Suicide Squad Kill the Justice League Review: All Flare, No Substance

Written by Lyn Kyoumei

February 20, 2024

“We’re bad guys, it’s what we do.” – Harley Quinn, Suicide Squad (2016)

 

Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League is a game I’m torn about. While others see it more as a game that mocks the concept of how the JLU works and its lowest moments ruined the fun I had, it still had many moments where I was genuinely impressed with how it was handled and how the story was handled. A single/multiplayer action-adventure shooter game to be released in the first week of February 2024, developed by Rocksteady Studios and published by Warner Bros. Games. Based on the DC Comics team Suicide Squad, and also a spin-off of the Batman: Arkham games, it doesn’t wear its copper badge on its sleeve too proudly, being better, but also much worse in some ways. If any of our readers would like to pick it up, it’s available on PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X and PC via Steam for $69.99 or ₱3290.00 in the Philippines.

 

Story and World

Suicide Squad plunges you into a world dripping with a kind of smoke-and-mirrors-moral ambiguity, and unfortunately not in the cool, thought-provoking way. But rather the grimy, backwater kind, where even the ‘heroes’ reek of questionable origins. The story, which pits villainous misfits against brainwashed Justice League icons, is certainly in keeping with the game’s chaotic tone, but it feels more like a missed opportunity than a clever twist.

The narrative isn’t any better, as it’s all flash and no bang. The starting premise throws you into a world where “good guys” are bad and bad guys are… still bad. But the intrigue quickly fizzles out. Predictable story beats and vague motivations, especially regarding Waller’s manipulations and the other Luthor’s hero complex, leave you feeling more tired than entertained.

Characters? They’re there, each with their twisted baggage and one-liners. But don’t expect any deep dives into their psyches. They’re mere pawns, sacrificed for the sake of action and pacing. The brainwashed Justice League? An interesting concept, but underdeveloped; their motivations and potential redemption arc are found dead on the side of the road, just like their bodies.

Metropolis may be an open world, but it’s more like an open wound. Brainiac’s invasion leaves its mark, but mostly in the form of generic destruction and forgettable chaos. Immersive? Maybe, it’s this and that. Believable? Not really. The fantastical elements surrounding the alien plot and the alternate Earth feel more jarring than intriguing, pulling you out of the supposedly serious tone they might have been going for with the story.

So, is it all bad? Not necessarily. If you’re the type who craves mindless action and enjoys morally dubious scenarios, Suicide Squad may provide a fleeting thrill. But be warned, this open-world game lacks depth, leaving you with a sense of wasted potential rather than real intrigue. If you want a story that stays with you long after the credits roll, look elsewhere. This squad’s adventure may leave you feeling robbed rather than entertained.

 

 

Presentation

Suicide Squad boasts some impressive visuals, but don’t let the initial flash blind you to its many imperfections. The open world of Metropolis looks undeniably good, of that I am sure, as it shows off Brainiac’s destruction perfectly in detail. Character models are sharp and explosions light up the screen with vibrant effects. Don’t expect any groundbreaking innovations though; many of the textures feel like a generic city and the environments, while detailed, lack that certain wow factor that makes them memorable. It’s more villainous eye candy than a heroic visual masterpiece, lacking a solid foundation like the Hall of Justice.

The soundtrack is no better, attempting to capture the chaotic energy of the game but often falling back on the more generic action movie tunes. Explosions must have their obligatory bombastic booms, and yet character interactions lack any semblance of memorable themes or depth. It may not grate on your ears, but it certainly won’t stick in your head long after the credits have rolled.

Thankfully, the sound effects are there to salvage what’s left of these games. Gunfire packs a punch, and environmental sounds like crumbling buildings and screeching vehicles provide a decent sense of immersion, masking the sound of my PC trying to do its best on even the lowest settings. Most importantly, the character voices are amazing. Sure, some voice-overs feel forced or phoned-in, but if you just try to avoid those parts, the voice-acting direction is quite amazing, you can feel what the characters are going through, even if it’s quite painful to hear, I’m sure the voice actors and voice directors did what they could, so just be prepared for cringe-worthy lines delivered with the utmost conviction, which could undermine any emotional impact the story might be going for, who knows anymore.

