There are few more hotly anticipated games on the horizon than Injustice 2. The fighting game, which pits some of the most popular heroes and villains (and the characters in-between) from the DC Comics Universe against one another, is the next installment in the franchise (after 2013’s Injustice: Gods Among Us).
While we don’t have much longer to wait, we are at an interesting crossroads as far as information given goes. At the time of this article, we are about a month out from the game’s release and there are still a ton of unanswered questions. Luckily, what we do know about the game has us hyped beyond our wildest imaginations. Injustice 2 is shaping up to be perhaps one of the most deep, complex, and awesome fighting games of all time. For your benefit, we have digested and rounded up Every Update You Need To Know About Injustice 2. Enjoy!
15 Injustice Day
As we mentioned in the introduction, we are awfully close to the release of Injustice 2. The hype machine is in full force, and we are getting a constant trickle of information and trailers and gameplay videos as we count down the milliseconds to the game’s release. The game is slated to drop on May 16, 2017 both in stores and digitally.
The game was developed by NetherRealm Studios, the team that formed from the original Mortal Kombat team at Midway. NetherRealm was picked up by Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment when Midway shuttered its doors, but Mortal Kombat co-creator Ed Boon continues to steer the ship and is Injustice 2’s director. NetherRealm cut their DC teeth while still at Midway by making Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe. Since then, NetherRealm has essentially switched back and forth between the Mortal Kombat franchise and Injustice. Their ever-evolving fighting game expertise looks to be coming to a very satisfying head with Injustice 2.
As of right now, the main game is slated to be released to the Sony Playstation 4 and Microsoft’s XBox One. There have been no other announcements for the main game being featured on other consoles with just over a month left before release. This is in stark contrast to the Injustice-everywhere strategy of the first game, which released to the Playstation 4, Playstation 3, Xbox One, Xbox 360, Wii U, Playstation Vita, and was available on Windows (including via the Steam platform).
The Playstation 3, Xbox 360, and Wii U are unlikely to ever sniff Injustice 2, but we are not ruling out a later release to the PC-- as it’s still a large force in the gaming world, unlike previous gen consoles. We also aren’t convinced that there won’t be announcements later for handheld consoles, and maybe even the Nintendo Switch.
As with the first Injustice, mobile versions (that are heavily changed from the main game) will be released for Android and iOS. Injustice 2 will release as a separate app from the first mobile Injustice, as opposed to just being a large update/overhaul of the original app. As with the first Injustice mobile game, it is safe to assume that Injustice 2 will be free-to-play on mobile platforms even though nothing has been officially announced.
13 Pre-Order Bonus
As with most AAA games these days, the publisher is working hard to ensure there are lots of pre-orders. The MSRP of the basic version of the game (more on versions later) is pegged at $59.99, and it is common to add a little something something for the gaming faithful that order ahead of time and are willing to pay full boat to get the game at launch. The game, as with all others, will likely see a price drop within 6-7 months (likely just in time for the holidays) and will teeter further into budget price range as time goes on. How fast that happens will depend on how many (or how few) copies get sold.
As inducement for people picking up the game as a pre-order, a playable Darkseid will be unlocked. This appears to be a pre-order exclusive at this point. For those not in the know, Darkseid is a major villain in the DC Universe created by Jack Kirby in the early 1970s. His power set in the comics is all over the place, so it’s anybody’s guess as to how he’ll be represented inside the game. Darkseid was previously featured in the Injustice comic (more on that later, too), but did not appear in the first game.
12 Other Versions and Premiere Skins
Just like most other major releases these days, several versions of the game will be available for purchase. At its most simple, will be the game on its own (either as a physical copy or download), and is referred to as the Standard Edition. The next step up is actually a digital-only version called the Digital Deluxe Edition (which will retail for $79.99 at release). This will include what is being referred to as a “Premiere Skin” for Supergirl, effectively turning her into Power Girl, by including a new look, voice, and dialogue. Her moveset, however, will be the same. The Deluxe will also include the Gods Shader Pack, which will allow you to alter the color of your characters. Lastly, the Deluxe Edition will include 3 DLC fighters. Currently, it is unknown if you’ll be able to select those 3 DLC fighters or if they’ll be chosen for you. It is also unknown presently which fighters will be DLC (they could possibly be among the characters revealed already or characters that haven’t been announced yet).
