With perhaps one of the most polarising titles in recent history finally getting into the hands of gamers, WB Games and Rocksteady Studios’ latest game in the Arkham universe, Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League, is out, and it’s a killer of a good time!
I am evaluating the game solely based on the single-player experience because I wasn’t interested in the live service aspect discussed before the game’s release, which promises new skins, an expanded story, and additional characters. As of my review, I’ve encountered minimal live-service features and have been unable to explore the end game and its evolving story. In my initial playthrough, I didn’t experience any live-service interruptions, aside from the store in the menu offering a minimal selection of new character skins at launch
From the outset, the team of Task Force X are thrown into a Metropolis that has been overrun by Brainiac, his minions and, of course, The Justice League. An intimidating skull spaceship is hovering over the city, causing terror. Aliens are rounding up the civilians of Metropolis to turn them into Brainiac’s army, and there appears to be nothing standing in his way of total domination. That is until Amanda Waller, head of A.R.G.U.S releases four inmates from Arkham Asylum. Those are the playable characters in the game: Deadshot, Harley Quinn, King Shark, and Captain Boomerang.
By now, you may be familiar with the Suicide Squad premise. If not, it goes like this. Waller inserts a bomb into the base of each of Task Force X’s heads and if they go rogue or act against her direct orders. BOOM! Their head is blown clear off. So the team’s incentive is clear: either die trying to kill the Justice League or die.
As you start in Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League, you are released into the Hall of Justice, which acts as the Justice League’s base of operations and a museum of sorts for people to learn about their favourite heroes. This does a fantastic job of catching up new players to the events of the previous Arkham titles and introducing the rest of the Justice League who have previously been absent from the series. For those unfamiliar, you have Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern and the Flash to contend with throughout the game’s epic story.
The entire Justice League is brainwashed by Brainiac, except for Wonder Woman. She plays an integral role during the game’s events, often feeling like she is Earth’s last defence against her colleagues and often seeing Task Force X as a distraction and no help in her quest to save everyone. Wonder Woman is written extremely well, and I’m glad they had her as the last-standing hero in Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League.
Now, on to the most important part of this game: the gameplay. The words that come to me are 100% fully unadulterated fun! Shooting in this game is so satisfying. There are many ways to dispose of the loads of Brainiac’s forces throughout the game, and you are encouraged to use these many ways. Think of it as an ongoing tutorial as you play. Many of the side quests litter the streets of Metropolis, and yes, some of these are rinse-and-repeat style missions with the same objectives, such as collecting data or knocking out towers and even everyone’s favourite, the guarding of a travelling vehicle. There are many variables and challenges put in place to keep them fresh. Each mission has a set of extra optional objectives, such as killing enemies while swinging (as Harley) or using 10 grenades, all for extra exp. But in other instances, the only way to kill the enemies is by using grenades, shooting critical damage (headshots) or collecting alien leftovers.
Many of the side quests in the game will directly benefit the team you have at the Hall of Justice, with a few stores in there offering weapons, mods, and other additions to your load-outs. So, in that respect, there are no real reasons to complete the sidequests as they have no bearing on the story, apart from a handful that requires you to obtain items to take down the Justice League. But I wanted to do them because they were fun. I won’t lie; there were moments during some of these sidequests where I was frustrated, but it wasn’t at the task required. It was because I didn’t read the instructions correctly. So, do yourself a favour and read the instructions before you start any sidequests.
Weapon upgrades and loot provided after each mission are completed are a bit annoying due to the wait time, and stats on new weapons are generally small upgrades, seeing as you will get one every mission. The main attributes you will be looking for are the buffs on the weapons, as most of the time, damage increases will be minimal. Once you unlock high-end weaponry, you will no longer desire to experiment with different guns.
While playing through all the side and main missions of Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League, you will find your main and stick with them. From the outset, I’d decided that my mains would be Harley and Deadshot, which rang true for the beginning of the game. I liked their traversal systems, although getting around Metropolis with all of them can take some time. It took some time to appreciate each of the characters. At the start, I hated traversing the world with King Shark, but on some missions, you will have one of the four characters be ‘Psyched’ for the mission, and when this is an option, it pays to play as them as they will receive bonus EXP. So, with this in place, it makes you want to use all of the characters and get used to their moves. By the game’s end, I was mixing and mashing up the characters I played with, always using the Psyched character or the one I felt would suit the main objective.
Boss battles in the game are all enjoyable and vary just enough to keep each encounter different. Most are fairly simple: critical hitting this area, lowering their shields, or countering their shots. Each time you come up against a brainwashed hero in Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League, you encounter the full force and power of each of them, meaning they are memorable and require some thought and patience. I was also thankful that there were save states after the phase of the boss battle. I truly enjoyed each boss battle in the game, with great cutscenes to end each.
Speaking of the characters in the game, the story was excellent, and every character who was a voiceover in this game did an awesome job with their assigned roles. I know everyone praises the late Kevin Conroy for his performances of Batman, but Tara Strong, who voices Harley Quinn, should command the same respect, in my opinion. She IS Harley Quinn. The banter between your team throughout is funny and evolves as time passes. They start unable to stand each other and hating their situation, to genuinely enjoying each other’s company and growing as characters.
As the credits rolled, I thought about my experience with this game. I can understand why people may take a while to warm to the traversal and get around the city because it will take an hour to get used to. It seems clunky and hard initially, but as you take on new missions with each team member as the lead (especially in single-player), you will get used to how they get around and how to use it to your advantage. By the end, I was a pro and felt unstoppable against Brainiac’s army. I know at the start of the review, I mentioned that I had no interest in the live service aspects of this game, but after all the time I spent and now knowing how it all works, I’m excited and would spoil the game’s story if I was to explain how the end game content all works. Please understand that it seems like a cool idea, with my only concern being if this can all be done via solo play.
SUICIDE SQUAD: KILL THE JUSTICE LEAGUE REVIEW
Justice League: Kill the Suicide Squad started as a divisive game out there in the gaming community but I truly think that once people give this a go, they will enjoy the single-player aspects and potentially be won over by its continued support as a live service game. There are a few annoyances that are remedied by variety, but with a few side missions getting stale by the end, the long load times are to be rewarded after each mission. But this was not enough to spoil my fun time with the game.
Great single-player story
Smooth frame rates and gun mechanics
Voiceovers are incredible
Well written characters with Wonder Woman being the standout
Fighting the Justice League
Very predictable plot
The traversal could have been better
Loot is not worth the grind
A review code was supplied by the publisher for purposes of this review.