Injustice 2's Facial Animation Is So Good It's Uncanny

Injustice 2's story mode features a strong script voiced by top voice talent, but the real stunner is the way the in-game faces move when acting out the dialogue. Can you make out what Harley Quinn is saying in the animated GIF above? Hint: she's talking about Gorilla Grodd.

Each new snippet of video shown during Injustice 2's relentless media barrage leading up to today's launch was accompanied by people arguing over the character's faces. Some loved the more realistic look the sequel was going for. Others found it off-putting or weird. Comparing shots of Injustice: Gods Among Us Harley Quinn . . .

. . . to Harleen from Injustice 2 . . .

. . . I can see where some might be worried about the new direction. I was a little concerned myself, but those concerns quickly faded as I played, replaced with a deep admiration for what the animators accomplished.

Here's a scene between Batman, Robin (Damien Wayne) and Wonder Woman from early on in story mode.

See Robin's smirk? The hint of sadness and concern in Wonder Woman's eyes? It's not just animation, it's acting.

And these aren't just the cutscenes, either. Though the lighting changes between scripted scene and battle can be a little jarring, the same facial animations present in the cinematics carry over to gameplay. Check out this clip of Catwoman, taken from the customisation screen.

Just as bad animation can severely cripple a video game's ability to tell a compelling story, good animation draws the viewer into the narrative, adding emotion and nuance. Injustice 2 has very, very good animation.

Now about that hair . . .


Comments

    They stepped up the quality so much this time around. This is what a sequel should be.

    Can anyone definitively say if this has PS4Pro support?

    It is very concerning how now the hype for the Pro has died down, very little is ever said about Pro enhancements to games. Take Prey as an example. It says Pro support on the box, but from everything I've read it plays and looks exactly the same on the OG PS4 and Pro.

    When I bought my Pro I was under the impression pretty much all new games coming out would be optimized for it. In reality it seems there are less and less coming out. Which pisses me off.......as I should have just kept the OG PS4.

    Or is there some industry shenanigans going on whereby we won't see proper Pro enhancements until the Scorpio comes out......so both console makers can show off better visuals at the same time?

      Really do feel for you, it's impossible to work out what's going on on either a game-by-game level (the devs/publishers may actually be required by Sony to say or not say certain things before release) or from a wider perspective (what MS is doing, etc).

      S'pose just keep raising it like you are doing, there but for grace of my new Switch/upgraded PC go I....

      But on the topic at hand, Harley's definitely very life-like. But I don't see the other characters/clips as nearly as the same level, that's just me though.

    Can you make out what Harley Quinn is saying in the animated GIF above?I'm no lip reading expert but I think the conversation is something like:
    "Take both?"
    "Sheep? Okay."

    What's more amusing is how Green Arrow is watching intently as tentacles (vines) slide down behind the two girls. He knows where this is going.

    So people are criticizing these facial animations which I feel are pretty decent for video game standard, but some people were happy with the Andromeda filth that "apparently fixed" the atrocious animations there?
    I guess as humans we will never be happy. If something isn't good enough lets cry about it, and if somethings is too good lets cry about it.

    How did Netherealm achieve this when the "masters" of the genre could not?

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