Suicide Squad: Kill The Justice League – it’s had a troubled development (Picture: Warner Bros.)
I haven’t played Suicide Squad and I have no intention of buying it, so you might think that I am not qualified to talk about it. However, the problems I have with it have little to do with the game itself and more the publisher logic that has led to it being such a mess and ruining one of the most promising developers in the process.
You can argue whether Batman: Arkham Knight was a step down from the first two or not, but the fact was that in 2015 Rocksteady Studios was one of the most respected developers in the world. No one knew what they were going to do next, since the game seemed to have a fairly definitive ending, but whatever it was, it was going to be one of the most anticipated games around.
The first mistake was waiting so long before announcing what they were working on. It was 2020 before Suicide Squad was announced, with a trailer that didn’t explain what it was, and for the five years before that Rocksteady seemed to fall off the face of the earth, and everyone stopped thinking about them.
There’s a special irony to them waiting so long to reveal anything because they basically missed the entire superhero movie fad. The MCU was in its golden era by the time Batman: Arkham Knight was out and the DCEU was just starting, but Warner Bros. missed all that and apart from Injustice we’ve basically not had another DC game till now, which is such bad management it’s almost funny.
Once Suicide Squad was announced almost the only updates we ever got were that it was being delayed, with a lot of rumours about the game having all its loot boxes taken out, even though that’s what it had all been designed around. It was all sounding very much like Marvel’s Avengers game, which came out the same year Suicide Squad was announced, and reading the reviews now it seems they are very similar.
I can’t go into much detail about the authenticity of the game, but I do know a bit about the comics and have seen the films, and based on that the idea of all the characters using guns all the time seems weird. I have never seen any incarnation of Captain Boomerang, Harley Quinn, or King Shark use guns, or at least not so often that it’s like they’re in a Call Of Duty game. It’s completely against their shtick and just turns them into generic video game characters.
The Arkham games were one of the definitive portrayals of Batman, but Suicide Squad feels like it could have featured any characters and it wouldn’t have made any difference.
In 2022 it was announced that the studio heads of Rocksteady were leaving the company, more than a year before Suicide Squad was released. That pretty much says it all, especially as this came at the same time as there were new rumours that it was now a live service game, just as that became fashionable – with every publisher thinking they were going to make the next Fortnite or Genshin Impact.
That was Sony’s idea too and we know how that’s going, but while Suicide Squad seems to have tried to course correct at the last minute, with another year long delay, it hasn’t made any difference and it still seems to be an awkward cross between a proper game and Avengers/Destiny. Nothing about Suicide Squad seem appealing from watching the videos or reading the reviews and I’m not surprised.
As I understand, the gameplay is actually good, despite all the missions being very samey, but that’s my point. I’m not saying Suicide Squad is bad because Rocksteady is untalented. What I’m saying is that because they’re talented it’s a crime that they’ve been forced to make this junk.
It seems to sum up everything that can go wrong with modern video games, with the mammoth development time not only tying up a talented studio on one game for far too long but the fact that it seems certain to flop means that developer will be lucky to escape being shut down.
Worse still, half the problem is that Warner Bros. was chasing trends, which not only hardly ever works but is even less likely to because of how long games take to make now. Maybe if this had come out three or four years ago it could’ve been a hit but now it’s trying to jump on a bandwagon that has already lost all its wheels – again, you can see that clearly with Sony as well.
Suicide Squad took too long to make and managed to miss out on at least three major trends it was supposed to take advantage of, with superheroes, loot boxes, and live service games. What’s left looks outdated, uninteresting, and doomed to failure.
By reader Sozin
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