Fighting Games Friday: Prelude to Injustice 2

Injustice 2 will finally be upon us in just a few days, the newest title in Mortal Kombat-developer NetherRealm Studios’ fighting game series involving characters from the DC Comics universe. It was announced early last year, and since then, both the developer and publisher Warner Bros. have been steadily revealing its playable cast and features. It’s been a long ride, as I’ve chronicled in separate posts and those under the “Fighting Games Friday” features, since WB wanted to promote this alongside the growing slate of DC Cinematic Universe movies.

In these final promotional weeks, NetherRealm has quickly revealed the final batch of characters that had yet to be given main showcases, though some were featured in prior compilation videos. One was provided for Batman villain Poison Ivy, previously featured on the “Here Come the Girls” trailer back in February, but deserved her own trailer considering she’s new to this installment. It showed how she’s more of a jack-of-all-trades character, with close-range attacks like kissing her opponent (which should be effective unless the opponent is wearing rubber lips), mid-range attacks like summoning a poison-spewing iguana, and quick projectiles from long-range. Anyone who’s not a fan of her outfit here (like me) should keep in mind this game will have customizable costumes, though the parts will have to be unlocked.

For the remaining initial cast, DC provided trailers for some of their biggest supervillains. Brainiac was previously teased, but was one of the final characters among the initial roster to receive an official trailer. He could be a nightmare to fight for anyone who excels with close or mid-range attacks, as he has a wide variety of zoning techniques. He may not be as effective up-close, though, but there’s a good chance the trailer glossed over a bunch of his moves.

Darkseid also received a trailer, who also has a wide range of projectiles, alongside grappling techniques that assert his dominance. Because of those, he looks effective from any range. Keep in mind he’s a preorder-exclusive character for now, but he’ll be released for everyone in the near future, probably not for free.

Finally, there’s the Joker, who needs no introduction from me. Despite being the most well-known villain in the DC Universe, he doesn’t have any special powers, and instead relies on close-range techniques in the form of his knife and tricks literally up his sleeve. He admittedly has some long-range attacks, like his laughing gas. His appearance seems more inspired by, though not entirely similar to, the “DAMAGED” version from the Suicide Squad film. He also has one of the best finishing moves in the game, and they picked the right character to demonstrate it on.

There’s also the fifth part of the “Shattered Alliances” trailer, part of a series that’s been previewing what’s in store for this game’s story mode. This one shows the invasion of Brainiac, who’s arrived to put Superman down for good. Though Injustice’s Superman has slightly drifted away from heroism, he’s still not on par with the real supervillains, which he’ll show when many other DC superheroes are proven not to stand a chance against a force as powerful as Brainiac. This is presumably the final preview, unless they plan to release another one between now and Tuesday.

Unsurprisingly, NetherRealm already confirmed some DLC characters that “Fighter Pack 1” will include: Starfire, Red Hood, and Sub-Zero. The first two are welcome and expected additions, particularly considering quite a few were upset Starfire didn’t make it into the first game, but there’s a little division over the inclusion of yet another Mortal Kombat character from the same who didn’t want Scorpion in the last game. He’s shown wielding ice-based melee weapons, perhaps hinting at how his move set will be modified to fit Injustice’s style. That none of these characters were shown in battle hints at how they aren’t finished yet, so expect to see them and others teased in the silhouettes behind them sometime after the game releases.

Since this is a game being released at retail, copies are already in the wild, and players are giving their impressions. Fortunately, NetherRealm and WB weren’t kidding when they said obtaining loot wouldn’t rely on spending real money, as it reportedly doesn’t take too much time to unlock them. They also noted how the graphics and details have been noticeably improved in backgrounds and character models compared to early previews, beyond the faces of female characters being polished. There aren’t enough players for the online play to be fully functional yet, so the initial stress tests should be reported on Monday at the earliest.

With the game coming Tuesday, a five-minute trailer compiling everything players should know was also released, which goes over every element the game will contain. You can either watch that, or read through my earlier posts. I won’t be mad if you simply choose to watch the video.

For everyone buying the game: I hope the online play is as good as the recent Mortal Kombat X update, and it should ideally run without any hitches, unlike a product from a certain other publisher.

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