When it released back in 2015, Mortal Kombat X was an incredible new addition to the storied fighting game franchise, ushering in new gameplay additions that took the series into the modern age. That was on console though.
To call the PC port of Warner Bros. and NetherRealm Studios’ critically acclaimed fighting game a flaming dumpster fire would have resulted in flaming dumpster fires around the world starting a #NotAllFlamingDumpsterFires hashtag Twitter campaign. I was one of the unfortunate ones who partook in this particular form of digital self-flagellation, witnessing a game crippled by inexplicable game-breaking performance drops on a decent gaming rig, an utterly non-functional online component and just a slew of bugs and issues. When a game has a total install size of around 40GB, but releases a 15GB “patch”, you know it’s a mess. That’s not a patch, that’s you remaking more than a third of a game.
Eventually, after several fixes that actually made things worse (Oh, you were one of the few people who could actually muscle through the framerate issues and play MKX’s campaign? Well, here’s a patch that just deletes all your progress!), WB finally managed to get the game in working order on PC thanks to Poland based localization and QA dev house QLOC. Swooping in to take over from previous porters High Voltage Software (who actually also bungled the PC port for MK9), QLOC saved WB and NRS’s proverbial bacon.
Luckily for us, that’s not where QLOC’s heroic deeds end as they were also tapped to port over Injustice 2, easily the best fighting game of 2017 and one of the best things NRS has ever produced. And once again, the Polish dev house has shown everybody else how it’s done with a superb port that comes close to being perfect.
Now, please note: I didn’t say that Injustice 2 is close to being perfect, though the argument can actually be made for that case. Geoff made just such an argument when he reviewed the DC Comics-based game on PS4 earlier in the year, scoring it 9/10. As he put it, “Injustice 2 is NetherRealm at its very best. It’s a game that succeeds not just as a great fighting game, but a superlative superhero one. An accessible yet deep fighting system, an engaging and cinematic single-player campaign, a rewarding loot system, and a wealth of content. Injustice 2 has it all.”
I would highly advise you to check out Geoff’s full review, because there’s actually no reason to repeat most of it here. All those things that make Injustice 2 such a outstanding fighting game – the amazing roster of characters from well-knowns like Batman to lesser-known fan-favourites like Doctor Fate, the amazing fighting system tuned for both high-level competitive play and casual couch players, the lengthy single-player campaign that feels like you’re playing through a DC Comics animated movie, the insanely huge amount of content and modes being offered to players to ensure they never run out of things to do – they’re all in the PC version, and they all work damn well.
QLOC takes the port a step further though than just being a pitch-perfect facsimile of an already great game by adding some neat little touches. While keyboard controls are supported for the game, they’re clearly not the preferred control method for serious players. Thanks to support for Xbox and PS4 controllers being just a micro-USB cable or Bluetooth dongle away, you can easily just plug in and play Injustice 2 in the very same way console players have all year. What makes this neat though, is that the game instantly recognizes what your controller of choice is, whether it be the default console controllers or arcade fighting sticks, and will adjust the button mappings on-screen on the fly. It’s a small detail, but these are the things that make the experience of moving to a different platform that much more silky smooth.
And for those PC enthusiasts who want all their games to look eye-searingly good, Injustice 2 gives you that high-resolution 4K image quality you crave. If you’re sporting a monitor with an equally cutting-edge refresh rate though, unfortunately, you won’t take full use of it as the game has been capped at 60fps. That’s still perfect for a fighting game, especially one where a single frame can be the difference between victory and defeat. And attaining and maintaining those 60fps is not that difficult, as the game’s engine scales really well. I’m running a 1080p gaming rig built over two years ago, and it still had no issues rendering the action on-screen.
Well, mostly. I have noticed a few slight hiccups during the game’s intro cut-scenes as well as the extravagant animations for the characters’ various super moves, which would result in audio lagging slightly behind the visuals. What makes this a little bit surprising is that these cut-scenes and super animations are actually locked at 30fps, so rendering them should be a cinch compared to maintaining the 60fps fighting action. I have done some digging though, and there are only a tiny handful of people experiencing anything remotely like my issue, and in almost all cases, a couple of driver updates and Windows tweaks was all that was necessary to resolve it. I have also had two random crashes to desktop during my many hours of play time, but I’ll be damned if I could find the source.
Even if you don’t have these issues but still want to tinker, you can definitely do that as Injustice 2 offers a wealth of settings to configure much to the delight of any technophiles with an obsession for detail. For the vast majority of users though, spinning up Injustice 2’s benchmark option – which is actually a requirement before playing online so that it can determine the best way to maintain that 60fps standard – is all that’s necessary to automatically give you a game that looks and plays equally great.
As for playing online, trying find public matches works just as well as it did on console. Which is to say that it doesn’t. This is unfortunately pretty much par for the course when it comes to NetherRealm fighting games in South Africa. While you can challenge your friends well enough in private games, trying to find international opponents is a study in patience. Not that you actually would want to as the ping down here in our little corner of the globe makes fighting games – which are especially reliant on split-second responses – all but impossible on a competitive level.
The PC edition of Injustice ships in two flavours on Steam, with the Standard Edition being pretty much exactly as it launched on console earlier in the year. The Ultimate Edition comes packaged with a load of the DLC characters that have since been released on console: Darkseid, Red Hood, Starfire, Black Manta, as well as Image Comics character Spawn, and Mortal Kombat imports Sub-Zero and Raiden. The latter edition will also come with three additional premier skins for characters.
And really, that’s all there is to say about Injustice 2 – which is a good thing. When it comes to porting games from one platform to another, you really don’t want talking points for the most part. If things already worked successfully in one format, it should just work equally as good or better in another. And that’s definitely what we have here, which means that any die-hard PC gamers can now have their own high-resolution Batman v Superman at home without needing to purchase a Blu-ray movie.
Last Updated: November 29, 2017