Every year gamers from all around the globe collect themselves for the, debatably, biggest event in gaming, E3. It comes once a year and usually brings amazing surprises and gifts for the family. Just looking back, there have been many times lives have been changed over announcements made at E3. E3 2018 was no different. Although lacking in surprises because on the internet, no not that internet this internet, it still kept its promise to deliver a great gaming expo experience.
However, every year some people think they’re too good for E3. Some people get the invitation to the party and throw it away. Sure some people forget but in this case, it’s super unlikely. So I’m going to take this opportunity to call out a few people who were missing. And I’m going to rate them on how willing I am to forgive them.
Rocksteady (Batman Arkham Series)
One of the most beloved studios by comic book fans is undeniably Rocksteady, home of the best Batman games ever made. I don’t like Batman, so I’m a little more upset they didn’t show up than I normally would be. Reason? Well, there are way too many rumors that their next project is either a Superman game or a Justice League game. I love Superman. I like Justice League. Is this making sense yet? Good. BI will give them a pass though because they addressed hey didn’t feel ready to show their next project off yet. I can appreciate waiting for some high-quality masterpiece.
THQ Nordic (Darksiders Series, Biomutant, Metro Series)
I always knew Soccer had the largest following in the world of sports. Yet still, I was shocked beyond belief when I saw that these guys were giving up their invitation to E3 to watch the World Cup! Really, that’s a thing that happened. These guys just made an announcement in which almost their entire stable of games was delayed. Biomutant, Darksiders 3, and Metro Exodus all delayed and all we get is a release date for one of them? But as hurt as I am, you gentlemen and women have lives. Enjoy the World Cup, I secretly hope your favorite teams lose. Kidding best of luck.
Tekken X Street Fighter (Namco Bandai)
I don’t even know where to start with this one. I am a huge fan of the Tekken series but not so much of Street Fighter. Regardless I love the characters and stories from both universes. So when the two crossover games were announced I was 100% sold. Even got the collector’s edition of Street Fighter X Tekken. That was the street fighter version and I enjoyed it but not as much as I love Tekken. And yet here we are. My support was for naught. I still anxiously await the Tekken version of this crossover spectacular we were promised. I have hopes it’s still around the corner considering the addition of Akuma and other Capcom and SNK characters in Tekken 7. With Soul Calibur 6 around the corner, however, it might be a while.
Borderlands 3 (Gearbox)
This is the reason Rage 2 exist. I love what Rage 2 looks like it’s going to be. Being brutally honest though, Borderlands 3 is what fans of that type of game are really waiting for. It was one of the games in the same Walmart Canada leak that outed Rage 2. So maybe it’s real and good old Randy was just annoyed that his surprise was ruined. I totally understand his perspective. I hate when people ruin my surprises too. If that’s what happening Randy, I feel your pain and I’m hoping, after the time passes, the official reveal will be out of this world. I have zero doubts it won’t be. I remember reading Game Informer when the first Borderlands was announced. Bring me back to that first high. I need it.
Mortal Kombat 11 (Netherrealm)
Returning to the fighting game world there is a big question for the gruesome champions of parent offending fighting games. The last Mortal Kombat game was released a few years back and while Injustice 2 has been an amazing filler, we need gore. What appeared to be the last batch of DLC came to Injustice 2 a few months back so what have you guys been doing. I expect much more from one of my favorite development studios of all time. Much more dammit! You teased it, Boon!
Sony’s 11 Other Studios
I think that one is pretty obvious. The reality is that Sony is most likely moving their major presentation to PSX. I mean why wouldn’t they. At thins went they cater to the fans and investors and make it all about them. So it makes we didn’t hear much about them but in all honesty the way the cycles are right now we won’t hear from them for a while. I’m sure Guerrilla Games, London, Japan, Polyphony, Bend, Foster, San Diego, Pixel Opus, and Project siren have something fancy coming our way. Just wait and see. I’m all still not entirely sure if Media Molecule’s Dreams was or wasn’t on display. So it might be 10 studios missing.
If you were paying attention you’ll notice all of these absences have been forgiven. These people who make our favorite games are just that, People. At the end of it all, they need a break. They need some time to enjoy the things they enjoy (hopefully video games) and escape from work. I appreciate all the Hardworking individuals in the industry keeping it alive. As much I want to indulge in all these fascinating ideas, I want you to indulge in life. Thanks.
P.S. Miss the next one and you’re not getting another f*cking invite. Bye Bye.
Johnny the Slayer vs Wayne the Button Masher (Also Chet is Here)
Vega and Wayne (and also Kurt) were all too happy to get a copy of #Injustice2 and we are super enthused to give you our first ever Let’s Play vid, only we called it Let’s Fight. And fight we did indeed, check out Part 1 above and tell us what you think.
