Fighting games are usually about raw competition, the clash between systems, and player skill. But, every now and then, a game introduces other subsystems involving stats and equipment in an attempt to add extra depth. Injustice 2 is one of those games, to about as extreme an extent as I’ve ever seen. At a preview event, NetherRealm provided extensive details on the system, including the option to turn it off for high-level play.
To break it down, each Injustice 2 fighter has a set of base stats and a set of equipment slots for each major body part, as well as a character-exclusive piece. The default setup doesn’t include stat bonuses, of course, but through a loot system, hundreds if not thousands of equipment items can be obtained. People can experimented with these with their favorite characters. These items can go from increasing stats to changing the finer mechanics of Injustice 2, such as visual effects or drop rates.
In order to balance this system, players have the option to turn it off both on and off. In addition to that, Injustice 2 also scales base stats, meaning characters also level up independently of gear. If a lower-level player wants to try to hang in a stat-enabled world, their base stats will be scaled to the level of their opponent, although equipment will still be a factor.
Enticingly, turning the stats off won’t disable the cosmetic effects of gear, so people like me who balk at even the slightest mention of adding numbers to a fighting game can still appreciate the fun parts while the toggle is forever pointed off. After that, my primary concern is player population, so hopefully Injustice 2 is taken seriously enough for players to inhabit both realms.