Justice Sucks - Super Suction
PS5, PS4, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, Nintendo Switch, PC
2019’s Roombo: First Blood, a game about a a death-dealing roomba vacuum protecting the home of it’s human owners, was a fantastic, but extremely brief, proof-of-concept for Samurai Punk, the team responsible for indie favourites hilarious split-screen FPS, Screencheat, genius VR piss-take, The American Dream, and number crunching, brain breaking, Trios. Having struck gold with every release thus far, the team at Samurai Punk have returned to their beloved roomba to see what additional tender love, and care can result in; enter Justice Sucks. Did Samurai Punk run the well dry with the original game, or has this new entry found some additional suction?
Roombo: First Blood situated players in a single household, one that was broken into when the owners of the house had gone out for the night, Justice Sucks proceeds to increase the stakes significantly with the McClean Home again broken into, but this time, it’s not their items that are the miscreants are after. After a thief breaks in one night, awakening Dusty McClean’s lethal side, he’s identified by FamilyCorp as being defective, and they deploy a squad the next night to break in and put an end to Dusty. Dusty is beaten to beyond the brink, while his family is captured and taken away. Through the luck of what can only be attributed to the vacuum gods (or a good warranty), Dusty holds on and journeys out through a TV realm that he’s been expelled to from the force with which he was struck, to track down those who kidnapped his owners. The story is wafer thin, but with each cutscene that begins, an opportunity for a cheeky grin or laugh begins. It’s lame, but you wouldn’t have a game about a killer vacuum any other way.
While the game’s first level to explore is that of the McClean house, a near 1:1 recreation of the single level in the original game, your stay here will be brief. There are a number other objectives to complete within the McClean residence, as well as the four other regions that you can explore, objectives that range from saving the hostages, to killing all the waves of invaders coming to steal the valuables housed in the level, going on cleaning frenzies, disabling bombs, or powering up radars to upload a distress signal. While the pool of objective types are somewhat limited, the game doesn’t outstay its welcome, with the five key regions not asking a lot of you in order to progress. With each completed mission you fill up a circle that results in Dusty adding an extra battery or pip to his charge meter. Batteries represent Dusty’s health, while the charge meter allows you to utilise more of Dusty’s destructive abilities for longer.
Dusty may appear to be a simple roomba, but his list of tricks is plentiful. Dusty can be outfitted with up to three tiers of abilities, one from each tier, that range of switching places with an enemy, to the ability to repair all environmental traps, or tier three abilities, such as “Robo Ram” or “Sexy Punch” that have enormous impact. Dusty can also be equipped with three perks, but the tier system doesn’t apply here, allowing players to mix-and-match, in a way that they see fit to, with perks that increase electrical damage delivered, increased suction, faster energy recharge, and more. Players will likely find that unlike the abilities, the perks won’t have a profound impact on your playstyle, with levels largely managed quite easily without their various benefits, and the game doesn’t stretch your skills enough to necessitate you carefully considering which you’ll equip.
Levels themselves are wonderfully designed labyrinths that present the player with plentiful opportunities to stealthily coax enemies towards environmental traps that then with some quick hacking Dusty can be activitated to deliver the hurt. The traps range from electrical sockets that shock enemies, to fans that can fall from the ceiling, flame-expelling objects that light up your opponent and more. Combining several of these traps together can inflict further pain and accelerate your pursuit of victory. Once you down an enemy and their health bar is exhausted, Dusty’s primary vacuum functions kick in as you can hoover up their corpses, and the explosion of blood around them to fuel Dusty’s energy recovery. The loop is simple enough but the levels, along with their sneaky roomba accessible pathways and shortcuts facilitates constantly engaging gameplay.
While, it’s possible that Justice Sucks could have thrown players one or two more levels with some creative scenarios to navigate their way through, and consequently prolonging the game beyond it’s current 2-2.5 hour playtime, what the current package is, is efficient, something any roomba should be. The Samurai Punk charm shines through at all times, the action is as fast or as slow as you want it to be, the ability set diverse and deadly, and the audio/visual production value something that continually engages. While the game could be a bit longer, and the perks could be made to feel more essential, Justice Sucks is a game that definitely deserves your time, and may also make you want to get yourself a home-defender like Dusty.
Justice Sucks was played on PS5, with a code kindly provided by White Label PR.