With more experience, players will start to use this meter in other ways, and it's one of the most interesting aspects of the game. You can use it to block or dodge, or to add a little extra something to a standard combo. Sliding across the floor as Green Arrow, he can burn one segment of your meter to fire a point-blank arrow at the end of the slide, knocking an enemy back across the floor. Batman can consume a chunk of the meter during a low kick to spin under an enemy and kick them into the air for a follow-up combo.
Injustice 2 benefits from a combat system that is lightweight to get to grips with but unfolds beneath you as you look closer, providing additional depth to many aspects. Most of this is courtesy of the special meter, a system that deserves vocal praise, but there's also tweaking from the gear system which we'll focus on shortly and all manner of timing and tactical choices that can see you chain moves together in unexpected ways to keep heaping damage on an enemy.
The gear system is a confusing addition: Loot boxes that offer level-locked gear that allows you to change the look subtly and also the stats of several heroes. It's a system that feels unneeded and frequently feels unfair, but it's a robust one designed to bait people into playing for longer, with the best gear giving you statistics and also unique abilities, whether that's low on the disruption scale — say extra experience points for a character or your profile while a certain item is being worn — or a big addition, like the ability to do more damage with a certain attack or for extra damage against specific characters.
Thing is, the game doesn't need this additional reward to bait you into playing it, and if you're going to be playing online, a system that rewards those who have played longer with better stats isn't great
Still, Injustice 2 can weather the storm. It's one of the better fighting games I've ever played and, while it doesn't quite have the fluidity of certain other fighting games, it does have a unique feel. The game seems like the apex of NeverRealms' work with Injustice, Mortal Kombat X, and even crossover title Mortal Kombat vs DC Universe. Punches land with a crunch, the story sings, and there's plenty of fan nods, despite the annoying fact that Damien Wayne's Robin shows up in the storyline dressed as Nightwing with his custom-made weapons when obviously it should be Dick Grayson.
Seething over, this is a great fighting game and the most complete I've played on launch day in several years. Better, it's a game that seems to work fine on a pad; although usually I'd prefer to use a fight-stick, I played most of this with a DualShock 4. That's not to say a pad wouldn't be better but that the game handles well enough on a pad that you can manage it.
There's plenty of content here for single-player brawlers, and the online is robust and, although I didn't touch on it much here, free of a lot of the lag and frustration that accompanies many AAA launches.