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