NetherRealm's sequel is ready to pummel its way onto PS4, Xbox One and PC and to ensure you're right up to speed, we've compiled everything you need to know about Injustice 2.
It is NetherRealm’s star-studded brawler and the sequel to Injustice: Gods Among Us. Four years have passed since Ed Boon and the team took a deep dive into DC’s iconic rogues gallery, and in that time, Warner’s cinematic universe has ballooned to encompass titanic crossovers (Batman V Superman) and wacky, villain-centric spinoffs (Suicide Squad). This, coupled with the promise of a massive character roster, has meant that excitement for Injustice 2 is palpable.
Picking up soon after Gods Among Us, Injustice 2 takes place at a time when the DC alliance lies in tatters. There's also the small matter of an invading megalomaniac in Brainiac.
"After the defeat of High Councilor Superman, Batman and his insurgency attempt to piece society back together while struggling against the remnants of Superman's regime who seek to restore his rule. Meanwhile, a new group of villains led by Gorilla Grodd known as "The Society" emerges and makes plans for world domination, eliminating any heroes that stand in their way. With several of his allies either victims of or collaborators with Superman's failed regime, Batman is forced to form a new team of superheroes to combat the Society, and later Brainiac, whose arrival puts Earth's entire existence at risk."
Superman's failed regime has created a huge rift in the DC universe, and it's only after the advent of Brainiac that our scattered heroes begin to pull together.
"Injustice 2 is the super-powered sequel to the hit game Injustice: Gods Among Us that allows players to build and power up the ultimate version of their favorite DC characters.
"Featuring a massive selection of DC Super Heroes and Super-Villains, players can personalize iconic DC characters with unique and powerful gear earned throughout the game. Additionally, for the first time, gamers can take control of how their characters look, fight and develop across a variety of game modes."
That Herculean battle will underpin much of Injustice 2's story mode, which is described as so:
"Injustice 2 continues the story set in motion in Injustice: Gods Among Us as Batman and his allies work towards putting the pieces of society back together, but struggle against those who would restore Superman’s Regime. In the midst of this chaos, a new threat appears that will put Earth’s very existence at risk."
Here's a rundown:
A five-part video series known as Shattered Alliances is designed to offer up some context to the Injustice 2 story. The final entry, for instance, is all about the invading Brainiac:
"Brainiac is a megalomaniacal genius who roams the universe, collecting knowledge to increase his intellectual and scientific prowess. Obsessed with establishing his superiority, Brainiac captured Krypton’s greatest cities, then eradicated what remained…or so he thought. Tales of the “Last Son of Krypton” have reached far into the stars. Now, the Collector of Worlds comes to Earth to finish his accumulation of Krypton – and discovers a new world worthy of his collection."
That's the name of Injustice 2's premium currency. Those who have kept track of the sequel's development will know that those Crystals will "allow you to purchase cosmetic features for characters, including cosmetic adjustments, Premiere character skins with no gameplay advantage, and various Shaders for character costumes. You can also unlock Transform Gear with Source Crystals, and you can use Source Crystals to bring a character to the max level of 20, but only after you’ve leveled another character up to level 20."
"Source Crystals can be purchased using real money but aren’t required to progress or advance in the game and can’t be used to purchase Gear or an advantage in gameplay. We value our community and want to be clear – you cannot 'pay to win' with Injustice 2."
Granted, not everyone has taken to the gear system ahead of Injustice 2's launch. NetherRealm's Brian Goodman has stressed that the studio is "developing intelligently to deliver something which will hopefully appeal to all of our fans."
"There’s been a lot of discussion on how best to communicate this because we are, obviously, throwing a bit of a monkey wrench in the works as far as some fighting game purists might find. We’re doing things to make sure people who want a pure fighting game can get that."
The fact that the game's gear system actively encourages players to tweak and modify their characters means that unbalanced matches are inevitable. Thankfully, Injustice 2 includes modes designed specifically to level the playing field.
