Gamereactor UK. Watch the latest video game trailers, and interviews from the biggest gaming conventions in the world. Gamereactor uses cookies to ensure that we give you the best browsing experience on our website. If you continue, we'll assume that you are happy with our cookies policy

Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League

Our reaction to the Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League preview

Rocksteady, where did you go?

Subscribe to our newsletter here!

* Required field

"Opinions are like a**holes, everyone has one", yes, I know. There are no doubt some consumers, or maybe even quite a few, didn't shiver when Rocksteady first announced to the world that their next game would be a cooperative, open Live Service game. In fact, I saw many, even then, rightly calling for a calmer approach, and wishing that even the most hard-boiled skeptics would throw some cold water on their heads.

The problem is just, as has been outlined previously in an article on this site, that superheroes in particular and the always-online Live Service structure tend to disconnect really quickly when mixed together, with Marvel's Avengers and Gotham Knights being the two most obvious examples. But if there was one thing Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League had, and here we're talking across multiple previews, it was flair, it was style, and perhaps the many battles against Brainiac's minions were so dynamic after all that they partially made up for the loss of narrative, exploration, mechanical versatility, and all the other things we, or if not most, associated with the Arkham games.

And for my part, there was actually cautious optimism to be found relatively early in the process, as Rocksteady released a trailer that may have lacked all the qualities listed above, but still managed to impress in sheer dynamism. Check it out below.

This is an ad:

The characters feel distinct if nothing else, the game looks, if nothing else, pretty fluid, and mixed with some kickass boss fights, it was if nothing else, more than the garbage fire you first feared, right?

Well, now we turn to the more recent look, where Rocksteady finally unveiled how direct gameplay from Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League looks, and as I sat that night watching the screening on the big screen TV in the darkened living room, I could feel the last whiff of excitement, of interest, being sucked out of me. Now, the game no longer exists on my radar. I certainly don't need to be a truth-teller, but YongYea, for example, has been quick to point out that the ratio of likes to dislikes on this screening is directly... well, huge.

This is an ad:

It's pretty easy to see why, because all the dynamism, fluid animations and transitions that were supposed to save the day are nowhere to be found, replaced instead by relatively simplified telegraphed queues and a design that appears rudimentary, simple and generic. For a start, all the heft is gone. There are no animations or effects to clearly show our heroes landing heavily after a daring jump from a rooftop, there's no weight behind the dry beatings dealt out to utterly lifeless purple enemies. Save for a few Deadshot headshots, ammunition feels so feathery, without offering the frictionless freedom of movement we see in games that gracefully disengage from gravity.

No, instead the four characters feel relatively identical to look at. Several comments have pointed out how Captain Boomerang, a character with his favorite weapon in his name here uses a shotgun, because why not. There's no real versatility here as the characters semi-teleport, semi-swing and deliver well-aimed shots here and there, slavishly following the incredibly obvious and strategically stupid purple swells that clearly telegraph to their enemies where to shoot.

Let's allow ourselves to be superficial for a moment, and say that comparing the gameplay-esque trailer at the top of this article, and the ones we saw during the State of Play, testifies to a pretty significant graphical downgrade. Of course, that sort of thing will always occur to some degree, but the number of unique animations, the lack of the heaviness that was present prior to this showing, and just the level of detail is all lacking. Down on the ground in particular, where the game can't hide behind blistering action and rather annoying giant red crosses on every kill, Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League appears completely devoid of interesting detail, as if Metropolis wasn't even a populated city before Brainiac moved in.

Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League

Naturally, this was just a taste, a single area, a single scenario. But it testifies to a Live Service project that lacks virtually all of the core elements we just love about Rocksteady, what we used to take for granted in the Arkham games. What we get instead adds perhaps some replay value, which is of course welcome, but it seems to be bought on false premises with colour-coordinated loot, lots of skins, and enemies that are hard to tell apart even during an organised demo.

And what was presented just looked, to me at least, so infinitely boring, completely devoid of exceptional features, or anything at its heart. The big tank with distinctive purple bubbles, Harley Quinn's airy attacks with no heft whatsoever and perhaps most tellingly; the creeping sense that the only way you can interact with the game's world is to smash away at boring, generic space enemies.

As I wrote earlier; Live Service is not by definition bad. Forza Horizon 5 is in principle a Live Service game, for example. But Marvel's Avengers, Gotham Knights, and Anthem have all paved the way for a formula that Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League seemingly does nothing to renew, and the visual pomp and circumstance that was present before, which could have made up for the lack of everything else, also seems to be gone.

I hope I'm wrong, I really do. But it just looks... uninspired.

What do you think?

Related texts

Loading next content