Ever since Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League was announced, it had an uphill battle in its journey to find success. Developed by Rocksteady Studios and published by Warner Bros. Games, the title had previously been rumored to exist, then to have been canceled, and then was ultimately announced in 2020. With Rocksteady Studios’ experience with the Batman: Arkham franchise, fans were hoping for another title featuring the Dark Knight or even a rumored Superman title. However, Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League is what we have now and, as such, will be looked at through that lens.
Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League is set in the same universe as the Batman: Arkham franchise and takes place five years after the events of Batman: Arkham Knight. A.R.G.U.S director Amanda Waller assembles Task Force X (aka the Suicide Squad) with Arkham Asylum residents/inmates Captain Boomerang, Deadshot, Harley Quinn, and King Shark. The squad is sent into Metropolis to stop Brainiac and the brainwashed Justice League members. As alluded to in the title, the Suicide Squad then sets out to kill the members of the Justice League.
As straightforward as is, Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League features a cast that simply jives together within the story. Each character plays a unique role within the group, both in and out of combat. While they may fall into archetypes and tropes, the cast is genuinely enjoyable and features a good amount of comedic moments. Where the rest of the narrative goes, however, is in a bit of a different direction.
Reconciling the Story with Its Past
Having experienced the Batman: Arkham franchise before, the general direction doesn’t go anywhere that I would’ve liked to see overall. I think it would have been best served to be separate from the established universe, and consistent reminders of what could have been with the prior games only work against this title. That said, the narrative, in a vacuum, does enough to move the experience forward. The story does have its highs and lows, and some unexpected portions really shine through during my experience.
At its core, Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League is a cooperative live-service shooter with an emphasis on its open-world mission structure. Players will be subject to missions in between major story beats, with most of them feeling similar in that it involves going to a location, killing enemies, and perhaps having an objective to destroy an object or two. While it does get repetitive, it works better in the cooperative live-service sense than the action-adventure one.
Players are able to play as any of the four Suicide Squad members: Captain Boomerang, Deadshot, Harley Quinn, and King Shark. Each of the characters has two weapon classes, unique melee combat styles, traversal methods, and skill trees. Personally, I enjoyed playing as King Shark the most, with Deadshot taking a close second place. That said, I still enjoyed Captain Boomerang and Harley Quinn for their characterizations, with Captain Boomerang having a fun-to-use, though at times ineffective traversal method of throwing his boomerang with a Speed Force Gauntlet.
Gameplay Makes the World Go Round
Character progression occurs in the form of skill trees/talents and continuous weapon improvements. While it is always a good time to see numbers go up and find weapons and skills that synergize well, the completion of even small quests results in a pretty hard break in the gameplay that shows progression, loot, and more. While these may be appreciated in other contexts, it breaks it up enough that I’d much rather be able to skip them to go right into more combat.
Overall, the gameplay of Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League was fun in the midst of combat, but was marred by somewhat janky traversal and fragmented flow of missions. Sure, not being great with traversal is pretty much a skill issue, but each character having their own traversal systems and controls makes it harder to get used to, especially when you’re trying to use them all equally. Lastly, the AI of your teammates is usually great within combat, but I’m starting to get annoyed by how often King Shark decides to walk in front of me when I’m lining up a sniper shot.
Visually, though, Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League is impressive from the character models to the city of Metropolis. While Metropolis appears to be a bit generic at the start, locations such as the Hall of Justice and Daily Planet stand bright. The voice acting and general audio also work well, with characters working extremely well off of one another.
Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League… Again and Again
As a live-service title, Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League will depend on consistent post-launch content to keep players coming back for more. With additional content already announced at the time of this review, I am personally curious to see how it will continue to grow both in content as well as the gaming community. As it stands now, the more time I spend playing, the more I feel that spending time with a singular character will lead to greater enjoyment, and the post-launch content should keep me coming back at least once in a while. Although I played solo for my review, the game should be more enjoyable with friends as more of a casual title.
Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League is a decent title. Despite moments of jank or a broken flow from mission to mission, it allows players to explore a DC universe through a different lens. The various references, both the comics and the game’s universe, were an additional point of enjoyment. While the combat was enjoyable, there was still a certain ‘je ne sais quoi’ that was missing from it overall, but don’t get that mixed up with any external factors. The various aspects of Kill the Justice League on their own are relatively well done, but the overall package does depend on individual players as well as post-launch support.
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