GAMES

SU­PER­MAN AND BAT­MAN WALK INTO A BAR AND OR­DER SEV­ERAL ROUNDS OF FISTICUFFS IN THIS COMIC BRAWLER

Australian T3 - - CONTENTS -

De­liver jus­tice in, er, In­jus­tice2, and break crates and col­lect fruit with CrashBandi­coot N.SaneTril­ogy.

at­man’s guar­an­teed B to raise an eye­brow in videogames. This is a rich dude who straps pointy ears to his head and glides around his home city punch­ing peo­ple in the face, yet he sees him­self as morally right­eous be­cause he doesn’t kill.

A lit­tle brain dam­age is al­right, though! In­jus­tice2’ s story fo­cuses on Bat­man’s moral su­pe­ri­or­ity, with DC’s su­per­hero ros­ter form­ing two po­lit­i­cal sides: those who think the bad guys should be killed, and those who stand with the Bat­man. For

In­jus­tice2’ s ridicu­lous Bat­man­ning, you need to look in­side one of its won­der­fully busy fight­ing stages: the Ace O’Clubs Bar in Me­trop­o­lis. With a tap of a but­ton, you can in­ter­act with en­vi­ron­men­tal haz­ards, throw­ing a beer bar­rel at your op­po­nent, swing­ing from a light fit­ting, or bound­ing off a wall. In this stage, though, one of the in­ter­ac­tive el­e­ments is a dude sat sip­ping a pint – you can pick him up and launch him at your op­po­nent. See­ing Bat­man toss an in­no­cent by­stander at The Joker is one of the most ab­surd things you’ll ever wit­ness. If you’re not fa­mil­iar with

In­jus­tice, it’s de­vel­oped by the same team be­hind the Mor­tal

Kom­bat se­ries. In­jus­tice is ba­si­cally MK with its pants pulled over its trousers, from its over-the-top stage tran­si­tions when you punch some­one out of bounds to those afore­men­tioned en­vi­ron­men­tal haz­ards. It’s a re­skin, hence Bat­man can un­char­ac­ter­is­ti­cally use a civil­ian as a weapon.

Even the ex­cel­lent Su­per­moves feel like less mur­der­ous Fa­tal­i­ties, trig­ger­ing un­skip­pable cin­e­mat­ics where Su­per­man punches you through the clouds, Bat­man sends you into the sky on a ful­ton bal­loon, Joker straps you to a tor­ture chair, and Harley Quinn sets her hounds on you be­fore bring­ing a base­ball bat down on your face.

Un­like Mor­talKom­bat’s show­boat­ing fin­ish­ing moves, Su­per­moves are used mid-bout, hack­ing off a chunk of your op­po­nent’s life bar (if the trig­ger­ing hit lands) in ex­change for your charged me­ter.

You don’t need to re­mem­ber a bunch of dif­fer­ent in­put se­quences to pull big moves off, ei­ther, you only need to wait for the me­ter to fill up, then press the shoul­der but­tons to­gether. While char­ac­ter­spe­cific spe­cials, such as Bat­man’s bat­claw and Su­per­man’s eye-lasers, can be pulled off like you would a Street Fighter fire­ball, there are only a hand­ful for each char­ac­ter and feel com­mon across the ros­ter. Com­plex­ity comes from string­ing to­gether com­bos, but this is eas­ily one of the most ac­ces­si­ble fight­ing games ever made.

If you want to dig into the frame data and ob­sess over the tim­ing of the an­i­ma­tions, you can. If you just

See­ing Bat­man toss an in­no­cent by­stander at The Joker is ab­surd.

want to jump on and bash but­tons, that’s also an op­tion.

Don’t over­look In­jus­tice2’ s story mode which does an in­cred­i­ble job of mak­ing you feel in­vested across all 12 chap­ters. Each fight is given con­text with some gor­geous­lyren­dered cutscenes, which are more than worth your time. Get to the end and you’ll also un­lock a bunch of gear for your trou­bles.

Ah, yes, gear. In a con­tro­ver­sial move, NetherRealm saw fit to add stat-chang­ing equip­ment into the mix for this se­quel, all un­lock­able by com­plet­ing story chap­ters, win­ning fights, and open­ing loot crates. The ad­di­tion of a gear and lev­el­ling sys­tem to a 1v1 fight­ing game is a strange one in­deed, es­pe­cially as gear is switched on by de­fault in on­line scraps. While it’s nice to change the look of your favourite he­roes and vil­lains, it feels like a bit of a mis­fire for on­line bat­tles.

Still, In­jus­tice2 is ab­so­lutely packed with con­tent, so fight fans will have plenty to dig into, even when they get bored of get­ting their butts kicked on­line by Dead­shot play­ers. There’s plenty to do and col­lect, es­pe­cially if you’re more of a solo player, and the story mode is with­out doubt a must-play. Just watch out for any­one be­ing tossed through the air hold­ing a bev­er­age.

RIGHT Each stage has its own en­vi­ron­men­tal in­ter­ac­tion, like us­ing a tree branch to flip off

TOP Bat­ters and Bane square off in a clas­sic ri­valry

ABOVE Cutscenes are fan­tas­tic, not least to wit­ness the game’s in­cred­i­ble fa­cial an­i­ma­tion

TOP RIGHT Thre su­per­heroes, ar­gu­ing over who should get the next Net­flix spin-off TV show

TOP LEFT It’s more than just fancy dress - gear can boost your stats in clever ways

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