Suicide Squad: Kill The Justice League isn’t the game a lot of Arkham fans wanted. It’s also yet another live-service video game, something that folks are less and less excited about with each passing year. And it’s not had great previews or trailers. But, I’ve enjoyed Rocksteady’s past games a lot and the idea of playing as villains sounded intriguing. So I was hoping that the saga of Suicide Squad would conclude with a happy ending where the game turned out to be amazing. Unfortunately, 12+ hours into Suicide Squad, I’m not sure that’s going to happen.
This isn’t a full review. Instead, I’m just going to discuss how I’m feeling after putting in over 12 hours into Rocksteady’s new co-op shooter starring Harley Quinn, Boomerang, King Shark, and Deadshot. These criminals are now forced to try and save Metropolis, the home city of Superman, from an alien invasion led by Brainiac. And really, I have one question for you dear reader:
Do you like hanging out on rooftops and shooting purple enemies and machines? Well, good news (?) you’ll be doing that a lot in Suicide Squad. While there are missions that shake things up and feature big setpieces and boss fights, the bulk of Suicide Squad is made up of missions that boil down to: Go here, defend or save some stuff, kill enemies, leave. Sometimes the missions have variables like “You can only kill enemies with grenades” or “Only critical hits do damage.” But these tweaks just highlight how all of these missions feel so similar, even when Rocksteady challenges you to kill stuff in a certain way.
The narrative of Suicide Squad is solid so far. I enjoy the writing and characterization of the supporting cast. There’s a sense, as the game goes on, that the people around the squad are learning to trust them—or at least not see them only as evil criminals. And the squad learns to trust each other and even grows to like one another in a way that will feel very familiar to anyone who’s watched a James Gunn-scripted superhero flick. All of this is very good. The cutscenes are genuinely funny and the in-game banter—though it happens too frequently—is well-written and made me chuckle often.
But none of that can distract from the fact that most of the time in Suicide Squad you’ll be flying, leaping, or running around Metropolis rooftops and skyscrapers defending glowing icons or killing purple things until the game goes “Okay, that’s enough. Mission complete!”
The combat is really good. This is some of the best-feeling gunplay in a third-person action game since The Division 2. Weapons feel chunky and deadly. And when you lob a grenade or special attack into a large group of purple-covered freaks and they all vaporize into damage numbers, goo, and pick-ups, it looks, feels, and sounds satisfying as hell. For some, this will be enough to help them grind through all the side content and level up each member of the squad to their maximum level. I’ll even admit that some nights I’ve found myself lingering in Suicide Squad, endlessly killing enemies and attacking small outposts on roofs for extra XP and goodies. Killing stuff is fun in this game. No doubt about it.
The problem is that 12+ hours in, I’ve already done the same missions over and over again. With friends, this is more enjoyable, as you all can chat about different topics or make jokes during the hectic firefights. Yet, when playing alone with AI squadmates, I couldn’t shake the feeling that Suicide Squad has about five hours of content and is padding out its runtime with a lot of same-y feeling missions.
For now, I’ll keep playing, partially because it’s my job but also because the combat loop is still enjoyable and the narrative still has me hooked. I want to see what happens next. I want to see how this ragtag group of losers actually saves the day. However, I’m not sure how long I’ll stick around once the credits roll on the main adventure, which isn’t a good sign for a game that has a year-long roadmap and seasonal updates planned.