Injustice 2’s Harley Quinn is Startlingly Lifelike

A hell of a lot of work has gone into creating Injustice 2 and it’s paid off, because it shows.

I don’t think anyone who’s witnessed Injustice 2 in action can disagree that its visuals are simply phenomenal, and a huge part of that is down to the animation of its characters, which is really impressive. It means that unlike most games, not only do they look photo-realistic in static screenshots, but in motion they’re convincing too, especially during the game’s story scenes. There’s one, however, that stands out head and shoulders above all others to me – Harley Quinn.

Introduced early in Injustice 2’s excellent story mode, Harley Quinn’s realism startled me. Something about her makes her stand out from the others, something that makes her believable as a real, albeit unhinged, person trapped inside the confines of a screen.  Perhaps it’s because her proportions aren’t exaggerated like most of the other characters. Perhaps it’s because her face is just really expressive. It may also be because, unusually for a female fighting game character, she’s fully clothed and has face paint on to boot. Whatever the reason, she just seems much more lifelike than the rest of the cast and sometimes it’s quite eerie. Anyway, judge for yourself by watching the video below.

Watched it? What do you think?

The term “uncanny valley” is often thrown about with regards to the realism of robots and videogame characters, and I have to say, I’ve always dismissed it as pure twaddle – why would I get freaked out because something that’s been created looks just like you or I? But Injustice 2’s Harley Quinn may have just made me take notice. In a few years’ time when all characters in games possibly look as good, or maybe even better, will we still be happy to watch them be brutalised in games like Mortal Kombat? Or will we just be generally repulsed by the fact that the avatars we are toying with on our screens look just a little bit too much like us?