E3 2016: Taking a Punishing Trip Around the Sun With Supergirl in Injustice 2
You know what's cool? Grabbing Atrocitus, flying him into space, taking a lap around the sun, and then blasting him back down to Earth with heat vision. No matter how many times we were able to pull off Supergirl's super move in Injustice 2, that trip round Sol just never got old. It was just about the most satisfying special attack you could ask for when adding Supergirl to the roster. It certainly beats her cousin's, which merely takes place in the upper atmosphere, and has him punching his opponent a few times before flinging that foe back down to the ground. So yeah, Supergirl is better than Superman.
She's also got the advantage of being one of the only characters in the game with a teleport attack. In a fighting game that uses back to block, teleport characters are a rare sight, but one that bring some interesting tactics into the mix. If you're blocking any of Supergirl's attacks from the front, she can just do a super-speed jaunt off screen, and appear behind you with a nasty uppercut. Her heat vision is also her personal move, unlike Superman's, and she can use it with just a simple button press. If you were worried she'd just be another Kryptonian with a likewise moveset, don't; Supergirl has a lot going on to separate her from her despotic relative.
Injustice 2 isn't just adding new characters and super moves to the roster however, it's also introducing an armor and loot system to provide a bit of customization and strategy into the mix. Most fighting games with custom gear merely include it for cosmetic reason, but Injustice 2's armor system incorporates new looks as well as beefed up attack and defense stats for its characters. Though the final details on all the equipment you'll be able to find and add to your wardrobe is still very much in flux, there are already a multitude of combinations to earn and unlock that change up the game.
"Each character has four body slots, and one accessory slot," producer Trevor Traub explained. "For Batman, his accessory is his utility belt, but for Atrocitus, his is actually Dex-Starr. They're all designed on a piece-by-piece basis, but all the armor is designed so all pieces still fit together too. There could be 100 pieces per slot, but they'll all make sense together even though they come from different sets."
Traub walked us through the alpha build's armory to get a look at the various components you might come across while playing. There will be differing degrees of rarity (still to be determined exactly), with all armor pieces also having varying stat boosts assigned. The base model for a character like Supergirl also works well with whatever pieces you happen to attach, which couldn't have been an easy task for the designers. Solidifying your look with the right parts is easy though, as each piece is named for the complete set to which it belongs. Additionally, the cape you find for the House of Zor-El set might also offer different boosts than the one your friend finds. The combinations just seen in this very early build were fairly extensive. Finding all the parts to the same set won't just provide a complete, consistent look, it might also come with some added benefits, like new colors for Supergirl's heat vision.
Among some of the other armor pieces we saw were new chest symbols for Superman (including the Red Son version); massive, bull-like body armor for Atrocitus; and gilded, etched armor for Grodd. The roster at this point is rather secretive, so we didn't get to see a tremendous amount of the outrageous stuff in store for characters. Still, what we did get a glimpse at showed a lot of creativity and diversity from what we're typically used to seeing from these characters in DC comics.
We don't know just yet how this will scale when playing against other people online. When playing the computer in story mode or when just rocking through the roster on your own, the AI will scale its armor additions according to your loadout though. Every fight, win or loss, will net you some goods, but you can bet that winning will secure you better items quicker and more frequently. There will also be new moves to earn and equip to your fighters, but that's still being tuned right now along with much of the rest of the game. The new moves will likely have their own special slot in the arsenal, so if you get one, you will have to take another out of your bag of tricks. You can just load up on all these unlockable moves. There aren't many details on just how that will work, and whether the damage burn on this slot will be identical. We should find out closer to the game's release.
While Injustice 2 is yet another dark take on the DCU --- it is continuing the first game's story after all --- it's hard to deny how fun it is to play. Especially when you're tossing thugs like Gorilla Grodd all over the solar system just because you can. The new armor mechanic definitely shakes things up from its predecessor (and its contemporaries), but we'll need to see it in action more to learn just how much of a difference it will make on a regular basis. That said, there was a lot to like about the way Injustice 2 played and how it looked in action last week. It's actually hard to believe the release is still so far away.
Injustice 2 is scheduled to release in 2017 for the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.