Reviews: Gaming

Fighting with your DC Comics superheroes

In Injustice2, the story continues with Batman attempting to restore order after Superman is imprisoned.
In Injustice2, the story continues with Batman attempting to restore order after Superman is imprisoned.PHOTO: WARNER BROS INTERACTIVE ENTERTAINMENT

After Injustice: Gods Among Us - the prequel of this superhero fighting video game - was released in 2013, it went on to win many awards.

For the uninitiated, the Injustice series is based on an alternate universe of DC Comics. With interest in the comics being drummed up recently by movies such as Batman V Superman, Suicide Squad and Wonder Woman, the launch of a sequel is timely.

In Injustice2, the story continues with Batman attempting to restore order after Superman is imprisoned. The heroes and villains are divided on whether to align themselves with the Dark Knight or to save the Man of Steel, until an invasion forces them to band together.

The story campaign is one of the highlights of this game. It features excellent motion capture, great graphics, and an option to choose one of two characters to play as, at specific plot points.

Your choice will lead to specific banter and taunts. There are also unique comics and movie references that will surface with the right match-ups.

The game retains its past features such as interactive environments, location transitions, as well as special and super moves. Some of these moves can be blocked or avoided. After each match, players earn experience points, credits and loot based on a multiple-tier progression system.

Opening the loot, called decoding, will unlock random gear ranging from costume pieces to weapons and alternate costume colours. Some of the gear are cosmetic, but many boost points related to strength, defence, health and ability statistics, including bonus perks for donning a complete set.

  • 9/10

  • RATING

    PRICE: $84.90 (PS4, the version tested; Xbox One)

You can tweak and improve a piece of gear through the Regenerate and Transform options, which let you swop around the looks and statistics of similar gear items.

I spent a considerable amount of time levelling up a handful of my favourite characters in order to apply the new gear, while trying to strike a balance between becoming powerful and looking awesome.

The campaign, online and arcade modes from the prequel are here. They are joined by a new mode, which pits the player against a series of encounters alongside handicaps and objectives. For example, you may be challenged to complete a fight without using jump attacks. Dubbed "Multiverse", the mode will keep refreshing over time, offering challenging stipulations to beat and interesting rewards to earn.

If you have a group of friends, forming a guild will allow you to earn and share gear and improve your worldwide leaderboard rankings together.

The game will be offering micro-transactions in future, but with all the in-game rewards flowing in easily just by playing, you may not need to resort to that.

Setting up your three best defenders with the AI Battle Simulator allows you to earn rewards while you're away, even if the match is not in your favour.

There are 28 playable characters in the game, with more to be revealed. I'm excited to learn that Red Hood is scheduled to be released sometime this month.

Like before, there is a companion mobile game (available for Android and iOS), that offers additional rewards when you link it to the console version of the game.

The controls are simpler but it will not synchronise your progress with the game you are playing on the console.

However, judging by the fun I'm having, I have no problem replaying this game on two separate devices.

•Verdict: Injustice2 is a must-have for fans of superhero fighting games, especially if your favourite idols are those from DC Comics.

•Nizam Mohd is a freelance writer.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 07, 2017, with the headline 'Fighting with your DC Comics superheroes'. Print Edition | Subscribe