The Ultimate Edition (retailing at $99.99) includes the Power Girl Premiere Skin and the Gods Shader Pack, along with several other goodies. There will be a Demons Shader Pack, and two other Premiere Skins: a John Stewart Green Lantern that overlays Hal Jordan and a Reverse Flash that overlays The Flash. The Ultimate Edition also features 9 DLC characters, and will be available digitally and as a physical copy.
11 The Characters We Know
One of the most exciting things about Injustice 2 is its roster. NetherRealm is not being shy about throwing the kitchen sink at us as far as the characters being included in the game. We’ve already covered Darkseid (the pre-order bonus character), and the Premiere Skins of Power Girl, John Stewart, and Reverse Flash. That means that Flash, Green Lantern, and Supergirl (who is new to the series herself) will be in the game.
Also confirmed as returning to Injustice are Aquaman, Bane, Batman, Black Adam, Catwoman, Cyborg, Flash, Green Arrow, Harley Quinn, Superman, and Wonder Woman.
Other characters that have been confirmed are Atrocitus (a villain and member of the Red Lantern Corps), Black Canary (a super heroine who TV fans will know from her appearances in Arrow), Blue Beetle (a young hero powered by a mystical scarab), Brainiac (more on him later), Captain Cold (a popular Flash villain who’s also featured on the show Legends of Tomorrow), Cheetah (Wonder Woman’s feline arch nemesis), Deadshot (villain/anti-hero known best now from Suicide Squad), Doctor Fate (mystic master with a heavy Egyptian imagery motif), Firestorm (atomic energy hero seen in Legends of Tomorrow), Gorilla Grodd (giant, smart, evil, psychic gorilla who had a cameo in Injustice), Poison Ivy (plant-manipulating villain), Robin (Batman’s former sidekick/current estranged son), Scarecrow (fear-manipulating Bat-villain who had non-playable roles in Injustice), and Swamp Thing (elemental monster/guardian).
10 The Characters We Don't
On the Injustice 2 website, there is an updating section for the characters of the game. The information about who’ll be on the roster has been coming in drips and drabs in the form of gameplay trailers (that show the character in question kicking butt). 28 fighters (and the Premiere Skins) have been revealed… which is already a solid roster (by contrast, 34 were playable in the 1st game, and there were 11 skinned characters).
There are still 11 empty slots on the characters page of the website, one of which promises a reveal of another character on April 28th. There’s a good deal of speculation and hearsay on the internet as to who the remaining characters will be. There are some A-List characters that haven’t been announced for Injustice 2, and should be considered distinct possibilities for a slot: Batgirl, Martian Manhunter, Hawkgirl, Lex Luthor, Mortal Kombat’s Scorpion, and Joker (who is shown to have been killed by Superman in the trailer for Injustice 2 but since when has death stopped a famous character from showing up?). There is also the issue of the DLC characters mentioned on the pre-order page-- which of these characters will not be included in the release version of the game? How many will be DLC? Just the 9 that will be included in the Ultimate Edition? Will we be treated to the Wonder Twins, who were teased on April Fool’s Day by Ed Boon? Only time will tell.
9 Taking A Tour Of DC
There hasn’t been much official word on the game’s stages, but we here at Screen Rant have been going through the videos with a fine-toothed comb. While we wouldn’t ask you to bet your life savings on our say-so, it does appear as though there are at least 11 different stages that can be played on in the game. Like Injustice before it, the stages have multiple areas that can be accessed through a properly timed and placed attack. As we’ve seen in trailers, there are some grandiose (and painful) segues between the different areas. For instance, in the Batcave a fighter can be punched through a wall to wind up floating down a raging sewer. In the sewer you are picked up by Killer Croc and slammed through another wall leading back to another part of the stage. Ouch.
