In­jus­tice 2

Where fight­ing games, su­per­heroes, and loot col­lide, writes Heidi Kemps

Hyper - - EDITORIAL -

Nether Realm Stu­dios has had a pretty event­ful year. Be­sides host­ing the mas­sive ESL Mor­tal Kom­bat X Pro League – a globe-span­ning tour­na­ment se­ries that young fight­ing game prodigy Son­icFox won days be­fore E3 opened – the stu­dio’s been busy plan­ning their next one-on-one fighter – the se­quel to 2013’s In­jus­tice: Gods Among Us. While the orig­i­nal In­jus­tice was a fairly straight­for­ward fight­ing game, al­beit one with a very dark take on the DC su­per­hero uni­verse, In­jus­tice 2 looks to shake things up by up­ping the stakes – and the re­wards – on ev­ery bat­tle you en­gage in.

The tyran­ni­cal Su­per­man has been im­pris­oned by Bat­man at the end of the first In­jus­tice, but things have hardly re­turned to nor­mal in this al­ter­na­tive su­per­hero uni­verse. As Bruce and oth­ers strug­gle to re­con­struct so­ci­ety, those who still be­lieve in Su­pes’ regime are work­ing to coun­ter­act their ef­forts. All the while, a new, big­ger threat is rapidly ap­proach­ing: one that puts all of Earth at risk.

At the time of writ­ing, eight mem­bers of the 28-strong ros­ter had been re­vealed. Be­sides re­turn­ing favourites (and DC icons) Su­per­man, Bat­man, and Aqua­man, three new char­ac­ters were in­tro­duced to the mix. Su­per­girl is a fan favourite that was sur­pris­ingly ab­sent from the orig­i­nal game’s cast, while the other two char­ac­ters, Go­rilla Grodd and Atroc­i­tus (with cat com­pan­ion Dex-Starr) are some rather out-of-left-field vil­lains who, nonethe­less, make for very in­ter­est­ing ad­di­tions to the char­ac­ter col­lec­tion. Flash and Won­der Woman are also set to make a reap­pear­ance, though they were not playable in the E3 demo we sam­pled.

In the demos we played of the game, sev­eral fa­mil­iar sys­tems made their re­turn. The clash sys­tem, where play­ers wa­ger their su­per me­ter for a life or dam­age ad­van­tage, is once again a key com­pet­i­tive com­po­nent. Stage tran­si­tions make a reap­pear­ance and, in the case of the re­vamped At­lantis stage, new tran­si­tions have been added to make the fights even more dy­namic. In­ter­acta­bles, the en­vi­ron­men­tal el­e­ments that play­ers can at­tempt to utilise to get an edge in a fight, also re­turn.

The big­gest ad­di­tion to the game, how­ever, is the all-new gear sys­tem. The slo­gan for In­jus­tice 2 is, “Each bat­tle de­fines you,” and this comes true in the form of re­wards granted to both vic­tor and loser at the end of each fight. Ev­ery hero or vil­lain comes with nu­mer­ous slots to equip gear they have ac­quired in their fight­ing ca­reer: ar­mour, weapons, ac­ces­sories, and more (Atroc­i­tus could put DexS­tarr in a va­ri­ety of kitty cos­tumes). Gear drops vary in rar­ity and have as­sorted ef­fects like stat boosts, in­creased health, even grant­ing ac­cess to cer­tain spe­cial abil­i­ties. This sys­tem al­lows for play­ers to per­son­alise char­ac­ters, and for two of the same char­ac­ter to look and fight in very dif­fer­ent ways. (A 'tour­na­ment' mode that keeps the play­ing field level has been men­tioned by se­ries showrun­ner Ed Boon, though spe­cific details on it are still scarce.

It’s clear that In­jus­tice 2 will of­fer comic fans a heap­ing help­ing of fan ser­vice – the pre-bat­tle di­a­logue, which varies with ev­ery char­ac­ter com­bi­na­tion, is enough proof of that. But with a new re­wards sys­tem and some wel­come new char­ac­ter ad­di­tions, Nether Realm is also show­ing that they’re here to please fight­ing game fans, as well, be they ca­sual war­riors or diehard tour­na­ment com­peti­tors.

DEVELOPER PUB­LISHER PLAT­FORM RE­LEASE DATE NetherRealm Stu­dios Warner Bros. In­ter­ac­tive En­ter­tain­ment PS4, Xbone TBA 2017

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