A game that should have been dead on arrival is out now, so is it salvageable? See in our Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League review!
The early 2010’s was peak gaming for fans of Batman, with Arkham Asylum, City, and Knight making for the best superhero franchise in gaming that still holds true today. Gamers have been waiting with bated breath for the developer of that trifecta, Rocksteady Studios, to give us another offering.
And while Gotham Knights by WB Montreal didn’t set the world on fire, I found it to be a fun excursion in the same realm. Now, with claims that this title has been in the works for a decade, the prolonged development cycle has allotted for Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League to see the light of day.
Not exactly the cream of the crop, you’re filling the shoes of the cannon fodder in Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League.
Scepticism of Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League has been fermenting for years now for a multitude of reasons. Seemingly set for a 2022 launch window, the title was delayed into 2023. It was at this juncture that more controversial details were released about the game: it would be a live-service, always-online title with a battle pass.
For Rocksteady, a dev that excelled in the space of impactful single-player adventures, to pivot to a genre that’s seriously showing its age, is concerning at the very least. But the mindset delving into this is that if anyone can make it fun, Rocksteady can, so with optimism in check, let’s see if the final product of Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League is worthwhile!
Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League Review – Story
Right off the (Harley Quinn) bat, it’s safe to say the best part of Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League is its story. The DC cinematic universe sure stumbled a bit in the past decade, but those that are fans of the comics and animated movies are going to revel in how expansive this title is.
You will encounter so many characters in truly compelling portrayals at several points in the game’s plot. Whether catching Gizmo waxes nostalgia from Teen Titans or an alternate version of Lex Luthor subverts the expectations of DC fans, it’s no hyperbole to say that this might be one of the best video game representations of DC as a whole.
Each character in Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League feels fully-realized and is bolstered by superb voice-acting performances.
The titular Task Force X members are a real treat in Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League. Whether it’s the level-headed-yet-braggadocios Deadshot, stoic and silly King Shark, sociopathic klutz Captain Boomerang, or demented Harley Quinn, the jokes land way more than they miss.
This goes double for the Justice League members, particularly one of the legendary Kevin Conroy‘s last performances as Batman that injects a sinister, harrowing delivery that I couldn’t get enough of. I certainly looked forward to each forthcoming cutscene more so than the gameplay, which is unfortunately a different beast.
Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League Review – Gameplay/Performance
My time with Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League was the definition of a mixed bag. Almost every time I booted the game on launch week, I was met with a server error and had to try logging in again. Almost every single time. Worse off, I lost a debilitating 30 minutes of progress due to one of my three crashes right at the end of a tough mission.
Nothing spoils the enjoyment of a game quite like knowing that time was a complete waste, and worse off, I’d have to do everything again – with the apprehension of playing the mission where it crashed. With as much time as Rocksteady had in its delays, stability should have been a higher priority.
As far as graphics go in Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League, I dread to report that an RTX 3080 is not sufficient to reach a regular 60 frames per second. While Rocksteady put in extra effort to compartmentalize the game’s textures so that the game sits at 50GB instead of the standard 100GB, there was a certain blurriness that wouldn’t disappear even after fiddling with settings for minutes on end, resulting in some serious eye strain after long sessions.
Stutters when entering new areas also took me out of the immersion more than once, providing a less-than-seamless area transition that most games this generation have mastered with the SSD being the norm.
King Shark is a blast to play in Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League, kitted with heavy weapons, an emphasis on melee, and massive leaping traversal mechanics.
Where Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League excels in its gameplay is its combat feel. While the guns are your standard fare for a looter shooter, every character controls differently. From their special abilities like King Shark’s cannonball or Deadshot’s smoke screen, to their ability to move great distances across Metropolis, like Harley Quinn using a grappling hook quite like Batman did in the Arkham series or Captain Boomerang teleporting with ease. The game emphasizes using each character by making sure specific missions grant you huge XP and damage bonuses if you stick with a certain character from start to finish.
Braniac is a big deal in Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League, a seemingly-impossible threat that your miscreant crew stands 0 chance against.
As you encounter more of the rogue’s gallery in Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League, you’ll get more and more side missions to beef up your gear and level up with. Unfortunately, these quickly become a slog to get through, for one reason and one reason only. You are faced with restrictions in these missions where enemies can only be damaged by one particular source.
