Injustice 2 is trying to spice up the fighting game genre with a new Gear System that will change your fighter. This gear system can sound quite neat on paper, allowing you to personalise your character to an extent. However, I feel that this gear system can either be well implemented or become a hot potato.
The gear system is said to change your fighter’s appearance. Equipping different types of gear will make your fighter look rather unique. From the various videos showing gameplay and footage, it seems like the gear will change stats rather than fighting styles. By having certain gear equipped, stats like health, ability, defence and strength can be altered. In all this will change up the meta-game before a fight. However, I was given flashbacks of another fighting title that implemented a similar gear system when I saw such stats changing…
Street Fighter X Tekken was another fighting game that had a gear system. This was the gem loadouts that changed stats. Such gems included; power, defence, meter, health and utility gems. Some gems were fine but there were a few that took away from the experience. A few utility gems would auto block or permit special moves to be performed easier. Some allowed for throws to be escaped automatically, damaging the experience of the game. One gem, ultimate defence, allowed for auto-block, auto-throw escape and no chip damage. Though these gems would have a negative impact on your fighter like decreasing meter or decreasing attack power, you can avoid that by implementing over gems to counter act it. To make matters worse, some gems were also DLC exclusive.
So how does this relate to Injustice 2? Well, there could be gear that can perform similar to the ones in Street Fighter X Tekken that takes away from the experience of learning a fighting game. In addition, gear could also become DLC as some sort of loot box. This would create some huge imbalances, creating a pay to win atmosphere. In Mortal Kombat X, they did have micro-transactions for easy fatalities and skip fight tokens. Who’s to say that they won’t charge for a chance to get high levelled gear?
I do believe that NetherRealm can do a good job in balancing the gear system. Problems that were experienced in previous fighting games that included a gear mechanic can be avoided. The best way to avoid imbalance is through matchmaking. If gear is permitted on ranked play, then matchmaking should be on both a gear level and skill level. If someone has a legendary item then that person should be paired with someone who has the same rarity. Thus, you would still have your uniquely designed character and would be tested on your skills. This will alleviate any balancing issues that are based online.
I do have faith in NetherRealm that balancing won’t be huge issue. With the aid of hot fixes, overpowered gear can be lessened. These are just my thoughts and opinions and it would be great to hear what you think. In all, the points I have made are just food for thought.
Injustice 2 is set to be released in 2017 for PS4 and Xbox One.