After years of trailers, delays, controversy, and leaks, Rocksteady’s massive, live-service, open-world, villain-themed, DC third-person looter shooter—Suicide Squad: Kill The Justice League—is lastly out (for real). The narrative that has fashioned round this recreation over the previous few years has grown as massive and epic as a superhero film. Some of us need Suicide Squad to crash and burn. Others need it to succeed, hoping Rocksteady has constructed one thing superb, a recreation price their time and money. Sadly, as with many trendy superhero movies, the ending to this saga is anticlimactic and gained’t appease both of us hungry for blood or looking forward to enjoyable. As an alternative, what we’ve right here is one thing decidedly middle-of-the-road.
Suicide Squad: Kill The Justice League shouldn’t be solely developed by Rocksteady, the makers of the favored Arkham video games, but additionally set in that very same universe. The sport takes place just a few years after the tip of Arkham Knight. Batman faked his dying, joined up with the Justice League, and headed over to Metropolis to be tremendous buddies with Surprise Girl, Superman, Flash, and Inexperienced Lantern. Issues had been going nicely, till Brainiac and his alien minions arrived, mind-controlled all of them—besides Surprise Girl—and turned the highly effective heroes in opposition to their very own planet. Now, it’s as much as Harley Quinn, Captain Boomerang, King Shark, and Deadshot—DC supervillains with bombs implanted of their heads—to save lots of the world by, nicely, as the sport’s identify implies, killing the Justice League.
Whereas the Suicide Squad’s story by no means actually shocked me or broke any new floor within the superhero style, it’s nonetheless a well-written comedian ebook journey with sufficient twists and turns to maintain you hooked. It additionally helps that each character within the recreation, even these barely concerned within the motion, are fleshed out, with their very own objectives, flaws, personalities, and emotions.
As you may count on, Harley, Deadshot, King Shark, and Boomerang get the largest highlight. Rocksteady has accomplished a improbable job not simply visually capturing these characters with a number of the best-looking faces I’ve seen this technology, but additionally making them really feel distinct. Every character within the squad additionally has their very own arc and so they all intertwine all through the sport in order that by the tip I used to be completely on board with these loser misfits coming collectively to save lots of the day. It additionally helps that their dialogue—each within the recreation’s beautiful cutscenes and out within the open world throughout gameplay—is peppered with strong jokes and real moments of reflection and progress.
However boy howdy, is that this recreation talkative! I misplaced rely of the variety of occasions when as much as three totally different conversations had been taking place all of sudden, typically overlapping one another or fully blocking out essential or fascinating lore. To the sport’s credit score, I didn’t hear many repeated chats, however sadly, I additionally missed a variety of stuff as a result of whereas the squad was chatting about one factor, I’d shoot a drone and set off a dialog about one thing else, ending the one which was already taking place. Nonetheless, even overlapping dialogue isn’t too unhealthy. What’s unhealthy is sort of every thing else between the dialogue and cutscenes.
Over and time and again…
Suicide Squad’s foremost marketing campaign options a strong and impressive intro that rapidly establishes the “heroes,” explains how the crew’s boss—Amanda Waller—controls them, and units up the stakes of the invasion. This assured and completely paced first few hours immediately gained me over. Nonetheless, as soon as the sport opens up extra and allows you to free in its digital metropolis, issues rapidly go downhill. Do you want guarding places, taking pictures crystals, or saving folks? Effectively, I hope so, as a result of that’s mainly all this recreation is outdoors of the intro and some boss fights.
The construction of Suicide Squad goes like this: You watch a cool cutscene, be taught what the following step is within the plan to save lots of the world, after which do a kind of mission that you just’ve already accomplished earlier than however perhaps in a brand new location or with some new enemies. Perhaps. Repeat that for about 15 to twenty hours relying on how a lot of the sport’s facet content material you try. (Although, be warned, all of the facet content material on this recreation past Riddler challenges are the identical varieties of missions you do in the primary marketing campaign.)
It’s a credit score to Suicide Squad’s improbable and satisfying fight that in most of those missions, I wasn’t bored out of my thoughts. However I’d be mendacity if I mentioned I used to be having enjoyable guarding the identical crops or destroying the identical crystals over and again and again. At one level, I used to be tasked with escorting a slow-moving automobile by way of a harmful space. Usually, escort missions aren’t something to have a good time, nevertheless it was a totally new sort of mission, after 10 hours of play. I used to be pumped! After which that very same sort of mission popped again up a number of occasions afterward. (And yeah, escort missions nonetheless suck.)
