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Injustice 2
Developer: NetherRealm Studios
Publisher: Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment
Platforms: PS4, XBox One
Editions: Standard Edition, Digital Deluxe Edition, Ultimate Edition
Release Date: May 16th, 2017

Synopsis: Power up and build the ultimate version of your favorite DC legends in Injustice 2. With a massive selection of DC Super Heroes and Super-Villains, Injustice 2 allows you to equip every iconic character with unique and powerful gear earned throughout the game. Experience an unprecedented level of control over how your favorite characters look, how they fight, and how they develop across a huge variety of game modes. This is your super Hero. Your Journey. Your Injustice.

The game will be available to own in a Standard Edition release, a Digital Deluxe Edition release and an Ultimate Edition release.


Also available on XBox One!

About Injustice 2:

-Every Battle Defines You: With every match you'll earn gear to equip, customize and evolve your favorite DC Super Hero or Super-Villain, meaningfully impacting how your character both looks and fights.

-A new threat rises: Continue the epic cinematic story set in motion in Injustice: Gods Among Us as Batman and his allies work towards putting the pieces of society back together, but struggle against those who would restore Superman's Regime. In the midst of this chaos, a new threat appears that forces old enemies to forge new alliances...

-The Best of DC: Choose your character from the biggest DC Universe roster a fighting game has ever seen - from classic fan favorites to astonishing new villains. Battle across iconic locations such as Gotham City and Atlantis in epic scale battles that use and destroy everything around you.

-Built by Netherrealm: Developers of the best-selling and critically acclaimed MORTAL KOMBAT franchise, NetherRealm Studios brings unrivaled storytelling, robust content, and best-in-class fighting mechanics to the DC Universe.

-The Ultimate Edition comes in a steel book case.

-The Ultimate Edition includes 9 additional DLC characters and 3 additional skins for Flash, Green Lantern, and Supergirl which allows players to transform select fighters into alternate characters.

-The Ultimate Edition also includes two exclusive gear shaders which enables players to customize the look of their roster with alternate color themes.

-The Digital Deluxe Edition includes three DLC fighters One Premiere Skin allows players to transform select fighters into alternate characters with new looks, voices and dialogue. One Exclusive Gear Shader enables players to customize the look of their roster with alternate color themes.



REVIEW

Injustice 2 Review by James Harvey

A strong sequel with a solid story and host of alternate play modes, Injustice 2 exceeds and surpasses the original Injustice: Gods Among Us in nearly every conceivable fashion. Picking up where the first game left off, with Batman's rebellion victorious over a tyrannical Superman, our heroes find themselves in a tough spot when Brainiac arrives on Earth to essentially wipe it all out. As you can expect, fisticuffs ensues.

Injustice 2 is an ambitious fighting game that actually successfully achieves the lofty goals it sets out for itself. It's a game that manages to offer a wealth of material, which can be intimidating at times, but still manages to be accessible to new players. Fans with a lot of fighting under their belt will appreciate how the game's Gear system can make fighting an actual challenge, while those new to the arena will see how easy it is to actually stand their ground with a little practice. Yes, some of the more complicated moves are tricky to pull off, but nothing ever feels impossible with Injustice 2.

One of the major reasons fans will be picking up this game, outside of the great roster, is the campaign. The story for Injustice: Gods Among Us caught a lot of fans by surprise with how surprisingly layered and engaging it was, and Injustice 2 continues that trend. As mentioned above, both Batman and Superman find themselves facing a two-pronged attack from both Brainiac and The Society, a collection of ne'er-do-wells hoping to take the heroes out of the equation and rule the world/ Batman and Superman must put their differences aside and gathering a team to fight off both the unstoppable robot and a host of bad guys looking to take advantage of the chaos. Of course, things aren't that easy as alliances shift and players switch side as the story's plot plays out.

A neat touch to this campaign is that, throughout, there are options to play as one of two characters for certain sections. Black Canary or Green Arrow, Firestorm or Blue Beetle, Catwoman or Cyborg and, yes, even Superman or Batman. I highly recommend playing the last major campaign fight twice, once as both characters, as each fight brings about a different ending with major repercussions that, I imagine, will influence the inevitable Injustice 3. And once you're done with the campaign, and don't feel like getting destroyed in the online multiplayer, Injustice 2's The Multiverse offering (think S.T.A.R. Labs Missions from Injustice: Gods Among Us, but on a bigger scale), helps keep the single player options fresh. Still, the main draw for a lot of players will be Injustice 2's story, and they won't be let down.

