With just a few weeks left until Injustice 2 hits store shelves, we’ve decided to sit down and put together a comprehensive list of everything we know, and everything we think we know, about one of 2017’s most anticipated fighting games. So if you like the DC Universe, the Injustice series, or just fighting games in general, this list is for you.
What we know we know
What is Injustice 2‘s story about? Injustice 2 takes place in the same alternate dimension from the first game, where Superman became High Councilor and ruler of Earth. The bulk of the game’s story will follow this timeline’s Batman and his group of insurgents, who now act as the tip of the spear in humanity’s rebuilding efforts. Some characters from the main timeline, such as Green Arrow, remain to assist the alternate universe’s transition away from Superman’s rule following the events of the first Injustice.
The main opposition for Batman’s coalition will come from heroes and villains from the DCU who wish to reinstate Superman’s iron-fisted rule and have named themselves The Society. Based loosely on the Secret Society of Super Villains from the 1970s, this new group of super villains is led by Gorilla Grodd and features the likes of the Scarecrow, Captain Cold, Poison Ivy, Bane, and Cheetah.
While this alternate Earth’s heroes are dealing with The Society, however, Brainiac has set his sights on Earth, and this larger, imminent threat will force old foes to work together and create uneasy alliances to turn the tide of battle against Brainiac.
Who can we play as in Injustice 2? All starting roster characters have been confirmed. With pre-order bonus Darkseid, the Injustice 2 roster will featured 29 characters, and have nine DLC characters announced at a later date. The starting characters are:
- Black Adam
- Black Canary
- Blue Beetle
- Captain Cold
- Dr. Fate
- Green Arrow
- Green Lantern
- Gorilla Grodd
- Harley Quinn
- Poison Ivy
- Swamp Thing
- Wonder Woman
What gameplay elements are staying the same in Injustice 2? The first Injustice definitely had a winning formula, so a lot of the gameplay is fortunately staying the same. Character traits that can act as mid-battle buffs, or extra projectiles, will return. A favorite new one we’ve seen so far is Atrocitus, who calls on his cat, Dexstar (also a Red Lantern), to shoot red energy beams from its tail. Stage transitions and environment interaction also return, and once again depending on the hero, you’ll have different actions. A tank like Gorilla Grodd will pick and throw large objects like cars or debris from the battlefield, while a more nimble hero like Harley Quinn will use it to bounce off and change position within the arena for a (hopefully) more advantageous combat scenario.
What new arenas can we expect from the game? With characters from the Bat-Family and Batman’s Rogues Gallery like Scarecrow, Poison Ivy, and Bane on the roster, you can expect to see a lot of overlap in familiar locations like Arkham Asylum and the Batcave for many of these characters. Metropolis and Atlantis have also been confirmed as having plenty of representation in Injustice 2. Recent trailers also show, though, Gorilla Grodd and his Society stomping around the giant trees of Gorilla City, and Swamp Thing coming out of the ground in an overgrown swamp. It’s also been been said that each arena is larger and more epic than those seen in the first game allowing for more potential stage transitions to who knows where.
What changes are coming to gameplay? The biggest change to gameplay is called the “Gear System.” Taking a page out of many action-RPGs, winning battles will reward your character with special gear pro-rated to your player level. Arm, leg, body, and head armor can affect your character in fun and unique ways, making it a rarity for two of the same characters to ever face each other, and doing away almost entirely with the concept of the mirror match. Some gear might make you run faster, other gear might make your attacks stronger, while others still could boost your health. How you mix and match is up to you, but it also has the added bonus of changing your cosmetic appearance, absolutely revolutionizing the idea of fighter customization in a fighting game.
Will S.T.A.R. Labs Mode return in Injustice 2? It looks like for all intents and purposes that the kibosh has been put on S.T.A.R. Labs mode in Injustice 2. Instead, a new mode called Multiverse Mode is being added, which draws a lot of inspiration from the Living Towers of Mortal Kombat X.
DC Comics has had multiple dimensions since 1961, when The Flash first crossed over into Earth-2. The number of alternate dimensions has only grown since then (and also later contracted some), with the Injustice-verse officially becoming it’s own alternate DC reality now. In Multiverse Mode, players will have a chance to tackle timed fight challenges set across some of the other different worlds and timelines from the overall DC Comics mythos, including early screens of the mode hinting at Bat-Mite and Mr. Mxyzptlk’s 5th Dimension. The fights will have a variety of stipulations, similar to the challenges seen in S.T.A.R. Labs Mode and later the Living Towers, and the portals to different worlds will cycle at different timed rates.
Beating Multiverse Mode challenges will offer special Mother Boxes with limited edition gear to continue customizing your fighters. Mother Boxes are an in-game loot crates that can only be purchased with in-game currency earned through fighting.
Will Injustice 2 have microtransactions? There will be a microtransaction system in Injustice 2. Players can spend real world money to buy Source Crystals, a special currency that allows you to buy special cosmetic skins and shaders without earning them through combat. Source Crystals can also be exchanged for special “Transform Gear” items, which allows you to apply the visuals of one piece of gear to another, thus allowing you to match preferred cosmetic pieces with preferred stat modifiers. Source Crystals can only be used for cosmetic purposes, ensuring the system is not pay-to-win.