For example, one is grenades only, and you can only carry 3 at a time, having to melee enemies to get more. It’s an exercise in tedium, especially in more nonsensical restrictions like critical hits only. These severely hamper what is otherwise great, fluid combat and I wish these were purely optional for better loot.
Dive in with outstanding traversal across Metropolis.
Past these restrictions, when combat is functioning as intended in Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League, it’s a fun affair. The enemy types are nothing to write home about, but the way they engage you and challenge you makes for a better fight than most live service looter shooters have to offer with their brain-dead AI.
You’re regularly encouraged to “counter” attacks by firing a counter-projectile at the right moment to turn the tides of a battle. And with a shield that only regenerates when you finish off weakened enemies, you’re also incentivized to mix up melee with your firearm of choice. It’s like for every 15 minutes of fun, there’s 15 minutes spent dealing with crashes or trying to hit enemies in the most specific, stupid way.
Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League Review – Audio
The tuneage in Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League is great – the high-octane fight sequences are met with climactic orchestras as much as they are with techno-infused heaters. But the best thing you’ll hear in the game is the voice acting. As I spent most of the game as King Shark, hearing Samoa Joe deliver an impassioned, slapstick riot of a performance was a godsend.
Past that, this is the best portrayal of Captain Boomerang I’ve ever seen – Daniel Lapaine‘s raspy, over-the-top shouting kept slapping a smile on my face. Getting back familiar Arkham talent in Tara Strong as Harley, Nolan North as Penguin, and, of course, Kevin Conroy as Batman, were big wins for keeping me going in this middling game.
As this version of Kevin Conroy’s Batman is a villain, it’s a testament to that man’s legacy as the caped crusader to provide such a curveball performance in providing a truly scary iteration. You’ll hear Batman correspond with Flash, Green Lantern, and Wonder Woman over comms in your playthrough, and it’s a delight every time they come on. Complementing the interesting story so well, and never repeating a line too much in the hours of combat, it’s a shame the rest of the game wasn’t held to this standard as it could have made for something great.
Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League Review – Is it fun on your own?
At its core, Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League is marketed and positioned as a cooperative title that can be played solo if you so choose. If you do, the other members of Task Force X are computer-controlled – and, thankfully, they’re competent for the most part in that they won’t get downed easily and will revive you in a jiffy if need be.
The freedom to switch to whichever Suicide Squad member you’d like to at any point is also a huge pro. I didn’t feel saddled to any one character, and the ability to switch to my preferred guns after switching characters was a godsend.
Pick your poison – everyone’s fun enough to play in Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League, but you’ll surely find a favorite in no time.
I can’t help but feel that I’m missing out on some of the intended experience by having found my confidant in King Shark, though. As Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League led me to switch who I’m playing as during specified missions, I had to get myself back up to speed on that character’s kit and their movement mechanics several times.
This adjustment period was self-inflicted by me sticking with Sharky for so long, but if the other characters were on his elevated level of fun, it wouldn’t have been a problem in the first place. I’d imagine that the majority of players will go through the rounds the same way as they latch on to their favorites, too.
Who do you want to play as the most in Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League? Your answer might change by the time you get your hands on the crew!
Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League Review – Conclusion
As Ubisoft’s CEO struggles to convince consumers that a full-priced live service game is worth buying in the vein of Skull and Bones, I can’t help but feel like Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League is a case in point as to why $60 and $70 USD new games are as hard a sell as ever. With significant performance hampers, missions that put your arsenal on hold, and no autosaves that risk you losing tons of progress in a second, this game doesn’t feel ready for the public even after years of delays.
It’s certainly not all bad – I had about as much fun as I did cursing the game to hell and back, but even with a great story and some strong fights, this isn’t a game worth buying until bugs are squashed and the price is more than halved.
So, why should you play Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League?
- Rocksteady hasn’t missed a beat in its storytelling and voice direction
- A who’s-who of DC characters makes this essential playing for DC diehards
- Combat is great more often than it is not.
But why shouldn’t you play Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League?
- Servers are shaky at best, and performance demands some serious PC specs to keep up
- Detestable side missions that make what is fun objectively feel like work
- Lack of variety in enemy types, weapons, and missions can bog down longer sessions.
A review code on PC was kindly provided for the purpose of our Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League review. For more superhero action, be sure to check out our Spider-Man 2 review and join us over on the Qualbert Discord to chat about all the latest releases!