Just a note, players may want to consider picking up both the assorted Injustice: Gods Among Us trade paperback collections and the current Injustice 2 bi-weekly comic series. While those comic titles are not vital to understanding the story in Injustice 2, there are a few slight references made to them in the story mode that could conceivably confuse players. They're not necessary, really, but those comics have been consistently great and are well worth a read.

Another surprising aspect to the game is its sheer depth. Whether it's the storyline, the Gear system, the excellent Multiverse worlds, there is a wealth of material here to uncover. The Gear system is something that's far more involved and fun than I could've imaged. Don't like the current stages offered in the Multiverse? Literally wait a few minutes and a new one could pop up. Want something to spice up your solo play? Try nabbing the day's three Daily Challenges. Want to change your favorite character's stats to improve your luck in battle? Then create another loadout with different bits of gear and see how you fare. The amount of content here is staggering.

What's also worth noting about Injustice 2 is the amount of fan service and sheer love for the source material. Not only are levels littered with a fair amount in-jokes and cheeky references, but the dialogue and even gear names should elicit some chuckles and nods from players. For example, when Green Arrow faces off against The Flash, the Scarlet Speedster quips they should "crossover." However, you will start to hear the same pre-fight trash talk the more you play, which can get a little tiring, but the same can be said of any game (though Batman's trash talk sometimes amounting to no more than him saying "I'm Batman!" is always worth a laugh). Gear names get incredibly wacky, but almost always make a point to work in a references to familiar comic stories or characters (and some of the references can get a little obscure).

Plus, the unique character endings (which you can find in The Multiverse) are a nice little 'Elseworlds' surprise that offer some cool glimpses into what could have been (what if Harley Quinn, Atrocitus, Scarcrow, and so on, defeated Brainiac).

All of this comes together in a beautiful package, too. The character design is fantastic (albeit a little clunky looking at times as character armor looks occasionally comically massive) and the animation is particularly stunning. The facial animation in particular is nearly photo-realistic at times, and every character looks unique, each with their own quirks and ticks that exude personality. The campaign mode is a joy to watch, not only because of the story, but also because of the insane quality of the cinematics, the super moves, the transitions ... basically all of it. Levels are dripping with creativity, character designs are inventive and detailed, and even the game's main loading screens look slick and flashy. The presentation is top shelf all the way.

As fun as Injustice 2 is, there are some aggravating aspects to it, too, but that has more to do with one's ability than the actual game itself. Games in the Multiverse can sometimes get excruciating and frustrating as you come across increasingly difficult opponents, especially as multiple successive losses start to wear away one's patience. Fighting against the likes of Cheetah, Catwoman, Scarecrow and (especially) Black Adam can result in more than a few rage quits. For the more skilled fighting game pro, this will be nothing, but for the more casual players, hang in there. It's a fun ride regardless, and you do eventually learn, after a couple fights, the best approach to take down your foe. And given how deep the roster is, there will definitely be a fighter that best suits your fighting style.

In terms of controls, they are impressively tight and responsive. While it does take awhile to really get the timing down to execute some of the movies, the control makes it a breeze to pull off the more basic moves. Personally, I find myself relying on the more basic moves when I'm caught in a jam during a fight - pairing them with the burn meter to break away from my opponent. It helps bring a sense of balance to the game and possibility that, regardless of your skill level or ability, any player stands a fair chance at coming out on top during a match.

The only real clunky part of the game is the somewhat complicated loot system. Now, getting and using the gear is super simple, but the payment/credit system used can sometimes be a little confusing. But, again, it's something that gets easier with time. The further you get in the game, and the more you level up, the easier the whole loot/credit system becomes.

Injustice 2 is a simply spectacular game that, regardless of whether you're into the multiplayer aspect or the offline/campaign modes, players will get their money's worth and then some. The content here is staggering, the graphics are top-notch and spectacular and the campaign easily raises the bar for fighting games. It exceeds on every single level, both as a game and as a sequel. Not only that, with Injustice 2 it looks like we may now have a DC Comics-based video franchise that's equal to the stellar Batman: Arkham series. Fans of DC Comics will undoubtedly appreciate the clear love and enthusiasm for the lore on display here, and fighting game aficionados will love the wealth of variety at their disposal to really dominate. Injustice 2 absolutely delivers a knock-out punch. Must Own.

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MEDIA