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Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League Is a Litmus Test for Live-Service Games – IGN

Rocksteady Studios is an insanely talented game developer. If they didn’t single-handedly prove that you could make an amazing AAA superhero video game, they sure as hell get the lion’s share of the credit thanks to the deservedly beloved Batman: Arkham trilogy. But they left Batman behind after 2015’s Arkham Knight, and…we haven’t heard from them since (hat tip to the fun little 90-minute Batman: Arkham VR experience that launched alongside the PSVR1 in 2016). Eventually, we got the official word as to what the studio was doing next: Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League, a four-player co-op live-service third-person shooter.

Individually, none of those descriptors make my skin crawl, but together? Yikes. And unfortunately, after last week’s extended Suicide Squad gameplay showcase at the Sony State of Play (yeah, I know, this is an Xbox column, but it’s an Xbox game too so just roll with me here), those adjectives all describe Kill the Justice League, a game in which the primary objective of the game appears to be “shoot and/or punch anything purple.” Oh, and it’s also got a Battle Pass and it requires an online connection at all times, even if you’re playing solo.Let me get my disappointment out of the way here before I get to my point. Rocksteady’s Batman Arkham trilogy didn’t just raise the bar for superhero games. They were each also valid Game of the Year contenders (and in some cases winners) in and of themselves. This studio has set an extremely high standard. The Arkham trio had top-shelf stealth gameplay, detective work, free-flowing melee combat that was so good that other games straight-up ripped it off, moody art direction that made Gotham City as much of a character as Batman or The Joker, fun vehicle gameplay, and incredible voice acting. Suicide Squad has…the confounding ability for any of these four wholly dissimilar characters to grapple anywhere they f*cking want in the middle of open Metropolis plazas, somehow. I guess…

Point is, I have yet to see any of the inspired design in Kill the Justice League that elevated Rocksteady to the top of the industry with the Batman games. And I’m not alone here. Look around IGN, Reddit, and social media and you’ll read a lot of the same disappointed takes from critics and players alike who watched the same Suicide Squad gameplay I did. And the same few games keep coming up in comparison: Marvel’s Avengers, Crackdown, the recent Saints Row reboot, and Gotham Knights. Is that really the kind of company Rocksteady, of all studios, should be keeping? Good lord no! I guess it boils down to this for me: we’ve waited eight years for the next game from this decorated studio. And the game we’re getting is yet another live-service co-op shooter? Sigh…


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