As advertised, Sony held their first State of Play for the year earlier today and within it was the biggest look we’ve seen of Rocksteady Studios’ Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League. Two videos were shown totaling 15 minutes, the first was a look at a mission in which the team has to recover Lex Luthor from the Flash, while another dove into the various features players can expect when the game launches in May. Neither did a particularly good job of selling a product that already feels dated before it even arrives.
Perhaps it feels better than it shows, but Kill the Justice League, at least from the footage broadcast today, just looked like a lot of games you’ve seen before. Immediate comparisons can be drawn to things like Borderlands, Crackdown, Sunset Overdrive and Saints Row, essentially any game with a lot of gunplay, over the top violence and smart talking main characters. It was hard also not to think of many Resident Evil games as the Squad hunted for the goopy purple orbs found on tanks and turrets too.
In James Gunn’s The Suicide Squad, there’s a scene where Amanda Waller informs Idris Elba’s Bloodsport that each member in the team was selected for their unique skills. She then introduces Bloodsport to Peacemaker who has the same talents. Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League‘s cast each has their own unique talents: Harley Quinn has a glider she can swing from and Captain Boomerang has Speed Force Gauntlets he can use to zip about, but everyone is just shooting guns. Deadshot, a master assassin, stands out mostly for his jetpack and not deadly accuracy with firearms because King Shark is also proficient with a gun, albeit a different type.
Each character looks unique and will undoubtable play different, but at least in something like Marvel’s Avengers the selling point was experimenting with different abilities and for all its faults, it did that very well. If you thought fighting A.I.M robots was a drag, imagine playing as Thor where Mjolnir is mostly on his belt while he dual-wielded sub-machine guns and occasionally hurled lightning.
It was made known that Kill the Justice League is set in the same universe as the Arkham series and during the Game Awards it was revealed that the late Kevin Conroy is returning as Batman, perhaps for the last time ever. In today’s presentation, it was made known that this game is set 5 years from the conclusion of Batman: Arkham Knight and both Lex Luthor and Wonder Woman had speaking roles. Neither were voiced by fellow Justice League/Justice League Unlimited alum Clancy Brown and Susan Eisenberg respectively.
It was in the behind the scenes trailer where much of what we can expect of Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League, and it was in those minutes were you could smell many games that have been buried in the live-service graveyard, and specifically, Marvel’s Avengers. Stop yourself if ANY of this sounds familiar: a battle pass that rewards cosmetics; character customization; in-universe perks similar like LexCorp mods that sounds much like the Pym particle gear from Marvel’s Avengers and new characters and missions post-launch. Not to say there hasn’t been successes in the live-service space, but the causalities outweigh the victors and you can really tell that Suicide Squad has been cooking since the trend started and the patrons will have already left the restaurant by the time it launches.
Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League can be played solo or with up to 3 friends only. As confirmed by Wario64 following the State of Play, you will need to be connected to the internet even if you’re playing by yourself.
When it was released in 2009, Batman: Arkham Asylum surprised everyone with a terrific blend of stealth, a unique combat system, a love for the material it was based on, and it truly showed what a licensed game could be given the time and attention. Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League, on the other hand, looks to be playing in a space that players are quickly losing interest in. There’s also the matter that the evil superhero trope has been well worn lately, and, personally speaking, I’d simply rather BE the Justice League than have to hunt down edgy versions of them.
Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League could surprise everyone when it arrives in just over 3 months. From what’s been shown of it so far, however, it’s fighting an up hill battle up a mountain that not even Superman could leap over in a single bound.
Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League arrives May 26th, 2023 for the PlayStation 5, Xbox Series S/X and PC.
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