Vega starts off with a good rant about Batman’s overexposure. I mean, this is all of the DC Universe yet you have like 6 Arkham Asylum character and Jared Leto Joker. Wayne is determined to defeat Vega in the ultimate showdown. Kurt sucks at fighting games tho, let’s be honest. Welp, enjoy watching us play Injustice 2 some more.
Wanna see us do more big, multi-person Let’s Plays? A podcast perhaps? Comment below and tell us what you want to see or hear more of!
Injustice 2 is the follow up title to a groundbreaking entry into the competitive fighting game world, seamlessly merging video games and comic book adventures into one incredible bundle of joy. Injustice 2 has super powered shoes to fill. Developed by Nether Realm studios, home of the legendary “Mortal Kombat” series, and published by Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, Injustice 2 released on May 16th, 2017. Despite retaining much of the core mechanics of what made the original incredible, the team decided to throw in a few curveballs to keep things fresh and interesting.
Nether Realm Studios has never stopped flexing its technical muscle and this game is no different. A beautiful display graphics expected from the current generation of consoles. The animations, level design and character design were nearly flawless. However, playing on a 4K screen did show a few areas that could use improvement. Line fragmenting and shading issues were rare but occasional if not to not warrant a full on ignore. With no doubt the game is beautiful from top to bottom but with the industry pushing towards 4K with games like Horizon, Uncharted, and Final Fantasy setting the pretty high; a height that Injustice 2 does not quite reach.
Video games based on comic book characters have existed for quite some time. However, good video games based on comic book characters are certainly something new and exciting (especially based in the fighting game genre). Any fears that DC would shy away from delivering a storyline worthy of its own printed iteration are smashed into the ground with super moves from characters like Superman, Super-Girl, and Green Lantern. Every chapter forces you to play through a seamless storyline which manages to truly challenge you to think about the meanings of good and evil. The plot powerfully forces you to feel not only empowered but also impacted by every single decision made by our favorite super heroes and villains as they convert from friends to foes and vice versa. As the world crumbles the narrative challenges the player to question what they would do in every situation while pushing the boundaries of family, friendship, justice, honor, and vengeance. Fighting games are rarely known for their storylines, but the carefully directed script of Injustice 2 is a milestone for the genre. From now on, any other fighting game needs to think twice before choosing to neglect an excellently written adventure. Two words remain: multiple endings.
World devastating explosions, super powered bone on bone impacts, and atmospheric music composition set the tone for the entire game. When playing through, it is clear that every sound was masterfully selected to fully envelope the player in the war that is taking place. The voice acting has to be recognized and encouraged for all future games as it was a driving force for getting the player emotionally invested in what was happening to the people on screen. Hearing the difference between Super-girl screaming out in pain getting abused on a table and screaming out in disagreement with a pivotal decision Wonder Woman had made create a true sense of fleshed out dynamic between characters. Every single personality was shown out so flawlessly in every dialogue and conversation that it made even the weakest of comic book cliches (see: mind controlled characters) seem brand new and exciting.
While the vast majority of the original Injustice game mechanics remain intact, for better or worse, there were quite a few incredible new additions that really spice up the fun. The introduction of an RPG Style equipment management system is fantastic. As the player goes on through the game comic book fanfare collectibles are unlocked for every single fighter which change the dynamic of that characters fighting style and stats. Leveling up a favorite character feels incredibly rewarding while daily challenges encourage the use of other characters to earn currency to unlock more gadgets and bragging rights. Unlike most fighting games the Injustice series utilizes a three face button attack scheme which can be hard for new players to become acquainted with as certain buttons do not attack which may leave them confused. There seemed to be a moderate emphasis on the inclusion of the triangle button which could be an issue for longevity and durability of controllers.
Injustice 2 at its core is a fighting game. Fighting games are fun for those who enjoy fighting games. With that said Injustice 2 is an extremely fun fighting game even when compared to other games outside of its genre. The idea of matching up iconic super heroes and villains in one on one combat is something irrefutably fun. Superman VS Batman? That’s nothing. How about Green Arrow VS Atrocitus? Now that’s a match up for the books. An endless amount of replayability lies in being able to choose your fighter with no regard to whether the battle makes sense or not. That in itself is an amazing add in the newly added RPG-style equipment management that alters every aspect of your character from health to speed, power to fighting style with the end result being endless and ferocious combinations.
Fighting game fans and comic book funs may rejoice knowing that Injustice 2 excels at being fantastic on both sides of the spectrum. Although a bit challenging for beginners as a fighter it is very inviting for players of all ages who love the lineup of DC Comics. Although lacking some notable heroes, who of course may be added down the road through DLC Fighter Packs (an issue for another day), the current roster combined with the new equipment system allow for a nearly endless amount of comic book matches and just as many hours of fun alone and amongst friends.