Suicide Squad: Kill All Hope for Their Game

by: 
hello world!
Jordan Jurkowski
| February 15, 2024
hello world!

Suicide Squad: Kill The Justice League was finally released February 2nd, so naturally, as a huge DC fan, I had to spend my weekend playing it.

This game focuses on a team of misfits – Harley Quinn, Deadshot, King Shark, and Captain Boomerang who are tasked by Amanda Waller to bring down the Justice League, who have been corrupted by Brainiac.

Before playing this, I was very excited about this game. However, I didn’t really know much about it other than the fact that it was a DC video game with one of my favorite characters – King Shark!

The more I looked into this game, the more worried I became. Negative press and terms such as “live service” scattered any news surrounding this game. I told myself that I would remain open-minded until I played it because Rocksteady is the developer behind this game. For those unaware, Rocksteady made the Batman Arkham Games (not Arkham Origins), some of history’s most highly regarded comic book video games.

Fast forward to now, having played the game…oh boy…I’m a little confused, so here are my spoiler thoughts.

This is a game that I wanted to love but ended up not really caring for. I don’t think it is as bad as everyone online has made it out to be, but it’s not the best, either. This game doesn’t know what it wants to be. Does it want to be serious or light-hearted? A looter shooter or a DC hero action game? What I mean by this is the game deals with some pretty serious moments where Justice League members die, as the title suggests. Naturally, the setup for killing the heroes feels quite serious…until you actually defeat them. The battles against them are pretty forgettable because, well, they’re plain boring. This, coupled with a serious tone and having the squad make a few jokes and move on quickly,y makes the game’s tone feel messy. This left me feeling unsatisfied because the moment wasn’t funny or serious enough. The game felt confused and left me feeling let down. 

Suicide Squad has some genuinely cool DC characters in this game, and Rocksteady does an excellent job of portraying them. But unfortunately, it all comes crashing down because there aren’t many interesting character arcs. One arc, which is that of Batman, is totally underrealized.

Screenshot of corrupted Batman with purple eyes.
(Evil Batman)

This is where my biggest problem stems from. Rocksteady has basically confirmed that this Batman is the Arkham Batman we’ve all played as. This is confirmed in the game where you explore a Batman exhibit, and it recounts Rocksteady’s Arkham trilogy and then shows how he is in this game. By now, you’ve probably seen that Batman dies, and this really sucks. He just gets shot point-blank after a weak encounter. As a huge fan of the Arkham games, this doesn’t sit right with me, nor does it make sense. This one moment in the game lessens the impact of the ending of Arkham Knight and the rest of the trilogy. 

Arkham Batman would have been a way more menacing foe than he was in this game and would have been way more challenging to defeat. To me, this feels very disrespectful to the Arkham games. Don’t get me wrong, I do believe that the way corrupted Batman is portrayed in the game is borderline horror-esque, which is awesome. 

Gameplay is fun, yet repetitive. There are only two enemy types, and that’s it so far…so I hope they will at least add some more in the future since it’s a live service. All you do is shoot them, melee them, shoot them again. There doesn’t feel like there is any substance to the fighting in this game. If anything, gameplay, while it is smooth, makes you miss the free-flow combat from the Arkham games. Mission design is repetitive, too, endlessly shooting the same things or protecting cars or vehicles. Typical live service stuff; think of Marvel’s Avengers on PS4, but not as bad.

King Shark holding his minigun about to open fire on enemies.
King Shark with minigun

I know, I said the gameplay was fun, though, right!? Well, it is, in a way. The traversal feels smooth and tight and the combat also feels smooth. It’s fun to use different good guy gadgets as the bad guys. In some ways, this feels comparable to Insomniac’s Sunset Overdrive or even Crackdown

Despite what you think at this point, I didn’t hate everything about this game. The graphics are beautiful, and Metropolis looks stunning. The cutscenes look stunning and are so captivating and cinematic, too.

What about the squad? They’re good. They didn’t stand out to me, but they are good. My only complaint is that Captain Boomerang annoyed me. As a fellow Australian, I refuse to believe we all sound like that…surely not. To me, King Shark and Boomerang stood out the most, which is a shame because Harley and Deadshot are great characters in their own right. 

Lastly, too much is happening on the screen that doesn’t need to be there. Random damage numbers, enemies dying, modifiers popping up, and different weapon abilities. These are all on the screen simultaneously, making the game feel chaotic and somewhat confusing at times. Sure, you can turn some of it off in the settings, but if Rocksteady left them on by default, this feels like it’s the way it’s meant to be played.

Maybe if Rocksteady hadn’t made this a continuation of Arkham, I would have felt better about this game. I wanted to go into this with an open mind regarding the live service and, unfortunately, felt it a lot here with a lack of characters, mission design, and content. Maybe I just have a predisposition to dislike live service games because I grew up on games without being connected to the interwebs…which is just a fancy way of saying I’m getting old.

Has Rocksteady become corrupted by Brainiac too? How did this once-prestigious developer get to this point? 

Overall rating – 4/10.

Graphics, cutscenes, and smooth gameplay weren’t enough to save this game.

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Nick Gilbert
Nick Gilbert
1 month ago

Good article brother

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