Rocksteady Studios faced an uphill battle when they unveiled Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League to the world in 2020. Initial impressions of a co-op looter/shooter focused on killing the beloved Justice League didn't sit well with many fans. It seemed like everyone was waiting for the game to fail. But given the chance to develop, Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League turned out to be a chaotic blast, proving that it feels oh-so-good to be bad.
Escaping Batman's shadow was never going to be easy for Rocksteady, especially after the success of the gritty Batman: Arkham series. Those games revolutionized superhero storytelling and became the gold standard of the genre. So, how does one step out of Batman's formidable shadow?
Just like A.R.G.U.S. with Task Force X, some people wanted Rocksteady to fail in their villainous escapade through Metropolis. However, the years of development and delays have transformed this game into one of the most impressive live-service titles, both in terms of narrative and gameplay.
The controversy surrounding Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League lies in its story. The game doesn't shy away from its mission: killing the Justice League. The 2020 reveal trailer showcased yet another evil Superman, a trope that has grown tiresome for many DC Comics fans. Not only were fans disappointed with continuing the Batman: Arkham series as a live-service looter/shooter, but they were also dismayed at the prospect of taking down the Justice League, characters who had just made their debut in the Arkhamverse.
However, if fans can put aside their reservations about Amanda Waller's questionable mission, they'll discover a thrilling adventure. The game begins in familiar territory, Arkham Asylum, which Batman fans will recognize. But it quickly becomes clear that this is not a Batman game as Harley Quinn breaks the tension by pointing out that she's strapped to a gurney next to a talkative giant shark (who is quite happy to introduce himself).
The cutscenes in Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League are truly impressive, showcasing the personalities of the four playable characters: Deadshot, Harley Quinn, Captain Boomerang, and King Shark. Their witty and dramatic dialogue shines on the screen, and their initial attempt to kill each other upon being freed from their restraints sets the tone for the humor that permeates the game. The banter between the members of the Suicide Squad as they navigate through a world they're ill-prepared for is a constant source of hilarity. The game strikes a perfect balance between humor and tension, never crossing the line. Task Force X faces an overwhelming challenge, tasked with killing the Justice League and thwarting Brainiac, an Earth-invading force. The story takes unexpected twists and turns, keeping players on their toes.
Rocksteady has put considerable effort into ensuring that the personalities of the Suicide Squad members shine through their gameplay. Each character brings something unique to the table in terms of weaponry, traversal, and abilities. They each have their own playstyle, and it's an absolute joy to watch them traverse the open-world Metropolis and decimate Brainiac's forces. After spending over 25 hours with Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League and experiencing each character's abilities, it's safe to say that there's a class for every type of player. Whether you prefer brawlers, demolitionists, wild cards, or snipers, there's a character that suits your style. The grand-scale carnage is half the fun.
Harley Quinn swings from rooftop to rooftop with gymnastic flair, disregarding her own safety as she engages her foes with explosives and pistols. Captain Boomerang teleports and darts around, making himself a challenging target while he shoots enemies from behind or hurls his boomerangs at their skulls. Deadshot remains agile and airborne, never missing a shot. And King Shark, well, he embraces his brutish nature, leaping across large gaps and pummeling enemies like the hulking demigod he is. Mastering their movements may take some time, but soon players will be expertly maneuvering across Metropolis' rooftops and over their enemies' heads.
Players are encouraged to experiment with combat and mix and match their playstyles. Each character can wield specific weapons that complement their quirky nature. A variety of enemy types forces players to think strategically, considering whether to use counter shots, grenades, melee strikes, or simply unleash a barrage of gunfire. Playing with this arsenal of weaponry is an absolute joy, and as players level up, they can build up combos to unleash even more chaos and devastation. However, mastering these characters and understanding the RPG elements does have a learning curve. Newcomers may need some guidance, especially when it comes to managing their loot and dealing with both positive and negative augments.
Playing Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League with friends enhances the experience. Each player (up to 4 in total) can compete to steal each other'skills and show off their skills, adding a layer of friendly competition to the cooperative gameplay. The game seamlessly integrates single-player and multiplayer experiences, allowing players to switch between modes without losing progress. This flexibility caters to both solo players and those who prefer teaming up with friends for chaotic fun.
Metropolis itself is a stunning open-world playground, offering a vast cityscape to explore and wreak havoc in. The city feels alive, with its citizens reacting to the mayhem caused by the Suicide Squad. The attention to detail in the environment is remarkable, and exploring the city reveals numerous hidden secrets, side quests, and collectibles. From iconic landmarks to the gritty back alleys, Metropolis is a joy to traverse.
One of the game's highlights is undoubtedly the boss battles against the mind-controlled Justice League members. Each encounter is an epic showdown, requiring players to strategize and coordinate their attacks. The boss battles are challenging but fair, testing players' skills and reflexes. Defeating each member of the Justice League feels like a significant accomplishment, and the game rewards players with satisfying loot drops and character progression.
In terms of visuals and performance, Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League shines. The game takes full advantage of next-gen hardware, delivering stunning graphics, detailed character models, and smooth gameplay. The city is vibrant, with dynamic lighting and weather effects that add depth to the experience. The voice acting is top-notch, with the cast perfectly capturing the personalities of the Suicide Squad members.
While Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League may have faced skepticism early on, Rocksteady Studios has managed to defy expectations and deliver a thrilling and enjoyable gaming experience. The game successfully captures the essence of the Suicide Squad while providing engaging gameplay, a compelling story, and memorable moments. It's a testament to Rocksteady's ability to create immersive and entertaining superhero games that push the boundaries of the genre.
Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League stands as a shining example of what can happen when developers take risks and embrace the complexity of anti-hero storytelling. It's a game that celebrates chaos, humor, and the thrill of being bad, all while delivering an engaging and satisfying gameplay experience. So, embrace the madness, gather your friends, and prepare to take down the Justice League in Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League.