So, Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League has kicked off to a rocky start, to say the least. You’ve probably experienced those pesky black screen crashes when booting the game up. That aside, the launch issues plague the game further while playing or when random cutscenes cue in. Frame rate drops are frequent, so much so that it’s a headache to keep up with the intense fights and numerous particle effects flooding your screen in the latter stages of the game.
There’s also the issue of many fans expecting a Batman: Arkham type of game. No, Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League is anything but. In fact, the only similarity is that the game takes place a couple of years after the trilogy in the same Arkham universe; that’s it. Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League isn’t a fully-fledged RPG with a deep story campaign. It’s a live-service game. So, think Fortnite, with constant updates dishing out new characters and content every month or so. You won’t necessarily find the most heartfelt story here. Instead, an action throwdown with friends over time.
Expectations aside, Rocksteady Studios has become a giant known for putting a creative and juicy twist on superhero games. Batman: Arkham set the standard for them, and since then, we’ve come to expect a certain high caliber of wildly fully-fledged worlds and interesting character development just the same. We made the mistake of going into Gotham Knights expecting an Arkham game and left off feeling wronged. Dare I say Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League is the same case? Anyway, with no day-one reviews for Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League, we’ve all jumped into the game blind-sided. Going in unbiased and, well, with no expectations from Arkham, here’s our Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League review.
To cut the chase short, Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League is a live-service game. It’s an always-online entry that, yes, even when playing solo, must have an internet connection. Lose connectivity, and you get the boot out of the game. Like many live-service games that came before it, this one has also experienced numerous server issues. I mean, it got so bad that the game was taken down an hour after launch. Essentially, the servers were down, rendering the game unplayable for several hours.
What caused Rocksteady to pull down the game’s servers, you ask? Well, apparently, a bug at launch automatically completed the game for you. No worries. The game’s back up, and I'm praying it stays back up. As you can imagine, though, the rocky start doesn’t help at all. You jump into the game, almost expecting it to break, and it does. Frequently, too. PC issues report choppy performance and distasteful frame rates. Crashes happen, losing precious time rebooting. Lags, stuttering issues—fix it, will you?
Now, the main story. It’s okay. It works. The Suicide Squad—Captain Boomerang, Deadshot, Harley Quinn, and King Shark—are back at it again. Waller has broken them out, willing to sacrifice their lives for the greater good. He latches on bombs to their necks and sends them out on an impossible mission: Kill the Justice League—Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, Batman, and Superman. Whoa! How, though? These are the most powerful superheroes. With Superman on the team, they’re practically impossible to beat. Why are we even fighting them in the first place?
I mean, it’s no secret Rocksteady went heavily ambitious on this one. It’s in the game’s name, “Kill the Justice League.” They’d have to follow it up with some serious story arcs and character development. Unfortunately, they don’t. In fact, the most interesting parts are the first few hours of the game. We find out that Brainiac has brainwashed and infected endless hordes of corrupt Metropolis citizens. His minions flood the city, wreaking havoc. Millions have died already. What’s worse? He’s infected the Justice League, too, mind-controlling them to do his bidding. Your job is to stop the now-evil Justice League and take down Brainiac. That’s it.
Of course, memorable moments go down, like the boss battle against Wonder Woman. All the other heroes, though, Batman included, hardly get the send-off they deserve. The story is often littered with humor, which, while a few did get laughs out of me, had lines that completely throw you off, and not in a good way. I get it, the Suicide Squad aren’t your everyday superheroes with a moral compass. But the writing takes it a bit too far, to the point of brewing disappointment. On the bright side, the character models are divine. So are the voice acting and cutscenes, which have a slick polish and are often entertaining at their best.
Still, I’d have loved to see in-depth story arcs that take you on a journey, questioning things. A story you really become invested in and that constantly surprises you. Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League just doesn’t make you care enough, which sucks as the main story acts as the build-up into the endgame. At the end of the game’s short-ish campaign, plenty feels missing.
Second Time's the Charm
Sure, the second time’s the charm. It can be done right. But not when it starts to feel repetitive. Let me explain. So, a huge chunk of your gameplay is spent shooting down Brainiac’s minions. They fly around the cityscape in whopping numbers. In that sense, you expect a sense of variety to keep the tango interesting. However, the enemies grow tiresome to fight, with hardly enough tricks up their sleeves.
All you do is shoot purple weak spots on enemies, vehicles, tanks, helicopters… It grows on you, and sure enough, many games use the same concept. However, Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League uses it every damn time. It gets to a point where you wonder whether you’re fighting orbs or the monsters they're attached to. It gets worse when missions become repetitive. Protect a base. Kill a certain number of enemies with a certain gun. Defend a payload at its destination. Sounds like side missions? Like busy work, doesn’t it?
Again, many games have missions like these. However, Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League repeats the same ones in different environments with interchangeable guns. Worse, many missions feel hardly integrated into the story. The ‘why you do what you do’ is too loose to give purpose to your run-through.
The Build Up
You’ll soon come face to face with the most formidable bosses in the DC universe. Killing characters like Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman is no easy feat. Unfortunately, the boss battles barely live up to expectations, except for Wonder Woman, who gets the send-off she deserves. Brainiac, the final boss, will have you emptying ammo into his minions. And worse, he uses the Flash powers, whom you’ve already fought earlier on. At least you unlock the endgame content as a reward for defeating him.
We’ve penned down this review in reverse order: cons before pros. Oh, yes, the game does have its pros. It’s not completely garbage. For one, the combat itself is highly satisfying. It's fluid and responsive, even on high-stakes missions. The guns are, surprisingly, a blast to use. Characters move with flair, with each character traversing differently. You’ll fight mid-air oftentimes, which can really put you on the edge of your seat.
It’s great that you can play solo, too. You can swap roles between characters, which, thanks to varying skills and upgrade paths, can create distinctive experiences for repeated playthroughs (if you have the strength for a rerun, of course). Speaking of upgrades, by the endgame, you’ve powered up characters to striking levels that can be fun to grind for loot with.
There’s no fabricating it, Suicide Squad Kill the Justice League misses the mark. Sure, the characters have splendid performances and acting. The action combat can be entertaining, even. However, beneath the good lies are issues you can’t ignore. Overall, the missions can be narrowed down to about five tasks. It's annoyingly repetitive, with no purpose or deep integration into the story. What could have been the most intriguing take on the DC universe, ‘Kill the Justice League,’ has been watered down into an average looter shooter.
You fight waves of Brainiac’s minions that lack enemy variety. Boss fights feel underwhelming, with only Wonder Woman getting the proper send-off she deserves. In a nonsensical approach, the final boss fight against Brainiac uses Flash’s powers, which is a boss fight you’ve already played earlier on. You play through so many repetitive missions and boss fights that by the time you unlock the endgame content, all interest has faded away.
From March 2024 on, Rocksteady plans to release more content to support the live service. So, you can expect new content from playable environments and characters. Season One will include The Joker as a boss fight, so that’s exciting. As such, time will tell whether the new content will be enough to redeem Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League. We’ll see.
Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League Review (PS5, Xbox Series X/S, & PC)
With a title like Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League, fans have been eagerly anticipating the game’s final release. Now that it’s finally out, it’s becoming clear that Rocksteady may need to reconsider future games in light of the Arkham series. As a live service, server and performance issues have shattered fans’ expectations. It doesn’t help that the story campaign is lackluster, with repetitive tasks and a lack of a meaningful payoff. Nonetheless, new content is coming in the coming months, which may just turn the tide on Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League‘s fate.