We’re already excited at the prospect since the first game was excellent, so we thought we’d tell Warner Bros the things they need to get right with Injustice 2. But firstly there’s one catch: it’s not currently announced for PC. So why would a PC-focused site like GameWatcher bother to write about it? Well, that’s because we know something:
Injustice 2 Is Definitely Coming To PC
Point 1: Injustice: Gods Among Us wasn’t announced for PC either.And yet, here it is. The same goes for Mortal Kombat IX. In both cases we got the Complete Edition with all the DLC, and they mostly worked fine. The only time NetherRealm have released a game for PC day and date with the consoles was Mortal Kombat X, and that did not go down well.
Point 2: There’s still a year to go.Injustice 2 has a vague release date of “2017” and literally anything could happen in that time. Mortal Kombat X might get a huge patch and the final DLC pack, Marvel might announce a competing fighting game that’s also on PC and DC wants to catch up, or more likely Warner Bros and NetherRealm are trying to work out whether they can release a polished experience for PC if they release that version the same day as the consoles. They haven’t technically announced a release date at all yet, and PC gets announced late all the time: Quantum Break wasn’t originally meant for PC either, yet that came out the same time on Xbox One and PC too.
Riddle me this! When is being late a good thing?
Point 3: Warner Bros know that we’re more forgiving of delays than bad ports. A game like Batman: Arkham Knight comes out the same time as consoles and is torn apart, but Grand Theft Auto V was released 18 months late (and still 6 months after the XB1/PS4 release) and yet is considered the definitive edition of the game. The original Mass Effect came 7 months after the Xbox 360 release, and it’s the only version worth bothering with. Injustice on PC was also 7 months late, wasn’t better than consoles and had netcode and slowdown problems, yet Steam reviews are Mostly Positive. Mortal Kombat X’s are Mixed at best. Also, compare Batman: Arkham Knight’s Overall to Recent Steam Reviews now that it’s been patched a bit. “Overwhelmingly Positive”? Gee, I wonder what would’ve happened if they’d released Arkham Knight when it was actually finished!
Point 4: Everything these days is released on PC. Go on, apart from first party developed console exclusives like Uncharted, Mario or Halo (and even that last one might still appear) name me some third-party major games from the last few years that didn’t come out on PC. Even Japan, a country traditionally averse to making PC titles, has noticed the market potential and have begun releasing every game on PC too, even niche titles like Danganronpa or former Playstation exclusives like Final Fantasy X. The eagerly anticipated No Man’s Sky was announced as a PS4 exclusive but we’re getting that day and date with Sony, likewise on Xbox Rise of the Tomb Raider was announced as Xbox One only but that quickly came to PC – and being exclusive for that short amount of time actually hurt the game’s sales. Even Street Fighter V came out on PC, and that’s the biggest competitor for NetherRealm’s games. Third-party console exclusives are going away, and being replaced with at worst timed exclusives. Why? Because games cost too much not to make them available on every possible system.
Point 5: The PC version is now on retail sites!. As we mentioned in the update, both Amazon.fr and GamesMania retail sites as of September 2017 have listings for the PC version. GamesMania even have box art. It’s coming, people!
So trust us: Injustice 2 is definitely coming to PC. Now that’s established, let’s sink into our Wish List for the game!
A Better PC Port
Let’s go for the Warner Bros jugular shall we? The publisher has a spotty history when it comes to the PC versions of their games, especially when it comes to the DC Universe or fighting games – and this is both. The horrors of Batman: Arkham Knight, Arkham Origins and Mortal Kombat X have not been forgiven or forgotten, especially as Warners weren’t very successful in patching them. Injustice: Gods Among Us was not an exception. There’s still unexplained random slowdown, a glitch where key bindings get reset, and terrible netcode that often won’t see players.
Goes with the request above, but with an asterisk. The online community in Injustice is dead on PC, because no one can bloody play online on PC. Search for an online game and you’ll get nothing. There are leaderboards and clearly people playing, but the only way to get a game is to directly invite people to fight through Steam. Awful, and done even worse in Mortal Kombat X. We’re really hoping NetherRealm gets things right from the start this time.
Epic Story, with the DLC characters this time
If you ask any DC fan who’s played it what makes Injustice so good, they’ll answer “the story”. Well, maybe “the awesome fights” but mostly story. It’s surprisingly good, dealing with an alternate Earth where the Joker tricks Superman into murdering Lois Lane and nukes Metropolis, an enraged Superman kills the Joker and goes off the deep end. Five years later Superman is the head of a Regime that rules the world and Batman runs the resistance, and into this melting pot the Justice League from the regular DC Earth are thrown.