Will Injustice 2 have a tie-in comic book like the original game? Confirmed by comic book writer Tom Taylor at SDCC 2016, NetherRealm is again working closely with DC Comics to put out a comic book that will bridge the narrative gap between the end of Injustice and the start of Injustice 2. Taylor, who was instrumental to the comic book series that detailed the events leading up to the original Injustice, also said he would be involved with this project. The comics will first be released digitally on a weekly basis via retailers like ComiXology, Kindle, and DC’s own mobile app, with proper print versions coming later.
How will Injustice 2‘s multiplayer work with the new gear system? It has been confirmed that Injustice 2 will have two sets of rules for online play with the gear system. There will be one mode where players can bring all their modifications online, and there will be an official tournament mode that will reset all characters back to their base stats, but allow for cosmetic customization to still be used.
Will Injustice 2 be a part of EVO in 2017? With its May 16th release date, Injustice 2 makes the cutoff for the EVO 2017 championship series, which has confirmed Injustice 2 as be one of the nine games featured with its own tournament at the show this year.
The Basics (skip)
Where can I see the Injustice 2 announcement trailer? You can watch the trailer, originally released in June of 2016, right here:
Who is making Injustice 2? Injustice 2 is being developed by NetherRealm Studios, the developer of the first game and the minds behind the Mortal Kombat series. NetherRealm Studios used to be developer/publisher Midway games, but was reformed under publisher Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment after Midway went bankrupt several years ago. Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment is what is allowing NetherRealm to use the DC Universe intellectual properties, since their parent company, Warner Bros., also owns DC Comics.
What platforms is the game launching on? Injustice 2 will launch simultaneously for Xbox One and PS4. A PC version has not been ruled out, but will likely come sometime after the initial launch of the console versions of the game, considering the issues NetherRealm has had with getting its games onto PCs in the past. There will also be an alternate version of the game released for iOS and Android devices similar to the original Injustice mobile game at the same time as the Xbox One and PS4 versions.
When will Injustice 2 release? Injustice 2 has been confirmed for release on May 16th, 2017.
What we think we know
What’s Injustice 2‘s story mode like? Besides the basic plotline, we haven’t been told anything about Story Mode yet beyond it being “longer and more epic” according to Ed Boon. It’d be shocking to see it deviate any from the chapter-based gameplay from NetherRealm’s past three games, though, so expect several battles with nearly each character on the roster as it serves whatever narrative NetherRealm has cooked up.
Will the iOS and Android versions of Injustice 2 be similar to the mobile versions of Injustice? We don’t know a lot about the mobile version of Injustice 2, but the first game hit on a winning formula, so it’d be surprising if anything major with the gameplay changed with this new one. Expect characters that can’t fit in the main game to be available here (Darkseid, for instance, was only in the mobile version of the first game), the card system of unlocking characters, and the tap-happy gameplay that would get your heroes to fight on your mobile screen.
What we still want to know
How is the Injustice-verse Joker a part of the main roster? The Joker from the original Injustice was a part of the mainline DC Universe. He went back with that world’s Batman, Superman, and others at the end of the game. The Joker from the Injustice-verse was thought—and still described as—dead. He was after all the key catalyst to that world’s Superman walking down a dictatorial path. Our guess would be that this Joker might appear in flashbacks, a hallucination as a result of Scarecrow’s Fear Gas at some point, or for some reason someone dropped him in a Lazarus Pit. Offering him up a full roster spot, however, was a surprise worthy of the Clown Prince of Crime, for sure.
What are the DLC Injustice 2 fighters? We were actually pretty accurate with some of our guesses back in December, with the likes of Captain Cold, Scarecrow, Robin, and Swamp Thing making the main roster. It’s more difficult at this point to keep guessing, however, as we’ve exhausted most clues as to what could be next. Clayface was an original founding member of the Secret Society of Super Villains, which Injustice 2‘s Society is based off of, but we’d be surprised to see too many more Batman baddies added to the roster. Characters from the last game, like Raven, Zatanna, Solomon Grundy, or Hawkgirl, would make sense. And if the Lazarus Pit idea holds water, there’s always Ra’s Al Guhl lurking out there somewhere, or the more barbaric immortal, Vandal Savage.
I wouldn’t expect characters fans have been begging for like Beast Boy or Huntress to join this game’s ranks considering they were all killed off in the tie-in comics, but with Injustice-verse Joker joining the ranks officially this go around, you can’t rule them out completely. Following the trend of cameos from the last game or the iOS versions crossing over, we could see Metallo, Parasite, and Static Shock as potential additions as well.
Of course, if NetherRealm is looking for a more current tie-in to the state of DC Comics, the ongoing DC Rebirth event, which is chock full of alternate universe characters, could open the door for characters from Watchmen, like Ozymandias or Dr. Manhattan, to enter the fray as well.
Will Injustice 2 have crossover characters from Mortal Kombat or other series? While this could be seen as a continuation of the DLC question, it’s worthy of its own spotlight. Since 2011’s Mortal Kombat, when Kratos and Freddy Krueger joined the roster, NetherRealm has been adding crossover characters into their games. Injustice had Scorpion from MK, and MKX had a bunch of other classic movie characters, including Jason from Friday the 13th, the Alien, and the Predator. The rumor mill has been projecting Sub-Zero might pop his head into the DC Universe, but with Captain Cold now confirmed, two cryo-themed characters could be overkill. So, if NetherRealm continues the pattern, where will they draw from, and who from outside the DCU is worthy of a spot in Injustice?
If you follow Ed Boon on Twitter, you might know that one possibility is Todd McFarlane’s Spawn, the character that helped launch Image Comics. Spawn’s hell-based powers would be a unique addition to the roster yet still fit in with the crazy comic book world of Injustice.