Injustice 2, the long-awaited sequel to 2010's DC fighting game Injustice: Gods Among Us, is almost here, and Gamereactor paid a visit to Netherrealm Studios in Chicago to talk to Ed Boon and Derek Kirtzic about the game. One of the key topics of discussion was the customisation and upgrade options that are set to feature, and it turns out there's no shortage of them.
"We wanted to do something unexpected," Boon explained, adding "that's when we introduced what we're calling a gear system, and a gear system is basically costume pieces that you earn throughout the game, as you're playing all the modes, that you equip your character with and they actually level up your character and make them more powerful, gives them new moves, and makes them stronger, better defence. So you're in this constant process of improving and leveling up your character and making your own customised version of these iconic characters throughout the DC roster."
"Every time you go online you're going to see another person's custom version of Batman, of Superman, of Atrocitus, of Supergirl, and that's going to be so exciting because they're going to look differently, they're going to have different advantages based on if the player wants to be more defensive, offensive, or something like that [...] so in a sense every time you go online and play somebody, you're playing a unique version of those characters."
Boon did reassure us, however, that there is a matchmaking system to ensure players don't come up against players with much better gear and therefore with an unfair advantage.
Kirtzic then talked more about how this would work: "Since we introduced this whole gear system, right, you're going to deal with different attributes, you're going to have different levelled characters, so naturally when you're playing player matches, all those abilities that you acquire and gear and stats - they're all there. But when you go into ranked matches, it's all flat, so basically none of the stats on your gear matter, but you still get to keep the way you look, so you look awesome, that thing you've been grinding to look like, and you have that level playing field."
Kirtzic also added, in regards to visual customisation: "You can customise your characters to look however you want to make them look [as well], and you can change their abilities to make them play the way that you want to play." You'll be able to use augmentations to do just that, and Boon assured fans that "a lot of the stuff you kind of expect to be able to do with the gear, we're familiar with that whole system and so we build in all those features with that."
During our hands-on with the game (which you can read about here), we were told by community man Tyler Landsdown that there's a surprising amount of variation when it comes to the way the various characters are put together. Landsdown also dispelled the notion that we'll see silly versions of the characters that we know and love from the DC universe. Using a shader system that uses "colour packs that change the colour scheme of the character, but retains the look and feel of the character" the team at NetherRealm will give players freedom to be creative, but not to the extent that they can go against the spirit of the source material.
Motherboxes will play a key role in getting this gear, and Kirtzic told us a bit more about those as well. revealing that they're "like our loot crates, and you'll continue to unlock these and acquire them in different game [modes], and inside of those boxes you'll have things like re-roll tokens in case you want to re-roll your gear, we also have additional gear of different rarity, and coins and stuff like that."
It was talk of crates that made us ask the inevitable question about microtransactions, and whether these will be involved in the Motherbox concept. "Let me tell you right now - you do not use real money to purchase gear, you do not use real money to unlock Motherboxes, okay. All that stuff is acquired in-game, no real currency, earth cash, money, for those things," Kirtzic assured us. You can even sell gear from Motherboxes for currency, which can then be used to buy more Motherboxes, if you want of course.
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