Beware The Red Pants
The sequel will pick up after the epic ending that saw Regime Superman imprisoned, and supposedly deal with a new threat to the Injustice Earth. We can only speculate on this threat (Darkseid? Brainiac? I’m hoping for Black Lanterns), but we’re mostly just hoping for two things: that it’s as entertaining as the first game, and that former DLC characters will actually feature in it. The omission of characters such as Martian Manhunter, General Zod, Zatanna, and Batgirl from the story completely was a little annoying when they’re such good characters. Okay, maybe not Scorpion.
Update: We’ve played it, and the story’s fantastic. And yes, it did indeed feature Brainiac as we suspected. So no problems here!
The same voice cast…
One of the great things about Injustice (other than the story and the awesome fights) was the voice cast that was mostly a reunion of the actors from Justice League: The Animated Series, including Kevin Conroy’s Batman, Susan Eisenberg’s Wonder Woman and George Newbern’s Superman. And awesomely despite John Stewart being Green Lantern in the cartoon NetherRealm even remembered that Adam Baldwin played Hal Jordan for all of three lines in a single episode and brought him back to fully reprise the role. Keep the cast, please!
Update: Most are the same, although Hal Jordan’s Green Lantern has been recast.
Well, with one exception…
Pictured - awesomeness incarnate
Yep, Mark Hamill chose not to play his perfect Joker, and his absence was keenly felt. Instead Richard Epcar reprised the role, after previously playing the Clown Prince in forgotten Injustice warm-up act Mortal Kombat Vs DC Universe. He wasn’t too bad, but he’s no Mark Hamill. Get Luke Skywalker back, Warners. Oh fine, I’ll take Troy Baker as a second choice.
Update: Nope. Still Richard Epcar.
Better Wonder Woman model
In general we really liked the designs and models in Injustice, with one major exception: Wonder Woman. She’s supposed to be a warrior and the most beautiful woman in the world, instead we got a man wearing a wig and boob armour. New model please.
Update: Much better!
Okay, here are the ones we know we’re getting for sure:
Kara Zor-El is Superman’s cousin and is the only new character to appear in the trailer itself. She’s been near totally absent from the Injustice world so far, not even appearing in the excellent prequel comic. Given her newfound popularity thanks to her TV show it was inevitable she’d turn up, but given that her power set is identical to Superman’s hopefully she won’t just be a “reskin” character. She’s got heat vision anyway, for sure. Her stage could be National City, as featured in the TV series, but in the gameplay trailer it seems to be another part of (rebuilt?) Metropolis.
Whereas Green Lanterns use the green light of Will, Red Lanterns use the unpredictable red light of Rage and Atrocitus is their fearsome leader. Swearing revenge against the Green Lantern Guardians of Oa who destroyed his home planet, Atrocitus has remained a powerful adversary despite hailing from the George Lucas school of villain naming. With the Injustice Green Lanterns severely depleted after a war with Superman, Atrocitus and the Red Lanterns could well be a major threat. In terms of fighting style, like Green Lantern and Sinestro Atrocitus can also make constructs although he’s a bit more of a brute. Oh, and vomiting blood seems to be a special move and evil cat Dex-Starr accompanies him. Excellent.
A giant psychic genius gorilla should be the first on anyone’s playable character wishlist, so it’s good that Grodd will be in Injustice 2. He had a brief cameo in the background of one stage in the first game, but otherwise him and Gorilla City (yes, that’s a thing) barely feature. Grodd’s psychic powers seem to be coming into play with him basically making another player hit themselves, but otherwise brute force should be his main playstyle. Presumably Gorilla City will be his stage.
With them out of the way, let’s list a few new guys we’re hoping to see. To avoid giving you a DC ice cream headache we’ll stick to five heroes and five villains. That means no Booster Gold or Star Sapphire. Sorry.
Constantine: Yes his TV show may be no more and most people still probably think of him as Keanu Reeves, but the dubious magic-based John Constantine would be a perfect addition. He played a big part in the Injustice: Year Three comic and unlike most is still canonically alive, plus he could be played by Matt Ryan again since he’s used to this videogame voiceover lark.
Is he there? Not yet… Blue Beetle: I’m going to go with the newer Jaime Reyes version rather than classic Ted Kord since Jaime has a cool alien techno-suit with transforming weapon attacks similar to Cyborg, plus he’s not just another white dude. I will insist on Will Friedle as him though. Fine, maybe Eric Lopez. Is he there? Yes! Black Canary: I can’t think of a reason why Black Canary was left out of the first game: she’s a strong hand-to-hand fighter with a sonic scream superpower, is tremendously popular thanks to Arrow (although, um, maybe not after last season), and even ran the Justice League at one point. Yes, canonically she’s dead in the Injustice universe, but so’s Green Arrow and that didn’t stop him. Plus her Justice League Unlimited voice actor is the wonderful Morena Baccarin. Must have.
