Suicide Squad: Kill The Justice League PS5 Review – Rocksteady Games set a standard for superhero video games with their Batman Arkham franchise, so it was easy to believe their next game would be on par with their previous titles. Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League isn’t a bad game by any means; it’s surprisingly better than most may believe. The issue with Suicide Squad is that it simply doesn’t have its own identity.
Suicide Squad: Kill The Justice League (PS5) Review
A Fun Story Full Of Laughs
Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League weaves a story of a group of misfit villains tasked with saving the planet from the world killer, Brainiac. Working with the infamous Amanda Waller against their will are a rag-tag squad comprised of Captain Boomerang, King Shark, Deadshot, and Harley Quinn.
In its characters, Kill the Justice League shines with some of the best and most entertaining writing I’ve experienced since Guardians of the Galaxy. Though each character is entertaining in their way, Captain Boomerang steals the show with his extreme disregard for anyone but himself; constantly running away when things get bad or hiding behind King Shark to protect himself.
Each character has charm, but the Justice League feels out of place. It’s easy to disregard their attitudes because of Braninac’s mind control, but here, they’re mean. It’s almost as if they were written off to set the comedic tone of the Squad themselves. The problem is that the entire story game turns into a joke, and even the most serious moments are disregarded quickly.
Killing The Justice League Should Feel More Impactful
As the title suggests, Killing the Justice League is what the Squad is tasked with doing. It’s a task that seems impossible for the group you get to control, especially for those who know these characters.
Though the boss fights against them are pretty fun, killing the members feels anti-climactic. They simply fall over and die, leading to the Squad throwing out quick one-liners and simply moving on to the next battle.
It feels like a full-on disrespect. It would have been nice if the League’s arch-enemies had more to say. Harley Quinn, for example, hardly reflects on her past with Batman, everything they went through in the Arkham trilogy with the Joker’s death, and the feelings and emotions derived from her relationship with Batman.
This leads to the biggest fumble in the narrative of the game, Brainiac himself. Though his presence, or at least his army and skull ship, provide a great visual of his existence in the game, he only appears in the story’s last few cutscenes. It is a narrative that doesn’t end. Instead, it goes into the endgame, providing little to no story resolution.
Traversal Is Overly Complicated
Traversal is the most critical aspect of the gameplay and one of its most frustrating mechanics. It wouldn’t be so bad if each character didn’t have different button combinations to traverse the environment. If you stick to one character for the entire game, it won’t be so bad, but because you’re encouraged to change characters, especially in the endgame, it will take a while to get used to.
Each member has vastly different traversal mechanics: Deadshot uses a jetpack that lasts less than three seconds in the air, King Shark runs and clears buildings in a single leap, Captain Boomerang throws his boomerang and then teleports to its location, while Harley Quinn uses a bat drone to grapple onto and swing.
All of these traversal mechanics control differently with just the slightest changes to button combinations, and it’s a real pain that took me hours to get the hang of finally.
Shoot, Shoot Bang Bang
Combat is quite enjoyable, with plenty of traversal shooting to be had. It’s smooth and entertaining. I loved utilizing the various abilities given to the party by characters like Poison Ivy that allow you to freeze enemies or set them on fire.
The Squad can counterattack by using a shooting counter as they are about to be attacked, which stuns foes and does severe damage. The other mechanic allows you to shoot enemies to wound them. Shooting them in their legs or arms will break them and allow you to use a melee attack to gain shield drops to recharge your shields.
Special attacks and finishers are also part of your move list, allowing you to clear out groups of enemies or do serious damage to a single enemy.
There are three skill trees for each party member and a fourth one that’s unlocked during the endgame that benefits the entire party, but all of these skills seem to do the same thing for each member, just with different weapons. Harley Quinn can unlock extra damage with a pistol when she reaches a combo count of ten, while King Shark will have the same ability unlock, but it will affect shotguns instead of a pistol.
Nothing sets the Squad apart. They play the same even in combat outside of their different traversal mechanics. Harley can’t wield sniper rifles, but she can wield a minigun like King Shark, which means that even each character’s strength isn’t used to their advantage. Using each character’s comic traits to set them apart would have been a welcome addition.
For example, it would have been beneficial to have a skill for Deadshot where he automatically hits every target he shoots at for a few seconds, or King Shark could go berserk, increase his physical strength, and go on a melee rampage.