Worse, Rocksteady appears to know how boring this may be, so some missions add annoying modifiers that drive gamers to finish missions in particular methods. The issue is that typically these mods—like enemies solely dying to grenades—didn’t match with my character’s construct. When you can swap between all 4 playable villains at any level within the open world when taking part in solo, throughout missions you’re caught with whoever you began the mission as. This made some missions extraordinarily irritating.
It’s a disgrace as a result of, as I mentioned, the fight on this recreation is superior. Prime-notch shit. Weapons really feel harmful and loud. Blasting purple alien monsters with a sniper rifle that units them and close by baddies on hearth remained enjoyable even after I did it 200 occasions. Additionally, shout-out to the shotguns on this recreation. They destroy enemies and really feel unimaginable. I additionally loved how cell every squad member is, even the large tank-like character King Shark. Zipping round as an enormous shark with a chaingun or flying round with a jetpack as Deadshot throughout massive firefights is enjoyable, even when I’m doing the identical missions I’ve accomplished plenty of occasions earlier than.
There’s additionally loads to dig into with the sport’s fight system. There are elemental afflictions, numerous stats that may be modded, perks that may be unlocked, attributes to enhance, methods to earn again your protect, methods to counter enemy assaults utilizing exactly timed particular strikes, and a number of different issues to remember throughout and outdoors of fights. At occasions it may well really feel overwhelming and I think about most gamers will choose just a few robust weapons, improve them when wanted, and do advantageous. However for folk who like to actually get right into a recreation and craft good builds with tons of synergy, Suicide Squad offers greater than sufficient choices.
Funnily sufficient, for probably the most half, a minimum of, you may ignore that Suicide Squad is a live-service, always-online shooter. I performed by way of your entire recreation solo and, with one exception, didn’t run into any server disconnects. The sport additionally doesn’t bang you over the pinnacle with messages telling you to “Hop On-line And Play With Friends,” or lock any content material behind having a clan or taking part in with others. For a very long time, it felt to me like a decent-enough recreation with some live-service stuff I may have interaction with if I needed to, however that didn’t actually intervene with my expertise in any respect.
Then I reached the tip of the sport, and issues modified.
Suicide Squad hides its true identification till the tip
Earlier than the credit even rolled, as the sport constructed towards a climactic encounter with Brainiac, I used to be instructed that, truly, there are 13 Brainiacs throughout the multiverse and I’ll must kill all of them to save lots of the day. To do that, gamers might want to have interaction in Suicide Squad’s endgame which consists of repeated missions and boss fights that award you a forex that allows you to problem new Brainiacs in numerous universes. While you arrive, guess what? You need to do just a few extra of those self same missions you’ve been doing for hours and hours already earlier than you get to combat Brainiac. Oh, and the ultimate combat in opposition to Brainiac (spoilers) is a reskinned boss combat from earlier within the recreation in opposition to Flash. Womp womp. Credit roll.
As an alternative of ending on a triumphant word with our squad proving they’re extra than simply dirtbags, Suicide Squad ends by going, “You could play for months and months to really end your mission. Get able to play much more of the identical shit again and again, too.” It robs the sport of a dramatic, satisfying ending and divulges its true nature to all: This can be a without end recreation. A live-service shooter. WB and Rocksteady need you to play this recreation for a very long time, all of the whereas hoping you purchase up skins and battle passes to make this extraordinarily costly wager repay. It’s an especially bitter word to finish the sport on.
Certain, the fight is a number of the finest third-person shooter motion I’ve performed in years. And the story, cutscenes, and writing are as compelling as something within the Arkham video games.
But, sadly, Suicide Squad simply needed to be one thing larger than one other 12-15 hour single-player journey. It needed to be a live-service online game that might help months and even years of content material. The sport does an excellent job of hiding this truth for a big chunk of its runtime, however by the tip, it’s laid naked and unattainable to disregard. That’s assuming you even attain the tip and don’t get bored by the identical six missions being copied and pasted across the metropolis to pad issues out and make Suicide Squad really feel larger than it truly is.
Ultimately, Suicide Squad is simply…okay. Nice. Not superb. Not a trainwreck. Of us wanting this recreation to be a whole catastrophe will probably be disillusioned to find a very advantageous shooter that solely succumbs to live-service corruption on the finish. And for folk wanting one thing they will play for years, nicely, I hope you want taking pictures purple crystals time and again.
Suicide Squad is a poster little one for the form of video games that stay between nice and terrible. Whereas that may be sufficient for some, I can’t think about the devs who labored arduous on Suicide Squad (or writer WB, who footed the invoice for the sport) needed all of it to finish with what quantities to a shrug emoji. But, right here we’re. Not less than the shotguns are cool.