Is she there? Yes! Starfire: First let’s overlook the facts that comic book Starfire, aka Princess Koriand’r of Tamaran, is promiscuous, doesn’t understand the Earth concept of “modesty”, and traditionally wears the least amount of clothing of any superhero. It’s perhaps unsurprising then that she’s also popular, but I’d say that’s more to do with her wonderful naïve characterization in the various Teen Titans cartoons. Other than that she’s a strong fighter with powerful “starbolts”, and after her all we’d need is Beast Boy to have a full Teen Titans reunion.
Is she there? Yes, as DLC! The Atom: If you’ve been watching Legends of Tomorrow you know how cool The Atom can be. If you’re more of a Marvel person Ray Palmer is basically Iron Man crossed with Ant-Man, a guy in an awesome flying super-suit with the power to shrink and grow at will. The super-suit part would work well with the new armour customization system, and the shrinking/growing aspect would make for some awesome battles. And I really want more Brandon Routh.
Is he there? Not yet, but he’s almost certainly DLC.
Darkseid: The ultimate villain of the DC Universe (worse than the Anti-Monitor, Dr Manhattan and Zach Snyder combined), the Lord of Apokolips made a cameo appearance in Injustice and there’s no way in hell The Great Darkseid isn’t appearing in Injustice 2. In fact he’s probably the Big Threat™. He’s Superman-level strong and has eye beams that can home in on their target or send them back in time to become a pirate.
Is he there? Yes! Cheetah: There are several versions of Wonder Woman’s primary antagonist, but the most common is rich collector Barbara Minerva who gets possessed by “the Goddess of the Hunt” and turned into a half-cheetah woman. Fast, athletic, and can fight warrior Wonder Woman to a standstill. She’s alive in the Injustice universe still so canon checks out. Phew!
Is she there? Yes! Reverse Flash: Who’s the biggest adversary of the Flash? Eobard Thawne, the Reverse Flash. This evil time traveller hates the Flash with a passion, mostly because he needs Flash for his speed. Reverse Flash can fight like Flash but a lot more vicious. Zoom is acceptable too, but Thawne makes more sense. Plus no one beats Tom Cavanagh.
Is he there? Yes, as a ‘Premier Skin’ for The Flash, which means he plays the same but is a different character. Black Manta: Black Manta is the arch-enemy of Aquaman, hating him with a passion for (accidentally) killing Manta’s father. Manta even murdered Aquaman’s son, so there’s real enmity between the two. Manta is strong in his powerful suit and can fire optic blasts from his helmet. He actually appeared in the gameplay trailer (above) but it seemed suspiciously like he wasn’t playable. Hopefully that will change.
Is he there? Yes, as DLC! Livewire: With the addition of Supergirl I thought I’d pick a memorable rogue from her TV series. First appearing in Superman: The Animated Series and most recently fighting alongside Silver Banshee against both Supergirl and The Flash in the TV show’s best episode, former shock jock Leslie Willis is a being of pure electricity and that could create a really cool fighter. She’s quite a fun character too.
Is she there? Not yet, but still possible.
More Movie & TV Skins
Injustice sported DLC Man of Steel skins for Superman and General Zod and an Arrow skin for Green Arrow which even had Stephen Amell as the voice. More of these please. Affleck, Bale, Keaton and West Batmans please, Gadot and Carter Wonder Womans, and a neat black & white George Reeves Superman would be awesome thanks. Oh, TV Flash as well please. And, er, make them unlockable rather than paid DLC? Maybe that’s asking too much…
Update: We got a Wonder Woman movie outfit at least, so hopefully this will make it over to the PC version.
Be Careful With Customization
Customizable and upgradeable armour was the big shocking reveal of the Injustice 2 trailer, and many fans have been left conflicted by the idea of upgrades within a beat-em-up. It’s an interesting new idea with the potential to add an unexpected wild card to any fight, but it cannot be stressed enough how important balance is to fighting games. You give an already strong fighter a boost and they could wipe the floor with anyone. There’s a reason why RPG-style upgrades haven’t been introduced into beat-em-ups previously.
The Hated Bat-Armour DLC
What happens if one player’s unlocked a powerful upgrade and the other hasn’t? Will we be able to create upgrade-free vanilla online matches? And most importantly, will these upgrades be locked behind a microtransaction pay-wall? Y’know, like exactly how they work in the Injustice mobile game? Just make sure you know what you’re doing NetherRealm. Tread lightly.
And finally, the last thing we want to see (literally)…
DON’T MESS UP THE PC PORT AGAIN
Restating in capitals for emphasis, Warner Bros. We don’t want you to abandon PC gaming, we just want you to do it right. If you have to delay the PC release it’s not ideal, but we can handle it. Just at least make it playable acceptably. ‘Kay? Kay.