At its core, Kill the Justice League is a looter shooter live service game, very much in the vein of The Division games. That comes with its pros and cons, but for Kill the Justice League it does seem like the cons outweigh the pros. After 10-15 hours of gameplay, the game just rolls credits and promises more story in future DLC (which was announced before release). So in Spring, we’ll get a new character to play (Joker), and more story to experience. Question is, will the game last long enough for all the DLC to come out? There are four total DLC’s hinted at by the screen you get at the end. This game shouldn’t have been live service, online only, etc. It doesn’t do the game any.. Justice.
If we talk about gameplay alone, there’s plenty to like about Kill the Justice League. The gunplay is quite a lot of fun with everything from different types of guns to the augmentation you put on the guns themselves. I loved the Deadshot lineup of sniper and assault rifle with his hand gauntlets. The hand gauntlet is actually Deadshot’s Melee ability, but they did a great job making it feel extremely different from the guns themselves and it felt like a cool thing unique to Deadshot. The augmentations can also be added to all melee abilities such as Harley’s bat/hammer and King Shark’s cleaver or hook. These augmentations cause frost damage, fire damage, acid damage etc. For each character, you get two guns, so it’s smart to have a gun with different augmentations.
Movement is also something I’ll praise highly. Deadshot was my favorite, followed by King Shark, Boomerang, and then Harley in that order. Deadshot has a jetpack, and as you level up with him you can really do some cool moves, flying and fighting at the same time. I loved flying down, using a bomb, then flying back up and using another bomb on the way up. Shark has super jumps and air swimming, Boomerang uses his boomerangs with the speed force to teleport, and Harley is very similar to how a Batfamily character would move, using the grappling hook and drone. Each one feels unique to the character, and I enjoyed switching in between them to do cool moves into the next objective. Side Note: Using Deadshot’s movement during the Green Lantern fight is one of the most fun looter shooter style experiences I have had because of the movement of the jetpack. Exploring this entire city is a lot of fun and it almost makes up for the lack of fast travel spots.
From a map perspective, this isn’t the biggest map I’ve played in a while. I don’t believe that I ever had to really even look at the map other than to change objectives quickly. I figured out the layout of the map pretty quickly and never had any issues. With some games having maps way too big, this seemed like a manageable scale for four anti-heroes without superpowers.
One small thing that I found myself missing during exploration was music. Music kicks in generally only if you’re fighting something. So as soon as a Braniac goon shows up, the music starts, but it stops right after and doesn’t go during non-combat/non-cinematic moments. I found it a bit lifeless at times without the music considering the world is barren of people in general as well.
Glitches are normal for games today, but the amount of times I got stuck because the game wouldn’t spawn more enemies annoyed the stuffing out of me. I would be actually enjoying myself and the combat, then I would stand and wait for quite a while for more enemies to spawn so I could finish a mission and they just wouldn’t. So you have to fly away and do the entire mission over again.
The animation throughout this game was extremely hit or miss. Not only does the art style not come close to the detail of the Arkham games (especially City and Knight), but it also doesn’t come close to Gotham Knights’, which isn’t even connected to the Arkhamverse. The biggest look at this is watching any NPC behind Amanda Waller. Clearly less time was put into their animations and movement compared to how detailed she is in the same scene. Same things with the Suicide Squad and Justice League versus anyone else (including some of the models for side characters like Toyman and Gizmo).
Speaking of Gizmo, the Arkham team wanted to get the Batmobile vibes into this game and you gain access to a vehicle (only for specific missions) from Gizmo (many of you may remember him from the 2000s Teen Titans TV show). These missions are fun, but feel out of place considering you never use them outside those side missions. Alongside that is the inclusion of more Riddler trophies. The world is ending, everyone is dying, and here’s Nigma trying to get you to fly through rings and solve riddles for another game. It felt like something the team tacked on because they felt like they needed to rather than because it fit the vibe.
From a comics perspective, this game has a bit of a rough style. The Arkhamverse created some of the most breathtaking moments with heroes and villains across the four games. There’s even a whole section of the game dedicated to letting the player know the general story of the Arhkam games through a museum to Batman’s honor. However, it does seem like a lot of the characters were lackluster as a whole. Characters like Penguin and Waller seemed played out even in the introduction of them as “we’re only using them because we have to” type situation. Meanwhile, if it wasn’t connected to the Arkhamverse, I wouldn’t have cared at all, but being connected makes you think about these characters differently.
Before the game begins, Superman, Batman, and the rest have already been taken over (in some form or fashion) by Braniac. The exceptions are Flash (who has a very long story that I don’t want to spoil) and Wonder Woman (we’ll get to her later). At the start, let’s discuss my biggest gripe with this story. The Suicide Squad should be dead 1000 times over. Every situation, whether because of the looter shooter gameplay or just going against almost-gods like Superman and Green Lantern, they should have died. Honestly. they should all have been killed during the first meeting with one of the Justice League members. I am also aware this is just the Suicide Squad in general. They’re screwups who somehow find a way. But is that fun to play?
There are several missions that I felt bored playing. There’s a “protect this transport” style mission where you need to protect the truck from enemies while an actual cool fight is happening around us. I felt like I was missing out on an actual fight. That was the vibe for a majority of the early game until you fight Flash for real. Several times, I was pumping myself up for a fight just to have a cutscene pop in and someone else does the cool thing. You fake fight the Justice League almost as much as you actually fight the Justice League.
In a game called Kill the Justice League, you’d think you’d have some major fight scenes against them. But let me just tell you, they’re a mixed bag. As I mentioned earlier, the Green Lantern fight was my favorite in the whole game. The movement and stakes are so good it was hard not to push myself to that conflict. All other Justice League fights were either straight up boring, or you simply never fight the League member. I also felt like the ending fight for Batman was a letdown given we the player know what this Batman is capable of since we’ve played the Arkhamverse Batman. Would have been much more exciting fighting actual Batman.
At the end of the day, the inability to play offline, the lack of story missions/length of the game as a whole, and the announcement of DLC before the game was released makes me feel weird. When talking to people who have been excited about this game, I recommend that they wait until there’s a sale, because in its current state, it’s not worth $70.
Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League is out now on Xbox Series X/S, PS5, and PC.
Adam is a musician and gamer who loves his partner in crime, Regan, and their two pets Rey and Finn. Adam is a fan of Star Wars, Mass Effect, NFL Football, and gaming in general. Follow Adam on Twitter @TheRexTano.
Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League
After waiting and waiting and waiting, Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League's brilliant movement mechanics can't save an unfortunately short campaign that "ends" relying on the game being live-service to add story as they go through the different seasons. While playing as each of the Suicide Squad feels unique to each character, the reveal of Joker coming to the game in Spring with more playable characters on the way, I'd say wait for a deal because it's not worth $70 in its current state.