NetherRealm Studios released a new trailer for Injustice 2, this time focusing on the feisty feline, Catwoman. The trailer is only a minute and 45 seconds long, but it was enough time to draw a fairly sizable discussion about the cat burglar’s uncanny features.
The trailer was posted up recently over on the official Injustice YouTube channel. You get to see Catwoman’s moves, specials and some of her interactions with other members of the DC Universe. You can check it out below.
While her moves look good and her specials drew little attention to the audience, the real talk of the town was on Catwoman’s face.
One of the comments sitting near the top of the thread is from Finger, who writes…
“This has absolutely nothing to do with attractiveness or gender. The lighting and shadows on her face are terrible, as well as some of the animations. Just look at her victory pose at the end, I’ve never seen anyone, male or female, with a face like that. Supergirl and Wonder Woman were the same, but they have since been fixed. Also for the sake of gender neutrality, Aquaman and Superman looked like garbage when the game was first announced, and they have also since been fixed”
Some people attempted to turn it into an SJW battleground about sexism in gaming, but Finger shut them down. Others pointed out that her light models and shaders made her look like she crossed into uncanny valley territory during the close-ups, a problem that other characters on the roster suffered from as well, with Superman and Wonder Woman being some of the worst culprits, along with Aquaman and Supergirl.
Many of the critics of Catwoman’s face simply questioned how come she doesn’t look as quality-made as the one used in Rocksteady’s Batman Arkham series.
As you can see, the Arkham City’s Catwoman obviously sports more makeup. She has specular highlights on her face and a much softer jawline.
What’s a bit odd is that for Injustice 2 – while Catwoman’s outfit is largely the same as it is in Batman: Arkham City – her face seems to have that same uncanny valley distortion when she makes expressions as the Mass Effect: Andromeda females. Check out the still of her pose during her special, and you’ll see that same bewildering grin that Sara Ryder and Cora Harper sport.
Maybe this is the new trend in how certain female faces are animated?
Harley Quinn and Black Canary seemed to have avoided that fate, with the former looking quite similar to Margot Robbie.
Now what’s also weird is that even though Rocksteady gave Catwoman a stronger jaw in Batman: Arkham Knight, they balanced it out with fuller lips, softer makeup and piercing green eyes. Compared to Catwoman in Injustice 2, the added sub-surface scattering and multi-directional soft-shadows help give Catwoman from Arkham Knight a more refined look that escapes the uncanny valley.
These differences in Catwoman’s portrayal didn’t go unnoticed by the gaming community, with most people pointing out that Black Canary and Poison Ivy look really good in Injustice 2, but not Catwoman. There are topics about the faces on Gamefaqs, the YouTube comment section, the comment sections on DualShockers, Siliconera, and Event Hubs to name a few.
The general consensus is that they gave Catwoman a “man face”. Some people say her eyes look a little bit like Alyssa Milano, but the jawline throws off the rest of the face.
It seems to be a weird trend where a lot of companies seem to be designing their games to give their women more manly features, possibly as part of the new feminist-inspired fad to reduce the attractiveness of female video game characters.
Then again… Superman and Aquaman aren’t women, and they look pretty terrible, too.