Should you Kill the Justice League?
Rocksteady’s Arkham games are some of the greatest there are and it’s been nearly 9 years since Arkham Knight, so it was always a mystery what they would do next after it. In 2020 we learned it would be a game based on DC’s Suicide Squad but set in the Arkham-verse. The backlash to its gameplay reveal back last year would see it pushed back until February 2024. But was the delay worth it?
The biggest switch for players is that this is a GaaS (Game as a Service) like Destiny, Marvel’s Avengers and Anthem to name a few (the less said about the last two the better…) but the leap from sneaking around as the Dark Knight and punching the daylights out of thugs to shooting aliens and killing Superman, Batman, The Flash and Green Lantern as Harley Quinn and company is a big one.
It’s also the last appearance of Batman in the franchise from legendary voice-actor Kevin Conroy. It feels bittersweet for this to be his curtain call for the series and I can’t say I was thrilled with how they handled the character’s demise (Not a spoiler: The game is called Kill the Justice League!) but I loved the tribute at the end to him and also really enjoyed his work playing an evil Batman, one thing is certain though…Kevin will be terribly missed by me and the rest of the DC community.
You can play as Harley Quinn, Captain Boomerang, Deadshot or King Shark and can switch between them outside of missions. You can also play the game with up to 3 other players online with your own loadouts. The game relies on loot and levelling in the same way you would expect from Destiny. The bad news is that the actual game finishes after around 8-10 hours so the post-game essentially just has you repeat the same types of missions to get stronger through levelling or loot. The story will continue with Season 1 in March but with so little content at the time of launch, it’s hard to tell if the game will have the same player base by then.
It doesn’t help that the missions are also quite repetitive and frustrating. There are some that require you to kill enemies in specific ways like critical shots, which is all well and good…but when you are being targeted by 30+ enemies, 10 of which are snipers that can almost one-shot you, then it becomes less ideal. Add that into an overly complicated system for your equipment, levelling perks and buffs and you find yourself scratching your head thinking, what am I doing wrong?
For instance, some weapons won’t kill certain enemies and some traversal attacks eliminate the ability to harvest shield energy from enemies, which is a nightmare if you are under a lot of pressure and need shields urgently.
Metropolis is nicely designed and has a good number of AR challenges, Riddles and Riddler Trophies scattered. Getting around Metropolis is a mixed bag depending on who you play as, if you play as Deadshot then you can essentially fly everywhere…if you are Captain Boomerang then you throw a boomerang where you want to go before teleporting there. Harley Quinn uses a grappling hook and glider to get around while King Shark just leaps across buildings.
Personally I found Deadshot to be the easiest character to get to grips with, while I just didn’t connect with the others in terms of their play style. That’s not to say that you won’t like the others, its just my personal preference.
The visuals are impressive and the game runs at a solid framerate throughout. I did come across a few bugs like getting stuck in a blown-up object until I had to fast-travel to the Hall of Justice, but this only happened once or twice. The script has some great witty banter between the Suicide Squad, but it seems that Captain Boomerang is the one that steals the show with his one-liners and put downs. The soundtrack is impressive and even throws in a few old treats for Arkham fans.
It’s hard to tell at this stage if Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League has the legs to be a successful Live Service game or not. It certainly has potential and with a few tweaks here and there, plus extra content on the way…it very well could deliver. But at the time of writing, there is a distinct lack of content at launch and the missions are repetitive. I hope the new content helps because I’d hate this to be how the Arkham-verse ends.