Typically, when there's a mobile version of a console video game the mobile version pales in comparison. Well, with Injustice 2, the DC Comics fighting game from Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, that isn't quite the case.
For all intents and purposes, Injustice 2 on iOS is as close to the console version of the super heroes and super villains fighting game as you could probably get. While the control scheme is different (we are talking about touch controls, after all), the presentation and fit-and-finish of the end product is quite impressive.
Much like in the console version of Injustice 2, the mobile version has players assembling a team of DC Comics super heroes and villains from across different eras and franchises in the comic book giant's universes. This includes a couple of Harley Quinns, different Jokers, various Swamp Things, and so on. Honestly, the roster isn't as robust as it probably could be with countless omissions (ie: Lobo, Captain Marvel, Two Face, etc.) , but those missing characters' slots are instead being taken up by the different versions of what characters are in the game. For what it's worth, those different versions of the in-game characters have their own individual stats and abilities, so they do (at the very least) play like they're different characters.
Controls are simple to a fault and are more responsive than not. Everything is controlled by swipes and taps. Swiping towards the opposing fighter performs basic attacks that can be chained together. A swipe up is a jumping attack. A swipe down is a ground attack. A swipe back retreats your fighter from his or her opponent. You get the idea. There are also a few on-screen buttons that allow your fighter to block (blocking could use some work, though) or use a special ability. There's not much in the way of strategy or tactics here. It's pretty much a bar brawl, and that's okay. After all, it's just a smartphone game.
There is also a power meter situated at the top just below your fighter's life bar. As the fight goes on, your team's meter fills up based upon the damage both dealt and taken. This is what lets you use those special abilities, which then deplete the meter. If you let it fill all the way up, however, you can unleash a powerful mega-attack complete with a typically very cool CG sequence just like on the consoles. Early in the game, these can be one-shot kills. Later on when you face stronger opponents, however, they're not quite as lethal. They're still extremely useful, though.
There are a number of ways to play Injustice 2. Arcade and story mode are the two that people will probably play the most and they're exactly what you're thinking they are. There's also online play that lets you challenge other players' teams complete with a weekly leaderboard and daily/weekly rewards. Objectives let you send your characters on missions that run in the background complete with a cooldown timer, yielding rewards and experience once the timer runs out. In short, there is a good variety of gameplay options at your disposal.
As a free-to-play title, it should come as no surprise that there are in-app purchases. While the game is fairly generous at providing players with a small fortune in in-game currency both basic and premium, those who don't want to earn it can buy it. It doesn't seem game-breaking, thankfully. It can add up, though, and WBIE could easily rake in more money off of this well-made app than the console games thanks to these optional nickle-and-dime charges. Just be responsible with what you do spend your money on is all I'm saying.
Injustice 2 isn't the best game ever to hit the App Store for iOS devices, but it is a very good one. It can be formulaic, sure, but that doesn't mean that it's not a nice and fun distraction. I just wish there would be a wider range of characters with whom I could fight.
Final Score: 8 out of 10
This game was privately obtained for the purpose of this review.