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Ed Boon Explains Why Injustice 2's Gear Won't Ruin Tournaments

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Superheroic gear of war.

Injustice 2’s biggest new feature is gear, and there’s a lot of it. Players will be able to swap out arm, leg, chest armor, capes, and shields, among other things. And according to one NetherRealm representative we spoke to at E3 2016, there’s over 1,000 options for each category per character.

That’s a lot of gear, but for people who play Injustice competitively, that’s a lot of balancing. In fact, it’s an impossible amount of balancing. We caught up with Ed Boon for a very brief chat about Injustice 2, it’s gear system, and how it’ll address worries that the game may not be tournament viable.

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GameSpot: So the big new addition for Injustice 2 is gear. What does that mean for players?

Boon: In the simplest terms, the way that I'd describe gear is as costume pieces that actually empower your character. They can give you more strength, defense, agility, health or unlock certain moves. They make your character better and you're constantly being dropped gear; you're going to find stuff that's better than what you're wearing and you'll throw out the old one to put on the new one. They all have attributes to them, and it's kind of like this ongoing sculpting of your own version of Superman, Batman, Flash, and the others. You make your version of Batman, I make my version of Batman, and when we meet online your guy is going to look different from mine and have different properties.

There's a worry this could impact game balance, which is big considering Injustice has become a staple title in tournaments. There have been comparisons to Street Fighter X Tekken's gem system.

We're certainly not doing gems. We're definitely not going to do that. We will absolutely have some kind of a mode, whether we call it Tournament Mode or something like that we haven't decided. That'll provide the level playing field version. We're definitely not going to have people strolling into tournaments with level 50 Batman and kicking everybody's ass. We're not crazy.

At the same time online, I could have a level 20 Batman and be matched up with another level 20 Batman and his one will be different to mine. That's what is so cool, it's not the exact same character in a mirror match.

It seems you're trying to add more longevity to the online play experience. Gear would be a good way to keep people coming back online after the core mechanics have been figured out and mastered.

Absolutely. You are in a constant process of refining, upgrading, and improving your version of a character. And you can have the whole cast levelled up, or just focus on one.

Do you anticipate spawning a new series of Injustice comics and have you been thinking about that when creating the narrative?

What I love about the comics is that it handled the time period before the first Injustice. We're actually going to continue the story from the first game with Injustice 2. I personally would love to see an Injustice 2 comic. Fingers crossed because they told such a fantastic story. Having that whole universe and expanding on it… the writers did a great job.

How do you feel about Street Fighter V's story mode, which looks to be using the Mortal Kombat/Injustice template.

I didn't know they were. We are flattered. I'm a fan of Street Fighter and so to have it pay homage to us is very cool.

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Tamoor Hussain

Tamoor Hussain is the Managing Editor of GameSpot. He has been covering the video game industry for a really long time, having worked in news, features, reviews, video, and more. He loves Bloodborne and other From Software titles, is partial to the stealth genre, and can hold his own in fighting games too. Fear the Old Blood.

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