The interface? It’s functional but forget about intuitive. Menus are cluttered and navigating equipment and options can feel awkward, especially when you’re juggling the four clowns in your squad [sorry, Harley Quinn]. You’ll spend more time clicking back and forth between screens than strategizing your next move, which can get frustrating when you’re in combat.

 

 

Mechanics

“Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League” offers players an open-world map full of opportunities to fight, explore and switch almost seamlessly between four very different characters such as Harley Quinn and King Shark. While the core mechanics aren’t as smooth and accessible, with less than intuitive shooting and traversal options, some may find the gameplay loop less complex than expected. Missions and enemy types can, and most likely will, feel repetitive, offering decent variety but potentially lacking the depth to satisfy the more mechanically inclined who crave intricate systems.

Multiplayer, meanwhile, can add a chaotic layer of fun, requiring teamwork and sometimes silent communication to overcome some encounters. Balancing issues and potential technical glitches remain a concern, but the core experience is pretty solid, especially for a newcomer to action-adventure games like myself. If you want character variety and replayability, you may have to wait for some post-launch content. However, if you’re just looking for some quick, action-packed fun in a DC-infused open world with friends, this could scratch that itch. Just be prepared for a familiar, yet chaotic, good time.

 

 

Comparisons

The game does feel like it just wants to throw you into this alleyway, where even the supposed ‘good guys’ reek of awkwardly paced writing and, in the case of the Flash, a very quick switch. This anti-hero romp may sound intriguing, but when compared to other superhero games, even those of the past, it’s more of a chaotic free-fall than a thrilling heist.

There are genuine echoes of the Arkham series in the core gameplay, with third-person shooting and character switching that beg to be put to better use elsewhere. However, the focus on guns and open-world exploration is a more welcome departure from the stealth-oriented approach of the Arkham games. The four-player co-op is reminiscent of the Left 4 Dead or Borderlands franchises but with a not-so-super-villainous twist. The emphasis on character switching and unique abilities differentiates it just enough to require strategic coordination from players, something that players of this game may be too young to learn.

Sure, you can switch between four characters with different fighting styles and explore an open-world metropolis. Sounds fun, right? Unfortunately, don’t expect any of the depth or strategic nuance of old Arkham, as it’s a loop that just gets a different coat of paint the further you go. The core gameplay feels at least passable, but it sorely lacks the complexity and tactical satisfaction you might find in the old Arkham games. And while the open world offers freedom, you have to say goodbye to a perfectly crafted narrative or characters with depth. The story plays more like an old B-movie than a gripping superhero epic, which if that’s more your style, more power to you, it’s just not my taste.

To add insult to the already dead horse, early reports point to balancing issues and technical glitches that could trip you up during your chaotic escapades as I already had a few run-ins with these. So if you’re looking for a deep, polished superhero experience, do look elsewhere or give this game more time to cook in the oven. This game may offer a different kind of ‘action’, but be prepared for a potentially bumpy ride through a shallow story and a world that has as much depth as a puddle. Remember, different doesn’t always mean better, and in the case of Suicide Squad, it, at most, can be considered as an afterthought.

 

 

 

Conclusion

Does Suicide Squad stick to its heroic landing, or does it leave you feeling like you’ve just been robbed of your time? That depends on your expectations and your gaming preferences as a whole. For me, while it offers a unique experience with its anti-hero cast and open-world mayhem, its flaws outweigh the appeal of many of its features.

If you just crave mindless action, enjoy narratives written by someone in 2013 AO3, and just want to have some silly co-op mayhem with your friends over complicated mechanics and a deep story, Suicide Squad might offer a barely passing grade. However, if you’re the type, like me, who wants a more polished and complex experience with a compelling and well-written narrative with well-developed characters, this Squad will leave you wanting and, for me, begging. Balancing issues, potential technical glitches and a lack of depth in both gameplay and story will more often than not simply ruin your experience.

In my time playing, I feel that Suicide Squad is for a very specific set of people. If you fit that niche, you might find its chaotic charm engaging and fun. But for the wider gaming sphere, and those who haven’t yet had their first lobotomy, there are probably better options out there, with far more depth, polish and a more satisfying overall experience. Sometimes different doesn’t mean better, and in the case of Suicide Squad, it might just mean a fun but forgettable sideshow in the less forgiving world of superhero gaming.

 

 

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