FARPOINT | INJUSTICE2 | UL­TRA STREET FIGHTER II| OUT­LAST 2

GAX (Malaysia) - - FRONT PAGE - By Ade Pu­tra

Af­ter the suc­cess of Mor­tal Kom­bat X, ether-Realm Stu­dios turned their at­ten­tions back to the DC Comics ros­ter with In­jus­tice 2. Its pre­de­ces­sor wowed with an orig­i­nal story that re­spects the source ma­te­rial, while also be­ing a great, ac­ces­si­ble game. The bar now raised, we went in ex­pect­ing more ne work from the In­ter­ac­tive En­ter­tain­ment di­vi­sion .

The sin­gle-player mode took me just over ve hours to com­plete on Medium di culty. That may sound short, but the du­ra­tion felt per­fect. The story is suc­cinct and ac­tion-packed, smoothly tran­si­tion­ing be­tween com­bat and cutscene, yet know­ing when to take a breather. Char­ac­ter writ­ing and dia­log are on-point, with a good bal­ance be­tween drama and hu­mor. And al­though un­likely, I’d love to see sto­ry­driven DLC mis­sions fea­tur­ing the side char­ac­ters – they’re just that good.

A huge rea­son for that is the stag­ger­ing pro­duc­tion work that went into them. Sim­ply put, In­jus­tice 2 is one hell of a looker. It’s a col­lec­tion of amaz­ing char­ac­ter model­ing, fa­cial an­i­ma­tion, and tex­ture work, so much so that some scenes could very well be in a CG block­buster movie. If you have an HDR com­pat­i­ble set-up, this is one ti­tle not to miss. It all sounds the part too, thanks to amaz­ing voice act­ing work and cast­ing.

For now, let’s get to the ght­ing. Again, I’ll have to stress that I come from a ca­sual ght­ing game back­ground. Like any ca­sual scrub, I turn to light but­ton mash­ing when in a panic. If that sounds like you, then boy have I got news In­jus­tice 2 is a blast to play.

This boils down to largely univer­sal but­ton in­puts, eas­ily trig­gered spe­cials, and a re­turn­ing Clash me­chanic that spells the dif­fer­ence be­tween a loss and a des­per­ate come­back. I’m not im­ply­ing dumbed down game­play here, as there are plenty of on­line play­ers who’ll ham­mer home the fact that skill mat­ters, usu­ally through a se­ries of jug­gling com­bos. It’s just eas­ier to get your foot in the door and to start hav­ing fun; it won’t leave you star­ing at fully charged me­ters, won­der­ing what the hell to do.

In­jus­tice 2 sets an all-new bench­mark for a ght­ing game pack­age.

The best part about it all is that In­jus­tice 2 has plenty of solo con­tent to chew through while one’s skills de­velop. There’s plenty to learn here, from the var­i­ous char­ac­ter move sets to core con­cepts such as zon­ing, jug­gling, coun­ters, and can­cels. Rather than be­ing in prac­tice mode all the time, play­ers can hop into the new Mul­ti­verse mode to tackle a se­ries of chal­lenges. Es­sen­tially, it pits you against al­ter­nately-skinned char­ac­ters in a se­ries of matches, with vary­ing lev­els of dif­fi­culty, ght­ing con­di­tions, and chal­lenges. It’s a con­stantly updated list, each Mul­ti­verse des­ti­na­tion tied to a countdown timer, some of which are longer than oth­ers. The propo­si­tion here is that it serves as an end­less, dy­namic ex­ten­sion of sin­gle-player, playable off ine and sweet­ened by the al­lure of Gear and char­ac­ter-spe­cific end­ings.

Gear is the other new ad­di­tion to In­jus­tice 2, pro­vid­ing equip­ment drops and un­locks to cus­tom­ize and aug­ment the char­ac­ters. These are read­ily ac­quired via reg­u­lar play across the dif­fer­ent modes, each item tied to a rar­ity level. From a cos­metic per­spec­tive, the Gear sys­tem is a won­der­ful al­ter­na­tive to prede ned skins, al­low­ing play­ers to mix-and-match cowls, gauntlets, boots and more into mul­ti­ple load­out slots. The other as­pect to the Gear sys­tem lies in pas­sive bonuses, such as a statis­tic or abil­ity boosts. Pre­dictably, the rarer the item, the bet­ter these up­grades are, as long as you meet the char­ac­ter level re­quire­ments. You’re free to dis­able these boosts in mul­ti­player matches for a fair play­ing eld, leav­ing only the cos­metic changes.

Where mul­ti­player is con­cerned, things are sim­i­lar to the rst game. La­tency wasn’t an is­sue most of the time; you’ll get to see an op­po­nent’s ping be­fore agree­ing to a match, but like most peer-to-peer games, it’ll ul­ti­mately de­pend on the time and day that you play, sub­ject to net­work spikes on ei­ther end. While the over­all on­line ex­pe­ri­ence was pos­i­tive, I see my­self jump­ing into the Mul­ti­verse or a lo­cal mul­ti­player match far more of­ten in­stead.

ether-Realm Stu­dios went above and be­yond with In­jus­tice 2, pack­ag­ing a highly com­pe­tent and en­joy­able ght­ing game with a spec­tac­u­lar sin­gle-player cam­paign. The Mul­ti­verse also grants the game plenty of added longevity for solo or o ine play.

Un­lock­able gear, sets and color shaders let you cus­tom­ize your fa­vorite char­ac­ter six ways from Sun­day.

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