You'll love it if:
- You are a die-hard DC universe fan that can withstand a lot.
- You are a simp for Harley Quinn and would like to dress her up in many outfits.
- You like trucks, there are a lot of trucks with characters in those trucks, and escorting trucks, hope you like that.
Not for you if:
- You value your time and money.
- Want a diverse endgame without repeating the same missions over and over.
- You are already commited to another live-service game.
Receiving the review key for Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League several days after release doesn’t bode well. If a publisher or developer is confident about their game and the quality it will deliver, we get that early look to spread the good news. Everyone had seen the screenshots, trailers and discourse surrounding Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League even before release. Even in the early access window the servers took a hit and went dark for twelve hours. Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League for sure wasn’t off to a good start. How are things looking a couple of days after release?
This is one for the die-hard fans who are willing to go through a cluttered UI, repetitive unimaginative missions and the live-service hassle. Even if you only want to play it for the story, you will be hit with server issues, loot box-like rewards and a need to grind for progress. The acting and jokes hit really well and had me laughing out loud, the performances of the actors are supreme for a story that is pretty mid. Actually killing the Justice League is simply disappointing with weak conclusions that bring forth no emotions or depth when you finally put an end to one of the world’s favourite heroes.
Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League – Just like our villains, on the bad side
There was a lot of discourse surrounding Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League, mainly because it was going to be a live-service Multiplayer game with season passes and micro-transactions. Then the always online requirement and the addition of Denuvo a few days before release on PC. Things were not looking up for Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League as it got closer to release. We always step into the review process carrying the benefit of the doubt. Rocksteady had delayed Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League significantly after receiving player feedback and has worked hard to improve certain aspects. So it’s only fair to step into Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League with an open mind and see what’s on offer.
An identity crisis like Two-Face
Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League wants to deliver an engaging story with characters we love and know from the movies. With the business model of a live service game racking in earnings from a season pass and cosmetics. In order to get players to buy cosmetics you need to have multiplayer, the whole game can be played by up to four players together. Or single-player where the other members of the Suicide Squad are filled in by bots.
In order to sell season passes you need players at the endgame, thus Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League is fairly short when it comes to its single player campaign. It took me twelve hours to get to the endgame part, a good hour of that in queue because the Warner Bros service crashed and several technical issues kept me staring at a black screen.
Kill the Justice League
The title of the Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League sets the bar pretty high when it comes to expectations. Many fans have dreamed about taking on Batman or Superman and going up against their godlike stature. Even better when you get to do so while playing as King Shark, Harley Quinn, Deadshot or Captain Boomerang. The premise of Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League is simple: Amanda Waller from Argus has taken our four villains from captivity and with a bomb implanted in their neck they now get to take on the invasion force of Brainiac.
Brainiac has succeeded in mind-controlling almost everyone in the Justice League, save for Wonder Woman and The Flash. Your team gets dubbed Task Force X and is sent out to retrieve The Flash and convince him to collaborate with Amanda Waller. The Flash of course gets captured because our Team isn’t working like a real Team and fucks up. Badabing Badaboom, as Captain Boomerang would say, and we are off to collect more companions in our war against Brainiac and the Justice League. You go out and collect companions that will offer their services, like the Penguin and Poison Ivy that end up being crafting benches at the base and nothing more beyond that.
There could have been so much more of everything
The story of Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League is what it is. We knew what we were getting into and how we were going to do it. With guns and plot armour on top of rooftops and other dimensions. Aside from fighting Batman, there is no decent build-up towards an epic showdown when you go out to take down each member of the Justice League. You simply do some “defend this point” or “collect these people” side-quests that suddenly prepare your team to take on the biggest powerhouses of the DC Universe.
There is no diversity in any of the activities you will be doing in Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League. Three hours in and you will have seen everything you will do up until the endgame. Every side-mission giver arrives in a Fortnite-looking bus from the sky and has you collecting data or hidden humans. The other missions come down to defending point A or B while Hack hacks or Poison Ivy grows her plants.
And then you get to the good part, the actual killing of a member of the Justice League. Unfortunately, the boss fights are just simple and boring in design. Shoot the green stuff until it’s yellow, counterattack and dodge attack while shooting. The fights against The Flash and Superman are so alike that it felt like fighting the same enemy, but one can fly while the other can’t.
Then when you get that HP bar to zero there is no meaningful cutscene or exciting fighting aftermath action that ends with a big struggle and emotions running high. There is just a corpse on the floor and our Suicide Squad jokes around like they just robbed a random civilian. Did you know Captain Boomerang has a huge dick? You will surely know after defeating one of the Justice Leagues members, as that is their conversational topic of choice.
Comedy gold and top notch voice acting
While Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League has many problems and the story is lacking. The writing and acting is on point, simply so good I thoroughly enjoyed certain scenes and had to tell them to a co-editor while I was giggling. I watched the cutscenes simply for the interactions of our anti-heroes and the stupid shit they were going to pull this time in the cutscene.
There is a sweet dynamic between all four characters in Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League: Harley’s crazy personality, King Shark’s ignorance of human culture but very clever wits and world knowledge, Deadshot’s tactical insights and seriousness and, lastly, Captain Boomerang’s cowardice and cunty behaviour. Simply a match for disaster and chaos that works, the connection between each character is written perfectly. Complimenting each other’s flaws in weird ways and each with their own grudge against a member of the Justice League. Liking these characters after finishing the game is also due to the supreme acting behind each character. Delivering the voice lines so perfectly and fitting for their character; it’s sad we didn’t get to see the full potential story-wise.
