As we approach the final days of 2017, it’s time to look back at what has been played and what has been enjoyed. I feel like I didn’t play enough of this year’s releases, primarily because I’m stubborn, and am a one console man. I don’t play on PC either, so my options are extremely limited. That said, of what I did play, there’s one game I just keep going back to from this year, which is why I’ve chosen it as my personal favourite for 2017.
Injustice 2 is my Game of the Year selection. Releasing in May for Xbox One and PlayStation 4 (and later in the year for PC – with bonus points for being a superb port to boot!), it had me hooked from the word ‘go’. Continuing the story from Injustice: Gods Among Us which saw Superman try to dominate the world in a dictatorship, with Batman and friends opposing his regime, the plot was interesting with great character interactions, animations, and a good bad guy. The story also made room for alternate endings, giving you a reason to jump back in and try it again.
One of the biggest and best changes Netherrealm Studios introduced, was the Gear system. Leveling up your characters and fighting with them allowed you to unlock new gear pieces to customize your roster. It was somewhat RPG-like with gear stats and benefits. Some stuff would look cool, while some would also give you additional damage bonuses or defense bonuses against certain character types such as Kryptonians or against villain characters. You could create up to 5 different loadouts and rename them all, giving you an immense sense of customization, so that no two characters would be the same when fighting a duplicate character online or offline.
The wealth of game modes and selection of characters in the base game alone are enough to gloat about, in an age where it feels like you’re buying only half the game at launch and have to fork out for the rest of it in DLC form. Injustice 2 just felt like the full package from day one. I eventually invested in the character pass, which offers 3 DLC packs of 3 characters, and I have no regrets. They’re adding the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles in February for crying out loud! Awesome!
Some fans have debated long and hard about the additional character DLC choices, with the likes of Sub-Zero and Raiden making an appearance from Netherrealm’s other popular fighter, Mortal Kombat. Two guest characters from the same game seems like they’re abusing it, but then Netherrealm added in Hellboy as another guest character. With the TMNT arriving next year, that’s 4 out of 9 characters being guest characters, and not DC Comics favourites. TMNT crossovers aside.
Whatever way you look at it, it still adds more variety and unlockable gear for a great roster of characters, with the Multiverse mode deserving a tonne of attention for its addictive, constantly updating challenge towers. Every few hours, you can load up the game and try out new challenges to unlock new gear and character abilities. As you progress through the game, you can unlock new moves for your favourite characters, such as giving The Flash a lightning bolt projectile attack, or giving Wonder Woman a cool sliding attack, which opens up new combo abilities and fighting styles. Again, you’ll build a character to your liking with an assortment of new attacking options and stat-adjusting gear sets. Tonnes of variation!
Trying it out online only recently, I did win a couple of games, but then had my bubble burst as I faced off against some opponents who just battered me with juggling combos that made me want to throw my controller. I didn’t, but I instead opted to stick to offline play, where the modes keep me coming back for more.
I’d highly recommend it to fight fans across any of the three platforms, especially if you like the DC universe. It’s a lot more fluid than previous Netherrealm titles and it already has me excited for the next Mortal Kombat and the inevitable Injustice 3. I’m just dreaming of the gear system being utilized in the next Mortal Kombat right now…
As I said at the opening of the article, I didn’t get to enjoy too many games of 2017, and I had to go look up previous releases to refresh my memory as to what came out. I did try Mass Effect Andromeda, which I didn’t finish as I felt it was disappointing. Cuphead is a superb release and one I was happy to support for its unique style. Forza Motorsport 7 was somewhat of a letdown to me, not because of its loot box issues, but because of its lack of innovation over the last Forza release in the Motorsport series. More tracks, please!
And then there’s PUBG, which is superb, especially with friends, despite its current game preview status. But overall, Injustice 2 just wins out for being a complete, polished, and extremely fun title. Thanks for the awesomeness, Netherrealm!