Injustice 2 is getting a lot of attention recently, but not for the reason you would expect. Instead of being lauded for its gameplay, story, or character roster, people keep calling attention to the characters’ depiction. This isn’t to say those other things aren’t amazing, but the people in Injustice 2 are extraordinary. They are absolutely stunning. They look fantastic. The question is, could these amazing faces end up making this fighter the best looking game of 2017?
I mean, 2017 is a year of amazing games. Some fantastic titles have already appeared. Prey, Resident Evil 7, NieR: Automata, and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild all qualify. But of all of those games, none of characters who look as incredible as the heroes and villains of Injustice 2. The detail is extraordinary here. Everyone looks so vibrant and alive. They express their emotions so well.
Injustice 2 is a stunning game to watch. Part of it has to do with the proportions. Each character’s face looks right. They may not be exactly, 100% perfectly in line with other depictions of the DC characters in comics, movies, or other games, but maybe that is what helps them look so good here. Instead of attempting exact recreations or likenesses, Injustice 2 does its best to make them look the way you would expect them to in this reality and realm. The lighting and shadows perfectly highlight different attributes. The eyes are full of life and not listless. They aren’t starring off into nothing or seem artificial. They are gorgeous and real.
This isn’t to say Injustice 2 is immune to the uncanny valley effect. There are areas in which it just isn’t as pretty and realistic as you would expect. Any of the female characters is a good example. Characters like Supergirl, Harley Quinn, and Black Canary all look great, until you look at their hair. Hair looks terrible in Injustice 2, which keeps it from being that perfect photorealistic experience.
Animations also keep it from being absolutely perfect too. Like Mass Effect: Andromeda, there are occasionally those movements that don’t seem right. In particular, some lip synching doesn’t look exactly right. There are some attack animations that seem a little odd when compared to actual movements, but that’s fine seeing as how these are superheroes and of course they will have unrealistic actions.
But even minor complaints about the hair not being lifelike or some stiff or awkward animations are nothing when you compare Injustice 2 to some of the other games we have seen this year. Resident Evil 7 looked fine, though a bit otherworldly to amp up the horror. Prey is good, but some of the faces just don’t seem right. Mass Effect: Andromeda had tons of issues. But the people in Injustice 2 all look like people. It’s extraordinary.
It definitely leads to Injustice 2 being impressive on a front we didn’t even expect. The detail in characters’ expressions and models is on another level here. It’s beyond what we expect from most games, let alone a fighting game. It brings our favorite characters to life and could lead to its being one of this years’ best.