Arts

Games: Injustice 2 is one of the best fighting games in years

The pulp friction between comic-book stars is once again relieved in a spandex ballet of feet and fists
Neil McGreevy

Injustice 2 (Multi)

By: Warner

THE sequel to 2013's caped caper, which finally settled those 'who would win?' arguments by letting nerds' virtual fists do the talking, Injustice 2 once more lets players pit their favourite DC superheroes against one other, relieving the pulp friction between these stars of the comic book panel in a spandex ballet of feet and fists.

A superheroic spin on arcade fighters that looks like a riot at a Fathers 4 Justice rally, Injustice 2 picks up from the original's alternate universe, where Superman is a bemuscled sod and Team Batman are trying to put things right while the Man of Steel does bird.

When Brainiac turns up, however, cue a three-way battle in tights that plays out like a movie with classic arcade brawls stitched into the plot. Essentially a superhero-themed Mortal Kombat, the pantheon of comic-bookery has been plumbed to impressive depths here and Injustice 2's roster is bulging like Batman's codpiece with a wealth of bemuscled freaks.

With the largest playable roster of DC characters in any videogame, a nerdgasm of headline and obscure characters awaits, with the usual super-suspects joined this time by 19 newbies, including Brainiac, Darkseid and Poison Ivy and with more available for those ready to pony up for DLC. Get suited and booted across a variety of stages stuffed rotten with fan service, including sly winks at DC's films, telly shows and comics.

You can also interact with the stages, such as grabbing nearby cars to smack your opponent with.

The combatants offer a time honoured balance, with Batman and Robin relying on agility and gadgetry whereas Joker is nimbly unpredictable and the big boys such as Swamp Thing and Bane lumber slowly but pack a punch.

The gameplay is sublimely accessible and anyone will soon find themselves doling out mayhem with ease, though pros are rewarded with intricate combos and Kryptonite-hard online throwdowns.

Adding an RPG veneer, the game also introduces loot boxes crammed with currency and new gear to customise your character with, though this does lend itself to some tedious grinding and opens the floodgates for micro-transactions, which makes an otherwise slick product seem as tawdry as a cap-in-hand mobile game.

Online offers the usual suspects along with the new Multiverse single player mode, a random battle generator that throws players into matches with certain requirements and offers the quickest way to farm loot.

A sprawling, accessible DC dust-up with colossal production values and a staggering amount of content that's equally robust off and online, Injustice 2 is one of the best fighting games in years. An unlike last year's interminable movie, this fantastic fracas between the Caped Crusader and Supes is at least fun, even if getting smacked around by Wonder Woman stirs up strange new feelings for me.

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