As far as we can tell the stages that have been shown are Arkham Asylum (outside and inside), Metropolis (which includes the Ace O’Clubs bar), the streets of Gotham (in front of what looks like the Monarch Theater), Swamp Thing’s swamp in Louisiana, the Batcave, a Natural History Museum, a high-tech laboratory, Atlantis, Egypt, a limbo-like realm with floating statues, and the cell holding an imprisoned Superman. It is entirely possible that the stages we mentioned are just areas that are part of the same stage. It’s also possible that you will have the ability to start in different areas of a stage to mix things up.
8 Story Mode
Injustice: Gods Among Us carried with it more of a storyline than we typically see in a fighting game. What that meant for the game, though, was that the Story Mode really was a Story Mode, and it was just that you got to enact the battles within the battle-heavy story of the game. In practical terms, that meant that you were not allowed to select your fighter in the mode-- you were forced to play as whatever character would further the story along by virtue of a victory. And the story would not progress any further until you beat the fight.
It appears that this is still the case again for Injustice 2. The traditional “fight ladder” of fighting games, where you are able to pick your character, will be saved for whatever the equivalent of Injustice’s Battle Mode is. One interesting thing to note, however, is that the slogan for the game, “Every battle defines you,” appears to imply that both wins and losses will affect the outcome of your character’s story. The copy inside the game’s trailer further hammers the point home, as it says, “Every victory, every defeat, every battle, defines you.” Could that imply that we will have multiple endings based on wins and losses? Or does that say something more about the gear system in the game?
7 Gear System & Colors
What is the gear system, you might ask? Well, we’re glad you did. This is probably the largest change to the game, and the one that we are most excited about. Every character, through the course of playing the game and presumably winning or reaching achievements, will be able to swap out parts of their outfit and weapons with newly acquired artifacts.
The game will pull these different bits of equipment from DC lore, such as changing out your Superman ‘S’ shield for the hammer and sickle shield of Superman: Red Son. Each piece of gear will come with buffs to different stats-- making your character more powerful on offence or more difficult to damage. There will also be brand new attacks made available by certain gear. Each piece of gear will correspond to a full set that will imbue your fighter with even more advantages if the entire set is equipped (and it will also create a more unified look). The gear will be cosmetic only for tournament play, so the playing field stays more even and balanced than it otherwise would. You will also have the option of turning off the stat bonuses in local play. Lastly, you will have more options to color or paint your fighter based on the gear you’ve amassed.
6 Gaming Mechanic Tweaks
Another giant wrinkle in Injustice 2 to set it apart from its predecessor is the implementation of a more complex power meter economy. As you hit and get hit, your character powers up their meter-- and when it is filled up you may deplete it to unleash a devastating Super Move. But the meter in the sequel has segments, and now you can deplete specific segments to implement other actions.
You will be able to spend one segment of the bar in order to perform an evasive roll. Primarily this will be used to get you out of a jam or a monster combo when you’re backed up against the wall. When used correctly, it can also help springboard your offence in new and exciting ways-- especially against slower fighters. For two segments, you will be able to perform an air recovery, and pull yourself out of a barrage mid-air.
The inclusion of environmental weapons and attacks (like exploding drones or stone slabs that can be picked up and thrown) will be returning… only now they will be blockable. Wake-up moves have also been added to further deepen strategy. Additionally, characters will all walk faster, which will help with some complaints about the slow and plodding speed of matches from the first game.
5 Injustice Prequel Comic
The world of Injustice is not the world of mainstream DC continuity. The world is essentially a dystopian Elseworld story that is built in such a way as to make it plausible that so many heroes and villains would be fighting amongst themselves in knock-down, drag-out fights (more on that later). It also helps to explain why someone like The Joker could take such a prolonged beating from someone like Superman and live to tell about it… or wail on Doomsday and win.