"We’re creating modes where it’s an even playing field and you can gear up for aesthetic reasons but your character stats are on an even plane. We also have modes where gear actually impacts your strength, which is a whole new level of strategy.
"Online we’re going to look at matchmaking so players are matched like-for-like, but it will be fundamentally unbalanced at that point.
"For the hyper competitive tournaments, we want those to still be places people can show off the customization they have earned throughout the game but they have to be level playing fields. That’s essential for true fighting game aficionados."
Curious to take a peek at some Multiverse gameplay from Injustice 2? IGN has you covered.
The Clown Prince of Crime returns in Injustice 2, and he's brought Darkseid along for the ride.
Here's the official rundown on Mr. J:
"Though killed by Superman, the Joker continues to haunt the lives of all those touched by his madness. By destroying Metropolis, he set the events in motion which made enemies of Superman and Batman. If he were alive to see the chaos he’d created, he would surely be smiling."
NetherRealm recently hosted a closed beta for Injustice 2 in anticipation of release, which staged a total of 1.76 million matches. Moreover, 1.68 million pieces of gear were dropped, one player played more than 3,000 matches, and there were 404 round ties.
Buoyed by the success of Gods Among Us, NetherRealms hopes to foster a thriving community around Injustice 2.
And so, if you're looking to delve a little deeper into the action, you can explore the various options through here.
Though Warner Bros. is yet to lock down a specific release date, it's been confirmed that the first Injustice 2 DLC pack will herald the arrival of Red Hood, Starfire, and Sub-Zero.
"The first three DLC characters for Injustice 2 revealed! Batman’s second protégé, Red Hood, royal exile from Tamaran, Starfire, and the leader of the Lin Kuei, Sub-Zero join the fight."
Further details will be shared closer to the time, but we understand the Grand Finals will take place in the fall. A $600,000 (USD) prize pool has been confirmed for "several eSports programs in territories across the globe."
Injustice 2 Pro Series
The Injustice™ 2 Pro Series kicks off on the 26th of May broadcast live on Twitch (twitch.tv/netherrealm), with a four-month online and offline season drilling down to the top 16 players from around the world. The 16 finalists from across North America, Europe and Latin America will advance to the Injustice™ 2 Pro Series Finals for a throw-down. The Injustice™ 2 Pro Series Finals will take place on the 17th of September in Los Angeles.
Injustice 2 GameStop Hometown Heroes
The Injustice™ 2 GameStop Hometown Heroes tournament offers an all-new way for gamers in the United States who are not competing in the Injustice™ 2 Pro Series to participate in a program and battle for cash prizes. Operated by ESL, open online qualifier tournaments will begin on 4th June. Eight Regional Finals tournaments will take place in local GameStop retail locations on the 12th of August, leading up to the Injustice™ 2 GameStop Hometown Heroes Finals at the 2017 GameStop Consumer Expo in Las Vegas, 27th August.
Injustice 2 Path to Pro Tournament
European fans will have a chance to participate in the Injustice™ 2 Championship Series with the Injustice™ 2 Path to Pro Tournament. Operated by ESL on PlayStation®4, the competition will open on the 20th of May for players in the Benelux Union, France, Germany, Nordic territories, Italy, Spain and U.K. who are not participating in the Injustice™ 2 Pro Series. The Injustice™ 2 Path to Pro Finals will be held online on 19th of August with 12 finalists from the participating territories.
Injustice 2 Liga Latina
Players from Argentina, Chile, Mexico and Peru get their chance to battle it out in Injustice™ 2 Liga Latina. Operated by Gamelta esports Professional League, online and offline qualifier tournaments will be held for each region beginning in May. The best players from each of the countries in which the program is offered will face off in the Injustice™ 2 Liga Latina finals on the 13th of August.
In addition, fans in Brazil will have a chance to compete in a regional tournament. More details for Brazil will be coming soon.
