As a huge, huge, huge fan of the original Injustice I am extremely excited to see more and more information about this game's forthcoming release. As of yesterday, the Injustice 2's first Online Beta is now online, giving us the first insight into the major changes and updates to the game's core mechanics.
The four characters in the beta include:
I wasn't able to get into the online registration, but I've been watching Twitch broadcasts of the beta essentially nonstop since the floodgates opened yesterday.
A few general takeaways:
- I LOVE that Injustice 2's returning characters keep many of the same attack strings and special abilities from the original game. It seems to give the game a Street Fighter-like consistency between franchise entries, with minor tweaks and alterations to hitboxes and frame data making a wider array of strategies viable.
- Gear and loot drops in the beta come quickly and create opportunities to change the playing field rather significantly from match to match. You can't change between items mid-match, but it does appear you have control over your loadout in between rematches. And certainly during the matchmaking screen.
- As an example of the effect gear can have on the moment-to-moment play, one item Superman unlocks turns one of his special attacks into an opportunity for a stage transition--wherein a player is knocked through the environment to land in a different location. Stage transitions normally require a specific, slow, and laborious attack to execute. Superman being able to do this with a simple special attack means he has access to more options that lead to big, big damage.
- Some gear is purely cosmetic--changing Superman's crest, for example--but much of the loot actively affects characters' abilities, experience gain, and general damage. Loot also follows Diablo or Destiny-style tiering, meaning you'll see common, uncommon, and "Legendary" rarities with scaling attributes.
- Following this, gear in Injustice influences four different attributes: Strength, Abilities, Defense, and Health. As best as I can tell, these correspond respectively to physical damage, special attack damage, damage received when blocking, and overall health.
- Players can customize and save Call of Duty-style presets with specific loadouts of gear. Face-to-face with a turtling, defensive player? Build a preset based on dealing huge chip damage. Wilting under the relentless assault of a rushdown character? Build a preset focused on defense, health, and survivability.
- Most players are favoring Supergirl, partly because she's a new character, but also because she is an early powerhouse. EVO champion Sonic Fox even claims to have already discovered a block infinite with the character.
- Green Lantern villain Atrocitus plays very much within the archetype of Injustice 1's Zod and Mortal Kombat X's Quan Chi, summoning an ally over his shoulder who can create unorthodox high/low blocking confusion.
- The game's netcode has received widespread early acclaim. People are getting into matches quickly and enjoying a stable fighting experience. It is reasonable to assume Injustice 2 utilizes much of the same netcode tech as Mortal Kombat XL, which leveraged a rollback system to create a tighter, more responsive fighting environment.
My lingering question is about just how NetherRealm will balance gear in competitive play. While I haven't seen it, there will surely be a mode that disables any and all equipped gear in order to level the playing field between characters. But online it seems we could be looking at a veritable Wild West. But, whatever. We have loot in a fighting game and that seems unbelievable.
Okay. I'm going to stop myself there but update this thread regularly. Is anyone in the Beta? Has anyone had the chance to play much of the new characters or trial some of the newer mechanics?
I can't wait for May.