On May 16th, 2017, Injustice 2 smashes its way onto store shelves. While I adore that first game, my excitement for the title has been muted for quite some time.
It all started with the first gameplay reveal. Watching Batman in action, it was clear that not only was the character largely intact from his previous iteration, but NetherRealm were using exact animations for most of his arsenal. In fact, many of the old combos that worked in the old games looked and worked identical here.
Understanding that recycling animations happens in the world of fighting game development, and that the practice helps maintain continuity, I was truly hoping for more of a shake-up. Ryu in Street Fighter V might have a very similar move set, but the properties of his frame data and the unique animations makes things fresh. While I’m guessing that this is going to be another quality fighter, I’m concerned that this will be a bit too much deja vu.
Furthermore, the game’s biggest innovation was one that I personally have zero interest in using. This time, players can earn and unlock gear to make their characters stronger. While this might be fun for single player, I don’t want to play a fighting game where my chances of winning are skewed due to players having unique armor sets. Yes, there are modes that ignore that, but when you bypass the armor system and many of the animations are the same, what are you really getting that’s fresh?
Because of this, I stopped actively following the promotion of the game. Knowing NetherRealm’s track record and my enjoyment of their past games, I expect this to be great as well. However, as someone who played hundreds of hours into the original, I’m struggling to see the new thrills that await me in Injustice 2. Unfortunately, I had to recently cancel my pre-order due to real life expenses getting in the way, but I look forward to playing this someday!