Plenty Of Things To Do In Metropolis
Besides the story, there is plenty for you to do in the open world. Metropolis isn’t as big as I thought; getting from one end of the map to another doesn’t take much time. The world is filled with Riddler trophies, Riddles to solve, and speed challenges to complete. It’s a nice callback to the Arkham games. Even better, if you’re near the Riddler trophies, they pop up on the map, so you don’t have to search every nook and cranny to find them.
Metropolis is filled with challenges I highly recommend completing as they unlock actual mechanics and help make the game a little easier. Penguin’s challenges allow you to craft new weapons, while Poison Ivy’s missions unlock elements to use on your foes, like poison and freezing them with grenades and charged melee attacks.
The problem with these challenges is restrictions placed on the party, some of which make them highly frustrating. These restrictions range from enemies only taking damage through critical hits or grenades.
Along with these restrictions, you’re forced to find people hiding around the challenge zone and rescue them or defend a location from an onslaught of enemies. It can get frustrating when you can’t defend a position because the enemies bombarding it can only damage it with grenades when you don’t have any and can’t acquire more. After all, you have to kill enemies for them to drop more grenades.
Nothing Special Sets Task Force X Apart
Since Kill the Justice League is a Games as a Service title, loot keeps you going for the long haul. Unfortunately, looting new weapons isn’t that exciting or rewarding.
The special attributes weapons have don’t change much throughout the game, and you won’t notice a big difference during shootouts. The benefits are also small, only providing five percent extra damage with specific weapons or extra shield drops from enemies.
An annoying aspect is I found myself sticking to lower-tier weapons because the higher-tier weapons have attributes that make one set of enemies immune to damage while making others take double damage.
Crafting new weapons is simple as long as you have the resources. Based on the rarity of your resource, you can craft better and rarer gear. The only type you can’t craft is Notorious weapons based on other characters, such as Black Mask and Bane, that provide another unique attribute to them.
Plenty Of Resources For Lacklustre Gear
Enemies drop resources, but you can also acquire them from competing Contracts that Hack provides. These Contracts are challenges you can complete as you play the game, ranging from killing a certain amount of enemies with melee attacks to using specific traversal abilities to kill your enemies. These are excellent ways to gain resources by simply playing through the story or the endgame.
There is a large assortment of enemies, from your regular grunts to more advanced enemies as the game progresses. Some enemies use the Flash’s speed to zoom around the environment, while Green Lantern powers protect others. Unfortunately, none of them are inspiring, and you probably won’t be able to tell the difference between them as combat progresses.
Endgame is the bread and butter of every Game as a Service title, and Suicide Squad just doesn’t hold up. After you finish the story, you’ll return to the world to take down Braniac’s defenses while collecting Promethium. Promethium is a resource that unlocks once you reach the endgame and is used to enter the Incursion missions.
Endgame Rehashes Missions From The Story Mode
Incursion missions are the same challenges you find in the game, just on a different Earth, and the challenges are much easier because they don’t force you to kill enemies using only Critical Damage or grenades. You can also unlock a horde mode that has you try and survive until the time runs out or you escape from the location to collect your loot.
As you continue to complete challenges in the endgame, your Finite Crisis rank increases, which helps you unlock more Notorias weapons based on the game season. You can challenge Brainiac to a battle once your Finite Crisis Rank is high enough.
This battle isn’t new, though, as it’s just a different variation of the boss battle against the Flash, but I’m sure as the game receives more updates, these battles will increase and change. Hopefully, it will continue the story to provide a true story conclusion.
Visually Kill the Justice League is a stunner. The character models and animations are phenomenal, while Metropolis is full of small details, and comic book fans will have a thrill finding all the various Easter eggs the game hides. The voice work is also top-notch, with the main Squad providing a fantastic performance, though I wish the soundtrack were a little more memorable outside of generic-sounding rock music for every encounter.
A Fun Game Held Back By Some Design Choices
As much as I started to enjoy Suicide Squad: Kill The Justice League, its faults follow you to the end. Though it has a functioning endgame more so than most other games, that doesn’t mean it is something many people will stick with for the long haul due to its repetitive mission structure.
For those looking to play the game for its story, you’ll have a lot to enjoy here as long as you can get past the constant comedic tones and the fact that there are a lot of inconsistencies between what the characters can do and what they do throughout the game.
Suicide Squad: Kill The Justice League is a fun game that grew on me the more I played it, but that adjustment was diminished by its repetitive endgame content and the lack of a real end to its story that I had been fully invested in. A story that I may have to wait a whole year to finish or one that may be left unfinished if the game proves to be a flop.
Suicide Squad: Kill The Justice League is now available for PS5, PC, and Xbox Series X/S.
Review code kindly provided by PR