One of my favourite comic book series of the past five years has been the (mostly) Tom Taylor-penned Injustice: Gods Among Us. It originally began as a tie-in to the Warner Brothers Interactive video game released back in 2013. The game takes place in an alternate DC Universe, where The Joker kills Lois Lane and nukes Metropolis, leading a grief-stricken Superman to murder the Clown Prince of Crime and go about establishing a totalitarian regime around the world, dedicated to eradicating crime before it happens. This puts Superman and his associates against Batman, and the story plays out in fighter-style as the two teams rage against each other.
Taylor’s story became its own thing, adding faces not featured in the game and fleshing out character and motivations. Because it was and is a standalone story, deaths happen, matter, and last, which is a rarity in the regular DC Universe. The series and the original game were huge hits, and while the comic has been an ongoing release, it’s taken four years for a sequel to the game to arrive on shelves.
It was worth the wait.
Injustice 2 takes place five years after the original game. Superman remains in prison, while Batman and his colleagues are looking to restore peace to the world while also dealing with the remnants of Superman’s regime. However, villains are rising up together as the Society, while Braniac has made his way to Earth in search of Superman, who he believes is the last remaining Kryptonian (spoiler alert: he’s not). It’s up to Batman to find heroes willing to band together and once more save the world.
Injustice 2 is a compelling game, thanks in no small part to the gorgeous cuts scenes that advance the outstanding story directed by Ed Boon. The dialogue is real and right in line with the characters. There is so much at stake, which one doesn’t necessarily expect from a fighting game. However, Boon and company redefined that experience for Injustice and have continued to expand it here. More characters, more interactive environments. More of what made the original game a bestseller.
Injustice 2 is so gorgeously rendered that you feel as though you’re finally watching a solid DC Universe film (fingers crossed that Wonder Woman finally rights the course). Whether you’re watching a cut scene or immersed in battle, Injustice 2 delivers an experience that helps explain to naysayers what makes DC so different from Marvel. As a proud and true Marvel Zombie, I relate and love the humanity of its characters. The DC Universe though, it is something different – these heroes and villains feel like they’re truly a depiction of Gods, which made the first game’s original tag line, Gods Among Us, so appropriate. Playing Injustice 2, YOU feel as if you’re in control of some of the biggest, strongest entities in history.
While there is so much more good than bad with Injustice 2, it’s worth mentioning that it isn’t a simple pick up and play fighting game. While character’s super moves are amazing to watch, activating can be challenging and somewhat frustrating. Stick with it, though, and the rewards are badass.
While DC may be struggling to find its voice in cinemas (once again, save us, Wonder Woman), Injustice 2 is a clear indication that they know exactly what they’re doing when it comes to video games. For fans of the original or the comic book series, this is an absolutely must-play.