The backstory of the world was detailed through a prequel comic that, for a tie-in with a video game, was really quite good. In time for Injustice 2 is another comic series that will detail what happened between the events of the two games. Just to help stoke the fires of curiosity: Superman took over the world after having been tricked into killing a pregnant Lois Lane by The Joker. Say what?!
4 The Regime
That’s right. Superman is a villain, folks. After Supes kills the woman he loves and his unborn child, he kills The Joker, and sets about creating a one-world government with him at the top that brutally dispatches the world’s criminal element (and dissenting voices in the superhero community). The Regime counts Wonder Woman, Cyborg, and Robin (Damian Wayne) as members. Villains such as Black Adam, Sinestro, and Bane are also members of The Regime.
The events of the first game saw Superman defeated, captured, and imprisoned by Batman and his allies. In the trailers for Injustice 2, Superman (held captive in a cell that nullifies his powers), seems to be intimating to Batman that no matter how noble Batman’s intentions are, that he will also seize power now that he’s been given the chance. It is unclear based on the trailers and comic previews how and when Superman breaks free, but footage of Superman fighting (and his intro that consists of bursting free from kryptonite-infused handcuffs) indicates that he is out and back on the warpath.
3 The Insurgency/Justice League?
Standing up to Superman and his Regime was a group dubbed The Insurgency. The ringleader of the outfit is Batman. He is aided in his quest by a mole in The Regime-- none other than Lex Luthor. When Superman outs Batman as Bruce Wayne and seizes Wayne’s assets (and Batcave), Luthor bankrolls Batman’s resistance. Additionally, Luthor supplies the members of The Insurgency with a pill called 5-U-93-R, that gives people to the strength and constitution levels of Superman (this is how we can have a fighting game where Catwoman and Lobo and Captain Cold and Black Adam are all at comparable strength levels).
Having succeeded at detaining Superman, it seems as though Bruce Wayne has focused his attention on other growing threats. It is impossible to tell from the videos what enemies are known or unknown, but it does appear as though Batman has rebranded his group as the Justice League in the wake of his success.
2 The Other Factions
Using the trailers for some sense of direction, it appears as though one larger faction has been borne from the world of Injustice to help fill the void left by the dissolution of Superman’s Regime. Evil, psychic genius Gorilla Grodd appears to have assembled some of the nastiest supervillains living in the DCU as The Society. From the trailers, The Society is run by Grodd and features Captain Cold, Cheetah, Bane (formerly of The Regime), Deadshot, Reverse Flash, Poison Ivy, Scarecrow, and Catwoman (who appears to be working for Batman still).
As if that weren’t enough factions, it seems as though Harley Quinn is working to form her own team by coaxing Catwoman to her side along with Barbara Gordon, and Black Canary. It is unclear what side of what side the proposed Gotham City Sirens would be on. Swamp Thing appears to be playing on his own team. And that’s not factoring in the other villains and where they stand-- Darkseid and Brainiac.
1 The Big Bad
Seeing as sequels always need to up the ante in terms of both action and stakes, running back an escaped Superman with his Regime pals seems a bit underwhelming. While game footage certainly implies that Superman is back out and battling, and while many of The Regime’s combatants are still on the game roster, there is a clear indication that more is afoot. We now have the aforementioned Society to factor in as a threat to the peace and sanctity of the world.
The pre-order character Darkseid has consistently been one of the most prominent and dangerous of all the DC villains and, with his simple non-speaking introduction in Injustice 2’s videos (indicating only that he is a playable pre-order bonus), his allegiances and role in the web are unclear.
This then brings us to Brainiac, the very smart and very dangerous supervillain and Superman foil. In the first official story trailer for Injustice 2 we are treated to an interesting catch-up session with a narrator that doesn’t sound like a typical trailer narrator. It is only as things wind down that we see the narrator is in fact Brainiac, indicating that he will be pulling strings and pitting people against one another and eventually taking what he believes to be his. How his machinations align with everyone else remains to be seen, but it is fairly clear that Brainiac is meant to be the core villain of the game.
Is there an easter egg we've missed? What would you like to see in Injustice 2? Are you as excited as we are? Let us know in the comments!