Fight the System(s)
Combat is the thing you will be doing most of in Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League, aside from dashing around Metropolis from one fight to another. There really isn’t much else to do. The combat itself took a while to click with me, but it did eventually after unlocking some talents and getting the hang of the movement. It was a blast to dash, jetpack, grapple and boomerang around in a fight and take down Brainiac’s aliens.
Dash the Flash
Movement is an integral part of combat and exploration in Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League. It is also unique for each character as their gadgets are totally different. Deadshot uses his jetpack while Captain Boomerang uses a speed force gauntlet to teleport short distances. Harley has stolen a Bat drone and grapple hook that allows her to grapple anywhere and King Shark is a demigod and can simply jump very high and far.
Mastering the movement of a character in and out of combat is highly recommended if you want to bump up your fun factor by ten. Knowing the how and when to pull off traversal combo’s while mastering the cool-down of your tool is crucial to get better in combat and it makes traversing Metropolis a blast. After getting the hang of it Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League felt like a different game, combat-wise.
Nobody likes an escort quest
I remember playing World of Warcraft and having to do escort quests. As soon as we got to one there were sighs all over comms and we all dreaded the coming 30 minutes of walking a slow NPC. There are several escort quests throughout the main story and even in end-game, an escort quest is mandatory to do the endgame level. From the second I saw the line and truck I had to escort I was filled with dread.
Certain missions have you kill enemies in a very specific way. Only taking damage from grenades, shield refill attacks or elemental damage attacks. Is your elemental damage on cool-down? Tough luck champ, go hide. But you can’t hide, the level design is just rooftops with different heights. All game long you are on rooftops or in an arena for a bigger fight. You have no cover when you’re on a roof or are flying between roofs. So you end up dashing around until you pick up a grenade or your cool-down is over. All that for one measly enemy with a sliver of HP left, if you are lucky.
That’s not all folks
On top of the bad mission designs I mentioned earlier, several other issues plague combat. The main one being the UI and camera. The UI is a cluttered mess with way too many colours that pop out and make it hard to focus on what really matters. You are constantly fighting the camera and auto-aim to get those critical head shots or leg shots to refill your shield.
Your melee attacks will not attack the target you intend to target most of the time, this is even worse if you are playing with Deadshot or Captain Boomerang. And there is so much stuff all over the screen that it feels like you are in a casino full of boomers playing slot machines. But the normal fights, without the extra modifiers and after getting that click, were nice.
Meaningless loot system
You might think that going through all that is worth it in the end, for that sweet sweet loot right? Well, it isn’t. Our review copy contained the Digital Deluxe Edition of the game. In that edition you get some Notorious weapons, the highest grade weapon after Legendary. Those weapons carried me throughout the whole game without ever having to switch them out. For all the loot I collected it was auto-managed by the bots, so that they gave themselves the best possible loot.
As a Deadshot main I ran the whole game with the sniper and pistol that came with the Digital Deluxe. I just dismantled everything, looked at crafting and saw everything was worse and never looked at crafting again. Simply because I didn’t need to in order to progress or continue in the story or levels.
Free loot boxes?
All the missions end with a loot drop in the style of a loot box being opened, but it’s a rocket from Penguin. And I got so many Legendaries from these I started to wonder if there even was a lower tier than Legendary! On top of that everything was just so much worse that it was a pure waste of time to compare any of it. Sure in the end-game you unlock more Notorious sets and gear to combine and grow more powerful. But I don’t even want to continue as collecting gear felt meaningless for the past twelve hours already.
Crash course in how to not live-service
With the servers going down in the early access window, people paid for a bare-bones endgame that has no meaningful loot or incentive to grind for it. With repetitive missions that are even worse when you finish the game. And stability is so poor it’s the cherry on top for a disaster cupcake.
We had a total of 4 hard crashes to desktop and two instances where Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League got stuck in loading a certain cinematic or transition. The Warner Bros servers having hiccups and preventing players from playing is destructive for player retention. With a dull end-game and your run of the mill seasonal pass coming up, Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League will have to do its best to redeem itself.
Graphically unstable like Harley Quinn
Furthermore Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League doesn’t run that well. Having tinkered with my settings and running with DLSS on Quality, my fps swung around like Harley Quinn on her grappling hook. Even without DLSS textures seemed to pop in or shift from in focus to unfocused in cutscenes. Sometimes showing crisp details and after shifting scene a character lost some of its detail.
Exploring the open world was tedious for my RTX3080 I510600k 32GB ram rig. Fps went from 71 to 50 and in combat struggled to reach 60. Turning down certain settings didn’t seem to help beyond the Medium settings point. Settings that were applied to controller players were also active for my keyboard and mouse, yes my controller was disconnected so there was no false input detection.
Earlier I talked about the UI and how cluttered and busy it was during gameplay. You do have the option to disable as much as you want to your liking. Just like I had to disable auto-aim in the controller settings to make the game playable. But not everyone is a setting junkie like me and just wants to play a game as it is shipped.
Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League Conclusion
Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League is a live-service game, developed with the idea of ‘Games as a service’ model. This means that if everything goes well, you will be able to play a better version with more features and a more stable performance in about a year. Where loot will be meaningful, performance stable and more endgame content to explore if you want to do so.
By all means, buy the game in a big sale, as the model Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League is based upon is just one that will demand more money from you in the long run if you want all the new characters and some good looking cosmetics.
If you are looking for a better licensed game, have a look at Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora.
Thank you CD Media for the ability to try out Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League.