Injustice 2: Suprises in store with Ed Boon

This is a big and exciting year for DC properties.  In addition to  Warner Bro. rolling out the much anticipated Wonder Woman and Justice League films, tomorrow brings Injustice 2 to PS4, XBox and Mobile platforms.

We had the opportunity to attend last week’s official Canadian media launch event in Toronto.

photography by Evan Bergstra

Hosted by Nader Iskander, Product Manager of Video Games at Warner Bros., he pulled together a classy venue featuring concept art, projections, game stations, fantastic catering and an behind-the-scenes Q&A with the game creator. In addition to partners and media, Nader also invited local DC artists, giving the night a gallery exhibit feel.  Francis Manapul and Marcus To, from RAID Studios, created Injustice 2 inspired original art.  They were also on deck to produce live artwork while sharing engaging stories about their contributions to the DC universe which gave the event an authentic comic-culture vibe.

 

photography by Evan Bergstra

 

We spoke with Ed Boon, creative director from NetherRealm Studios, whose team developed INJ2. For those of you unfamiliar with Ed Boon, his isn’t a newb to the fighting genre.  He will always be best known for his contribution as a co-creators of legendary  Mortal Kombat, the 1992 smash hit arcade game.  It was a bold and unconventional release that drew criticism and controversy with the unprecedented gore and violence, but this only helped fuel its tremendous success.  It was absolutely game-changing, not only for publisher Midway Games, but made its mark in the industry influencing all fighting games that came after it.
photography by Evan Bergstra

 

To date, Mortal Kombat continues to be a leading franchise, having sold more than 40 million copies!

Injustice 2 is the sequel to the 2013 hit Injustice: Gods Among Us.  Ed returned to helm INJ2 and in meeting with him, you can definitely feel his excitement for this release, even with so many fighting games under his belt.  Among the top highlights, Ed credits  the unique story and the movie like cinematics, which take a big step up from the first game.

 

photography by Evan Bergstra

“Once we decided we do an alternate universe,” he said, “where Superman is a bad guy, Batman is his adversary, and the conflict between the two… it gave a lot of license to carve our own alternate universe and DC loosened the reigns… to do things a little unexpected from the characters.”

 

Injustice 2

Injustice 2 looks to surprise players with a new ‘gear system’ that allows massive customization of characters.  “Custom versions of DC heroes  is what separates 2 from 1”, he says.  ““Thousands and thousands of costume pieces per character are scattered throughout the game that you can pick up and equip your character. Your customized version of Superman, Batman, Metrosideros, Flash, Wonder Woman won’t just look different, but play different.”

 

Injustice 2

 

Gear drop are a fundamental component of the game and available throughout the game.  “Everything you do in the game, other than 1 on 1 will get you gear drops.  There’s also specific multiverses that have a special unique piece of gear that can only be obtained at that specific multiverse…. it is going to be this really fun search for these unique drops.”

photography by Evan Bergstra

 

Alternate skins are also new to INJ2.  These were characters they wanted in the game, but were too similar to existing heros.  “For example, We didn’t want two characterized based on speed.  DC in particular has a number of speedster in their universe.  Powergirl, John stewart, Reverse Flash…  we wanted to represent those characters, even though they have the same powers as their counterparts.”
Injustice 2

 

INJ2 sets a new bar in Ed’s fighting-game career.  “When we were working on Mortal Kombat, there were only the 4 of us.”, he shared.  “I was the only coder for 1, 2, and 3.  Today, when you count everyone at Netherealm and include external resources that came in and out throughout development, we had nearly 400 people on the project.”

The results definitely reflect that level of effort and contribution!  The story, cinematics, overall design, gameplay, mass customizability, and attention to detail are stunning and sure to impress DC and fighting-game fans alike.


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