'Injustice 2' provides new challenges, amazing characters wrapped in exciting story

Let me preface with this: I am terrible at fighting games, and I don’t like being terrible. That said, I enjoyed playing “Injustice 2” for the characters, the story, and yes, the fighting.

DC Comics has done a great job of incorporating a lengthy storyline between their comic books and the video game franchise. The alternate world of Superman domination makes for a fertile battleground and mixes heroes and villains together in a hodge podge of superpowered mayhem.

Where “Injustice” pit superhero against superhero, “Injustice 2” has the heroes rejoining forces against a common foe, despite the obvious mistrust that have with one another after the previous fighting. The story also a delves a bit more into the multiverse, bringing back characters who died in the comic series.

“Injustice 2” reveals the Society, although why they didn’t go all in on the name of Secret Society of Super Villains is a missed opportunity. This Society is led by Gorilla Grodd and features some classic archvillains on its roster.

Grodd is actually not the big bad, who doesn’t get revealed until about midway through the story. But he does have one of the best fight setup lines against Black Canary, where he said, “Like the rest of your kind, you will kneel before me,” and she responded, “Kneel before Grodd? That doesn’t sound quite right.”

The quips are hilariously funny from expected and unexpected places, like Dinah. Harley Quinn’s lines are demented, unpredictable, and perfect for her character. While battling a technological foe, she tries to insult them by saying, “Why don’t you go mount a truck?” Still laughing about that one.

It is the attention to detail in the dialog that bring the story alive. The writers are to be commended by keeping all of the DC characters true to their identities. The voice actors help keep them real to how we might have imagined our comic book if they could talk to us.

The game designers give the characters almost a film-like quality to them, with visuals that make you just want to watch all the cutscenes together as a movie.

The story is predictable in some ways, but there are quite a few twists and turns to keep the endings a bit of a surprise. Yes, there are multiple endings based on a late-game decision players will have to make.

According to Tom Taylor, writer for the “Injustice 2” comic book, the game takes place AFTER the event in the comic book series. So if you don’t want to be surprised by some of the events or characters in the game, you’ll have to wait until Taylor’s 16 chapter story is done to keep the suspense.

From Aquaman to Wonder Woman, the game boasts nearly 30 characters available, some only available through special editions. But they all make an appearance in the story line as playable characters or opponents through the 12 chapters of the story.

But the action doesn’t stop there.

To really get the depth of the DC Universe, a single-player mode called The Multiverse lets players visit other worlds to complete challenges against heroes and villains who are slightly different than their original counterparts. The challenges are timed, meaning they will expire and be replaced by new challenges.

Each alternate world contains a variety of opponents, a little bit of a back story, and can contain a little quirk in the battlefield, like a tilting platform or security bots.

The changes in the Multiverse opponents are mostly cosmetic, but the differences are fun to see for comic book fans. Victories in the challenges will rank up the characters, giving them access to leveled equipment that can make them more powerful.

The gear system provides a variety of looks to trick out your characters. Some are subtle changes while others make them look like heroes from another world. It is fun to mix and match the gear while still keeping an eye on the ability scores. Looking good and feeling good sometimes, but not always, go hand in hand.

Players can also earn Mother Boxes, which provide the equipment. Excess equipment or gear that is no longer used can be sold for game currency, which can be used to unlock specific Multiverse missions or buy more Mother Boxes.

However, there is a deeper microtransaction system to spend real world money on those outfits. The introduction of different in-game currencies also is confusing and needless.

The combat in “Injustice 2” levels up from its predecessor and contains more variety in the moves, combos, and environmental attacks. While there is a tutorial available to sharpen your skills and learn the new moves, my fights tended toward keeping my tactics simple or in full panic mode.

Either way, I enjoyed seeing the characters go toe-to-toe and marveled in the uniqueness of how they pulled off the same button push combos. It was also fun during the story mode to have the opportunity to choose which team-up character I wanted to use against a particular opponent.

Of course, the super moves and the transition attacks are still outstanding to watch. For the Flash, my favorite comic book character, his super move uses the speed force to move through time with his opponent. The results are effective and amusing.

Between the engaging storyline and the everchanging Multiverse challenges, the game provides some of the deepest single player action I’ve seen in quite some time. There is an online, multiplayer component to the game as well, but, as previously stated, I’m terrible at fighting games and didn’t venture into my doom online.

However, “Injustice 2” is still a lot of fun to play and a real treat for comic book fans. Even if you don’t follow along with the comic book series, players will still enjoy the action, the dialog, and the visual variety offered in the single player modes.

There is an incredible amount of content that will keep you coming back for more, whether it is to relive story chapters with a new character, take on new challenges in the Multiverse, or earn new gear to better outfit your favorite hero or villain.