“Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League” allows you to pick one of four members of the legendary crew (with the enticing option to play co-op with friends taking on the other three): Captain Boomerang, King Shark, Harley Quinn, or my Squad choice most of the time, Deadshot. Aliens have invaded Metropolis and Brainiac have turned the traditional heroes like Superman, Green Lantern, Flash, Batman, and Wonder Woman into his willing subjects. Only the Suicide Squad can save the day from hordes of purple aliens descending on the city. It’s a great idea, right? Imagine getting to actually battle Superman as Harley Quinn. Imagine going head-to-head with a legendary hero with the chaotic energy of the Suicide Squad. And then imagine that with the style and form of one of RockSteady’s “Arkham” games. You’ll have to keep imagining because “Kill the Justice League” is a consistent letdown.
Instead of using this great skeleton to craft a compelling cinematic narrative, the developers at RockSteady chose to make their Suicide Squad game a loot farmer. What that means for the uninitiated is a series of repetitive missions that end with slightly better weapons, skill upgrades, and sometimes cosmetic skins. Over and over again. Across the same boring sandbox of a city.
Now, the funny thing is that I’m a fan of loot farmers. I have played “The Division,” “Destiny” (a massive influence here), “Diablo IV,” “Borderlands,” and more way past the point of sanity for someone with a family. So I don’t mind repetition for the sake of gradual character growth. When it’s done well, as in all those aforementioned franchises, the structure gains an addictive momentum in that every mission gives you a new toy that you want to play with on another mission, which gives you a new toy to test out for another mission, and so on, and so on.
So what happened here? Well, it’s all about refinement. The first thing you notice is that the actual act of moving these characters around the world is clunky. Deadshot has a jet pack, Boomerang throws a boomerang to then teleport to, Harley swings, and Shark jumps. They’re remarkably annoying—I mainly stuck with Deadshot because his jetpack, especially when upgraded, could most consistently get me from point A to point B. A game like this that’s so reliant on doing the same thing over and over again lives and dies on its gameplay mechanics. And “Suicide Squad” is a mess. The button combinations for things like counters and mining shields from depleted enemies never feels fluid. And there’s a notable lack of actual teamwork in the gameplay. It’s a co-op game in which you don’t really need to pay attention to what your teammates are doing.