Suicide Squad: Kill The Justice League Review – What Could Have Been

Suicide Squad: Kill The Justice League Review - What Could Have Been

Have you ever had an instance of a song you love hitting big on the radio? You know, you love the song and are super excited to hear that others are enjoying it too. You jump into the car and it is there, you walk through the shops and it is there, the tele goes on and it is there. Then suddenly you realise that you are completely and utterly sick of that song. It has been done to death and the last thing you want to do is listen to it again. Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League is a lot like that. The initial parts of the game are enjoyable, leading to some genuinely fun times, but as the game goes on (and on) the love lessens and finally, it finishes as just a chore. 

Suicide Squad

Unless you have been living on a desert island you are probably aware that Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League is a live service game and it comes with all the trappings, good and bad, that the genre brings to mind. Now I want to make it clear, I don’t actually have a problem with this sort of game. I think, under the right circumstances, they can be wonderful, especially in regard to community building and player engagement. But the catch with them is that people only have so much time to play these massive titles so generally a person only has time for one, maybe 2 at a stretch. So to capture players, a live service game needs to be amazing from launch day, otherwise people are going to pass it by for the game they are already enjoying. This is sadly, going to be the fate of Suicide Squad because it isn’t amazing on launch day, it has glaring issues. They are issues that can be fixed, I have no doubt, but by the time they are, I feel like the damage will have been done. 

The biggest sin Suicide Squad commits is a severe lack of variety. Be it during the story campaign or the endgame, there are only 4 or 5 basic mission types that just repeat over and over again for the entire game. Variety, as the saying goes, is the spice of life and if that is the case, Suicide Squad doesn’t even count as salt and pepper. This then creates a huge problem. The main story takes about 10-12 hours to complete and I can tell you, by the end of that you will have played more than enough of these missions to be well and truly over them. So much so that I find it hard to believe that anyone could look at the endgame content and be excited about playing the same missions on repeat, just on a slightly larger scale. 

Suicide Squad
Suicide Squad

This is a shame because the game does have its merits in other areas. The first of which is the moment-to-moment action, which, for 3 of the 4 characters, is quite solid. Harley, Deadshot and Boomerang are great characters to explore the world and get into scraps with. Sadly, King Shark is a little clumsy with his traversal mechanics letting him down. Each character feels sufficiently different to encourage players to spend time with all of them and even though I am sure players will settle on a favourite (it was Harley for me) there is more than enough reason to switch between the crew as you play. 

I also want to highlight the exceptional boss battles. It is no spoiler to say that you will be taking on the Justice League and each of these encounters is a blast. Funnily enough, it is at these, tightly scripted points, that the game feels most like Rocksteady’s own Batman games so it is no surprise that they are some of the best parts of the game. Another carryover from the Arkham games is the Riddler challenges, which are also a great reason to explore the map. They are much as you would expect and play out almost identically to those that were in Arkham Asylum and City. 

Suicide Squad

This familiarity can’t help but lead me to think about what might have been. I obviously can’t say for sure, but this feels so much like a Redfall or Avengers situation, where the publisher execs, seeing the fat wads of cash Fortnite and Destiny were bringing in, wanted a piece of the pie so they put their best developers on the case, sadly in each of these instances those developers were known for single player experiences, not multiplayer ever-living adventures. This round peg, square hole situation has led to games that feel like they are suffering from multiple personalities and Suicide Squad is no different. Scripted encounters, dialogue, and story all feel like something Rocksteady would put their name to, the overall structure and live service elements feel basic, unrealised and lacking depth which can easily be attributed to a studio trying to do things they have no experience in. I see a reality where Suicide Squad is structured similarly to The Guardians of the Galaxy game and is an absolute banger, instead of the mixed-bag live service title we got in this dimension. 

Yet despite all of the issues and problems, there is something about it that makes me feel like this game has potential, that it has a future if the player base stays around to find out. Very rarely do live service games launch in a satisfying state, they seem to need to live in the real world so Devs can listen to feedback and adjust as they go and I see no reason as to why Suicide Squad can’t get to the point where it is considered a good game. It is going to take work though and I assume that work will only get approved by the corporate bigwigs if there is the player count to support it. Perhaps the biggest disappointment is not the game itself, but how this whole situation likely came about because of choices made by uninformed and out-of-touch executives in the hope of cashing in on a trend. 

Suicide Squad
Suicide Squad

Am I happy I played Suicide Squad? Yes, I am. There was enough here for me to get enjoyment out of proceedings. Am I happy to keep playing Suicide Squad? As it is, no way. After 20 odd hours with the game if I see these same mission types one more time I will probably swear off videogames all together. In the end, we are left with a game that, while not quite as bad as the pre-release scuttlebutt would suggest, is still a long way from being considered good and coming from a development team like Rocksteady, it is hard to see Suicide Squad as anything other than a giant disappointment. It may get there in the end, but for right now you are probably better off playing through the Arkham games one more time.

Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League was reviewed on the PS5 with code kindly supplied by Plaion Australia. 

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