishing matches in a whole variety of ways. About as varied a list as you're ever likely to come across in a fighting game.

A more than worthy successor to Gods Among Us, Injustice 2 delivers big in almost every conceivable department, be it the wonderfully epic, well-executed storyline, or the infinitely replayable Multiverse and selection of online modes. An engaging gear system injects additional replay value too, as you customise your own DC characters and boost their stats, before rolling into battle, cape billowing in the wind. Simply put, Injustice 2 is a stellar fighting sequel, essential for fans of the first game, or of heroic fighters in general.

Injustice 2

With NetherRealm firing on all cylinders, Injustice 2 is not just a great looking comic book fighting game, but it's also a remarkably deep, gratifying and consistently entertaining one too. The gear system is great too, ensuring you'll be playing for months on end. A triumphant return for DC's heroes and villains.

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A sweeping orchestral score and exceptional voice acting across the board means that Injustice 2 sounds brilliant.


Gorgeous motion-captured performances make the story well worth locking into for the duration, while environments are fantastically dynamic and the action never looks anything but eye-scorchingly good.


Another cracking effort from NetherRealm whose games seem to go from strength-to-strength with each successive iteration. Along with Mortal Kombat X, this is among the best the studio has created to date, its fighting mechanics polished to an almost mirror sheen.


An impeccably well-presented package with everything you could possibly want. You might miss the mini-games marathon of the S.T.A.R. Lab, but The Multiverse is a welcome addition. Injustice 2 is a big game.


Varied and interesting, Injustice 2's list is one that will take time and a bit of effort, but the spread of neat objectives means you'll relish the challenge of snagging the 1000G.

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