E3 (The Electronic Entertainment Expo) 2016 is upon us, with live-streamed conferences beginning June 12th, and the official show floor opening on June 14th. But that's not stopping game studios from pre-showing the pre-shows. One such show involves the sequel to the well-received DC superhero fighting game Injustice: Gods Among Us. The game featured one of DC's many wacky alt-universes, in which the Joker nukes Metropolis and tricks Superman into murdering Lois Lane and his unborn baby. Superman then establishes a One World Order to end war, which Batman resists, pulling heroes from the mainstream DC universe to fight beside him.
Needless to say, this results in a series of one-on-one "2.5-D" battles, using the Mortal Kombat (2011) fighting engine. The sequel was recently announced via a flashy, pre-rendered cutscene with DC heroes beating each other senseless, then "leveling up" with flashy, Tron-flavored armor to come back hitting all the harder. But gamers know that the proof is in the pudding, so seeing some actual gameplay less than a week later is a welcome relief.
In a video announcement released by IGN, Mortal Kombat co-creator Ed Boone revealed the first look at Injustice 2 (seen above), featuring Supergirl, Grodd, and more. The tagline "Every Victory - Every Defeat - Every Battle Defines You," plays over characters leveling up their armor.
The trailer doesn't indicate how character "balance" would be handled in the game's online mode, assuming that the armor will offer more than merely a cosmetic difference. The game's press release states, "For the first time, gamers can take control of how their characters look, fight, and develop across a variety of game modes." So how does this leveling system work? If defeat defines you, does your character power down and have to wear a dunce cap when you lose?
Fans of DC's TV franchises will be happy to see Gorilla Grodd and a chirpy Supergirl represented here in fine form. ("I punch above my weight.") Additionally, the game is said to feature "the biggest DC roster ever offered in a fighting game," and has even larger arenas in "iconic locations such as Metropolis, Gotham City, and Atlantis"
The game will also pick up where the story of the original left off:
Batman and his allies work towards putting the pieces of society back together while struggling against those who want to restore Superman’s regime. In the midst of the chaos, a new threat appears that will put Earth’s existence at risk.
Though the dystopian future represented in Injustice 2 may remind fans of the dream sequences in the recent Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice, there's unlikely to be ties between the game and Zack Snyder's big-screen superhero brawl. Still, Injustice 2 will allow comic book fans to again play - and fight - as their favorite super-powered characters.
Injustice 2 is slated for release on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One in 2017.