Injustice 2 isn't just about making Batman and Superman beat each other up — it's also about dressing them up in the coolest-looking pieces of spandex you can find.
The latest DC fighting game from the folks behind Mortal Kombat, Injustice 2 evolves the superhero brawler series with a new cinematic story mode, tons of ways to play and an innovative gear system that lets you customize the game's huge roster of iconic heroes and villains. Whether you're looking to get competitive or just really want to see Green Lantern in a shiny purple suit, here's everything you need to know about Injustice 2 before it hits PS4 and Xbox One on May 16.
What's the story?
Warning: minor spoilers for Injustice: Gods Among Us follow.
Set in an alternate DC universe, 2013's Injustice: Gods Among Us told the story of a Superman gone bad. After being tricked into killing Lois Lane by The Joker, the Man of Steel becomes a murderous tyrant who vows to stop all criminals, no matter the violent costs. Naturally, Batman leads an insurgency against Superman's dictatorship and ultimately prevails, resulting in evil Supes getting put in a super-jail.
Injustice 2 finds Batman and crew trying to rebuild Earth in the wake of Superman's rule, while new threats, such as Gorilla Grodd's villainous Society, try to stop him. As if things weren't bad enough for The Dark Knight,, DC mega-baddie Brainiac shows up somewhere along the way threatening to destroy the entire planet. We'll have to play Injustice 2's story mode to find out what happens next, but we're expecting a good amount of betrayals, deaths, explosions and epic superhero landings.
What can I do in Injustice 2?
Injustice 2's story mode is just the tip of the iceberg. The game's Multiverse mode offers a rotating set of challenges that each have their own unique modifiers, from fighting at hyper-speed to trying to dodge all kinds of environmental hazards in the heat of battle. You'll also have a variety of options for playing your friends both online and off.
But the real draw of Injustice 2 is the new gear system, which lets you earn loot that can be used to customize both the look and fighting style of your favorite heroes and villains. Earnable by simply playing any of the game's modes, gear pieces each grant bonuses to stats such as damage and speed, and, in some cases, even unlock new moves.
Equipping gear also allows you to create a Supergirl, Green Lantern or Robin that's truly your own, whether they're donning flashy neon colors or wearing throwback comic book suits. If you're the competitive type, don't worry -- the game will have a tournament-friendly option for playing without the stat bonuses that come with gear.
Who can I play as in Injustice 2?
Injustice 2 will launch with a 29-hero roster comprised of both DC icons and obscure fan favorites. Three post-launch fighters are already confirmed, with six more to follow later this year. Here's the full list so far:
- Wonder Woman
- Gorilla Grodd
- Harley Quinn
- The Flash
- Blue Beetle
- Poison Ivy
- Black Canary
- Swamp Thing
- The Joker
- Dr. Fate
- Green Lantern
- Green Arrow
- Black Adam
- Captain Cold
- Darkseid (pre-order bonus)
- Sub-Zero (DLC)
- Starfire (DLC)
- Red Hood (DLC)
What different versions can I buy? Will there be DLC?
Injustice 2 comes in three flavors. Aside from the $60 Standard Edition, there's also an $80 Digital Deluxe Edition that includes 3 DLC fighters, a Power Girl skin for Supergirl and a special shader pack. Stepping up to the $100 Ultimate Edition gets you a total of 9 DLC characters, special skins for The Flash, Green Lantern and Supergirl, two exclusive shaders and a fancy steelbook.
If you're curious if those extra characters are worth it, NetherRealm has already confirmed that the first DLC fighter pack will include Red Hood, Starfire and Mortal Kombat star Sub-Zero. No word yet on who the remaining 6 characters are, but watching the game's DLC trailer closely reveals some potential teases for characters such as Raiden and Black Manta.
What about the Injustice 2 mobile game?
Like Injustice and Mortal Kombat X before it, Injustice 2 has a mobile counterpart that you can download for free on iOS and Android. The game improves on the simple, tap-to-fight gameplay from previous iterations, and allows you to unlock gear for the console version of Injustice 2. The mobile version of Injustice 2 looks strikingly faithful to the console game -- you'll even get to play through the same cinematic story mode.
Should I play Injustice 2?
If you like polished, content-packed fighting games, then absolutely. We gave Injustice 2 a 9 out of 10 in our full review, largely thanks to its tight, masterfully deep combat and a cinematic story mode that puts the DC movies to shame. Between the robust gear system, the endlessly replayable Multiverse mode and online play, NetherRealm's latest fighter has a ton to offer for casual comic book fans and hardcore tournament players alike.
Image Credits: WB Interactive Entertainment
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Mike Andronico is Senior Writer at CNNUnderscored. He was formerly Managing Editor at Tom's Guide, where he wrote extensively on gaming, as well as running the show on the news front. When not at work, you can usually catch him playing Street Fighter, devouring Twitch streams and trying to convince people that Hawkeye is the best Avenger.