Suicide Squad: kill the Justice League what could’ve been a saving grace that could end up being the last straw in DC games?
Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League is a game developed by Rocksteady Studios. The game was announced in August 2020 and is set to release on February 2nd, 2024, keep in mind, that the game has not been released, but early previews, massive delays, and gameplay seem extremely dull and unenthusiastic.
Rocksteady Studios is widely known for its work in developing the Batman Arkham series. Recently it is not harsh to say that Rocksteady has been suffering through a rough patch with their latest releases such as games like Gotham Knights missing the mark completely. Sadly it seems like their misfortunes have prevailed again as Suicide Squad seems to be heading for the same doom as their previous releases.
The game takes a turn from the cliché superhero games and follows the story of the Suicide Squad as they have a rather bizarre mission ahead of them. The squad, consisting of Harley Quin, King Shark, Captain Boomerang, and Deadshot, has been allocated the mission of killing the Justice League that Brainiac has corrupted. The game takes place in a disarrayed Metropolis. The Jist is a complete alien takeover by Brainiac. The genre-defying game aims to break all norms by giving you a peak to the other side of the spectrum of morality. Only this time, the Villians alone must save us – how the tables have turned!
The mechanics heavily focus on fast-paced gameplay with an attempt at fluid character motion. The third-person action shooter game is both a single and multiplayer with Co-op being a focal marketing factor. The narrative centers around “Grind until a boss battle” with the Justice League serving as the bosses in the game. You play as all four characters, each with their own distinct move set.
WHAT WENT WRONG?
The vision, when presented to the fans, came with massive support as fans expected an end to the rather lackluster series of releases. To their horror, it was truly “Just a theory, a game theory ” as soon after tragedy struck!
On February 24th, Rocksteady released the official Co-op gameplay trailer, giving fans a better idea of how the gameplay was shaping up To put it politely the fans were enraged. The argument arose that the game was headed toward another live service grind fest. The protest had a final result as the game was delayed till early 2023. To everyone’s surprise, the game was delayed for a second time setting its ultimate release date to February 2nd, 2024. The reason for the delay as mentioned on Rocksteady Studios’ Twitter was “To make the best possible game”. The relatively short delays meant that the chance of a complete overhaul was out of the picture and the final product would be similar to as seen in the trailer.
No doubt the delays hurt the already shaky reputation of the game. As time went on the hype plummeted as some deemed the game “Unwanted and pointless”. The date was delayed away from the traffic period of games where games like Diablo and Zelda, as observed by people. This was probably done to save the game from getting trampled under these huge titles. In my opinion, it also showed insecurity from the developers as they weren’t confident with the product they were going to release.
Aside from external reasons the core gameplay itself was built on grinding without significant reward. The hours of mindlessly killing NPCs (nonplayable characters) just to get a 7-minute cutscene with Batman seems discouraging if I say so myself. The chaotic action-filled gameplay as seen in the trailer can get overwhelming after some time with the player left wanting for more main story drama. Luke Stephens, a YouTuber who tried the alpha playtest mentioned in his video “It gets old really quickly… I was done by the time the alpha test finished”.
Most of the work was put into the co-op (cooperative) side of the game. live service being the main marketing factor seemed like a redeeming quality but the fun of playing a game with friends goes out the window when again 90% of the game is shooting minor enemies in the same fashion but with friends helping you do it. See the point?
The interactions between the characters give a breakaway from the continuous cycle as the depth of the characters is something that DC nails. The witty banter keeps the cut scenes fresh and immersive but over a long period, it may seem monotonous to such a degree that conversations seem redundant. To Rocksteady’s credit, the contrast between the personalities keeps the cinematics from going dull.
A more controversial addition to the genre of superhero games is the introduction of a battle pass and microtransactions. Does a game like Suicide Squad really need a battle pass? The superhero game priests seem to disagree. These additions seemed forced to cater to the trend of having microtransactions in games. To the loyal fanbase, the game feels like a “Cash-grab” more than anything.
The idea of a game such as Suicide Squad on paper seems promising. Unfortunately, Rocksteady Studios has fallen down the same path as their last releases. The trend of bad execution has haunted Rocksteady Studios with another apparent fumbled opportunity. After the release of the Suicide Squad, Rocksteady is surely going to be on thin ice. Looks like the suicide squad isn’t the only one playing with fire.