Privy to moving pictures over words? Don’t worry, PS Blog recently rolled out an Injustice 2 promo specifically designed to present everything you need to know:
"The video gives players a closer look at the game’s Story Mode and the variety of Super Hero and Super-Villain alliances at play, including factions led by the Dark Knight, Gorilla Grodd, and others, along with wild card characters like Supergirl and Swamp Thing.
"Players will also get an introduction to the brand new social experience that Injustice 2 is bringing to the fighting game scene. In the game, players will be able to form a guild with up to 50 other players to share gear and build their own team of Super Heroes. They’ll also earn gear and other rewards that are exclusive to guild gameplay in daily and weekly cooperative objectives as they collaborate with friends to climb the worldwide leaderboards."
Players will find three versions of Injustice 2 available at launch: the standard edition, Digital Deluxe Edition ($79.99 USD), and Ultimate Edition ($99.99 USD).
Here’s what you get in the two special editions (pre-ordering any version also gets you Darkseid).
Digital Deluxe Edition
- 3 DLC fighters
- Premier Skin for Supergirl
- Defender Shader Pack
- 9 DLC fighters
- Premier Skins for Supergirl, The Flash, and Green Lantern
- Destroyer and Defender Shader Packs
Injustice 2 has officially been rated T for Teen, with the ESRB description reasoning that:
"This is a fighting game in which players engage in one-on-one battles with popular heroes and villains from the DC Comics universe. Players punch, kick, and use a variety of weapons (e.g., knives, swords, machine guns, laser blasters) to drain opponents’ health meters in melee-style combat. Matches are highlighted by impact sounds, splashes of blood, and colorful light effects as fighters are hurled across the screen or to the ground. As players engage in fantasy combat, they can trigger super attacks and transitional attacks that propel opponents from different levels of fighting arenas. Some super attacks depict blood-splatter effects as characters are injured by creatures and/or impaled with swords. Cutscenes depict additional instances of violence and blood: a character impaled with a sword; a prisoner lying in a small pool of blood; a character stabbed with a trident; a villain’s throat slashed off-screen.
"The game’s dialogue contains brief sexual references (e.g., “They’re thieves. Rapists. Murderers.”), and some female characters wear revealing outfits (e.g., deep cleavage, tight-fitting clothing) and/or perform suggestive poses. One fight setting takes place in a bar with several alcohol references: signs that read “Beer”‘; drunk patrons in the background; kegs of beer that can be thrown at opponents. The word “sh*t” is heard in dialogue."
Comprised of 63 digital accolades in total, the official Trophy list for Injustice 2 can be found here.
Designed as a means of bridging the gap between Injustice 2 and its predecessor, NetherRealm's prequel comic is penned by original Injustice scribe Tom Taylor, and the official description reads as so:
"Injustice fans can dive into the earth-shattering universe before the game launch via the prequel comic, which will debut new chapters every week. DC also announced that fan favorite artist Bruno Redondo will join series writer Tom Taylor as the book’s lead artist.
"Redondo previously worked with Taylor on the hugely successful Injustice: Gods Among Us comic book series in 2013 and has recently reached an agreement with DC to create comic book content solely for the company’s DC and Vertigo imprints. The prequel comic book storyline will look to bridge the gap between the first Injustice videogame and the upcoming Injustice 2 game that debuts in May 2017."
While on the show floor at E3 2016, our own Chandler Wood took Injustice 2 out for a spin, and walked away overly impressed:
"Based on everything I saw at E3, NetherRealm is going to have another knockout on their hands. They’re experimenting with adding RPG-like elements to a fighting game to break the monotonous cliches of the genre. Like I said, I’m a big fan of Injustice, and the fact that NetherRealm spilled the mechanics from some of my favorite loot based games into a sequel that looks and plays like classic Injustice means that I’ll likely find myself with a massive new obsession in 2017 when the game finally releases."
With Chandler busy mowing down alien bugs in Impulse Gear's Farpoint, we've elected seasoned reviewer Paulmichael Contreras to handle the Injustice 2 review for PSLS.