A gear system in a fighting game? There might be a few alarm bells going off for some folks. Don’t worry. There will be game modes where the stat changes from gear have zero effect. Think competitive modes. But NetherRealm is also looking at ways to make Injustice 2 appeal to a wider range of people. Gear is the obvious answer.
Want your Blue Beetle to be a little less blue? Go for it. How about ditching Superman’s trademark red color scheme? Injustice 2 is all about letting you decide how you want your character to look and fight. Let’s check out the new trailer.
Ok, that Deadshot gear just sold me on the game.
There’s a lot crammed into the 3-minute trailer. Let’s break it down.
Each piece of gear augments four base stats: Strength, Ability, Defense and Health. There appear to be five gear slots: head, torso, arms, legs and an accessory. You earn gear by completing matches and opening loot boxes.
Like other loot heavy games (Diablo), Injustice 2 is adding gear sets with bonuses. The example shown in the trailer is a three-piece set for Batman. You’ll need at least two pieces to get a set bonus. In this case, 2/3 gets you an additional 100 Defense. The full set (3/3) gets you another 200 Defense and a 5% chance for Batarangs to apply an additional effect.
The customization doesn’t end with five pieces of gear. Color shaders let you choose from a wide range of color sets. There are even new abilities to choose from. Each character gets two abilities to add to their loadout.
Sounds unbalanced as hell. But also fun as hell. Competitive modes will have all the extra goodies from the gear system turned off. This should be a fun mix. Jump into the craziness of new abilities and augmented gear for a little bit. Then, keep the cool look – but have the balance offered by competitive modes. It’s hard to see any downside to this.
Microtransactions in Injustice 2
Obviously, the gear system is ripe for microtransactions. NetherRealm is offering them via an in-game currency called Source Crystals. A Community Admin at NetherRealm insists Source Crystals “can’t be used to purchase gear or an advantage in gameplay.”
It sounds like it’s for cosmetics only. Character skins, color shaders, those types of things. You can also use them to “Transform Gear.” Take a piece that has the stats you want and change the appearance to another piece of gear. You can also use them to level up characters to max level. But you’ll need to have at least one level 20 character first.
Balance is still an issue the devs will have to watch closely. Loot tends to throw this right out the window, but it still needs to be balanced enough to make sure matches don’t turn into one-sided beatdowns.
We’ll see how all this shakes out when Injustice 2 releases on May 16.