The first look at the new NetherRealm Studios’ game Injustice 2 dropped yesterday via a trailer that revealed DC Comics’ most famous heroes duking it out in a shadowy pit. While it was more teaser footage than anything resembling actual gameplay, one thing that was very obvious was the variety of costume versions, armor, and other effects that each superhero could sport in the fight to bring down Superman and his oppressive regime.
News is leaking out in bits and pieces regarding the game, which is expected to debut next year, and fans should expect some more when E3 2016 gets underway next week. In the meantime, DC Comics writer/DC: Rebirth shepherd/DC Cinematic Universe overseer Geoff Johns and NetherRealm Studios Creative Director Ed Boon are revealing tidbits about the new game and the DC creative cycle at large.
In a chat with Rolling Stone (via CBM), Boon and Johns talked about their personal history with video games, the plans for the Injustice sequel, and what fans can expect to see. Regarding Injustice 2, it’s clear that the effect of games like Destiny, which have emphasized “personalization, character creation, loot, leveling up,” have influenced Boon and his vision for the fighting game sequel:
Every character in Injustice 2 will have “a vast, vast array of what we’re calling gear” – costume pieces and equipment that are used to upgrade your abilities – according to Boon. The superhero you start controlling at the beginning of the game won’t have the same skills as the one you end with. Players will determine whether they want more speed, more health, more strength, and the like. “There are thousands and thousands of pieces for, let’s say, the Flash,” he says. “You are in the constant process of making your version of the Flash.”
There’s no word just yet as to whether these upgrades and options will be available through gameplay, if it will be in line with the “play to win” model, or some combination of the two.
As for the plot of Injustice 2, that should pick up where the first left off, with Superman’s new order claiming to uphold peace through his tyranny. Obviously, this is taking place in an alternate universe:
“DC has this great infinite multiverse concept,” says Boon. “That allows us to do really creative stuff, and it doesn’t break the DC lore.”
“To me, it’s a giant creative cycle,” Johns says. “You have comics that influence the games, and then Arkham influences the look of a show like Gotham. It just goes round and round and round.” A character like Harley Quinn (the Joker’s lover), Johns pointed out, was created for Batman: The Animated Series, then moved to comic books, then became part of the Arkham games, and now she’s in this summer’s Suicide Squad movie.
As to whether or not the video games like Injustice and the Arkham series influenced the cinematic universe:
“Some of it’s true, and some of it might be coincidence,” Johns says. “But yeah, absolutely.” At the same time, Johns cautions fans not to examine Injustice 2 for hints into the future of the DC extended universe. “They’re separate completely,” he explains.
So there you have it. You’ll be able to enjoy the new Injustice game sometime next year, but it likely won’t clue you in as to how Justice League and the like might turn out. That being said, with all these customizable options, you can probably just build your character the way you want it and then cut your own mini-movie out of the resulting gameplay. In the meantime, keep an eye out here for news out of E3 2016 regarding this game and many others.