Suicide Squad game makes anti-heroes boring

The cover of Suicide Squad: Kill The Justice League shows the four playable characters, Headshot, King Shark, Boomerang and Harley Quinn. Players will have to fight evil versions of each member of the Justice League and will also fight Brainiac. // Photo courtesy of Warner Bros.

Adaptations always run the risk of ruining a franchise. By introducing poorly executed storylines and half-baked worldbuilding, many fan-favorite properties can turn into franchise burdens. This is especially true with video games, as demonstrated earlier this month with the release of “Jujutsu Kaisen: Cursed Clash.” Unfortunately, this time, the dimming spotlight landed on “Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League.”

Originally released on Feb. 2, this third-person shooter game plays through the creation of the infamous misfit task force as they take on Earth’s beloved Justice League. Players can venture into Metropolis switching between the four main characters: Deadshot, King Shark, Boomerang and Harley Quinn. Contrary to their usual roles, gamers take a turn fighting against the traditional superheroes most games paint as the “good guys.” The Justice League includes Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, the Flash and Green Lantern. Despite facing off against each (other than Wonder Woman), the true final boss is Brainiac. Many well-known characters made an appearance in the cutscenes or a few minutes of gameplay, such as Lex Luthor, Poison Ivy and Lois Lane.

The voice actors of the Suicide Squad nailed their performances, especially the voice of Harley Quinn. The game also excelled visually with impressive graphics. These artistic skills shined in the game’s many battles, especially against Batman’s fiery, demonic persona.

The Justice League museum is a great depiction of the game’s highs, with artifacts from each defeated supervillain showcased and eventually integrated into one of the four characters’ inventory to enhance their weaponry.

Additionally, the introduction to each of the superheroes acts as an ironic ploy to depict the extent of their fall from grace. Holograms of the Flash, Green Lantern and Superman reflect their previously pure morality that degrades as the narrative continues.

Much of the game’s intrigue comes from watching the corruption specifically take root in the Flash. Players are introduced to the Flash as he attempts to fight both Green Lantern and Batman, but after failing, he is transformed into Brainiac’s servant, and his words explicitly reveal his lack of remorse or morality.

The game’s appeal comes primarily from fighting the Justice League. However, even against their different super powers, these combat scenes were underwhelming, as the fights’ similarities make them all blend together. This wasn’t remedied by smaller enemy fights. Despite variance in henchman and enemy strength, the actual fighting felt too easy for the majority of the game.

Highly-anticipated fights also didn’t happen very often, either. There were many cutscenes of the Justice League fighting itself, such as the Flash versus Green Lantern or Wonder Woman attacking Superman, but few between the player and each hero aside from the final battles. The deaths of these heroes, as well as the final battle, felt underwhelming — a major misstep from developers.

Available on PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X and Series S and Microsoft Windows, this Arkhamverse game did not land well with users largely due to its gameplay limitations and high price. Even within the first 15 minutes, gameplay repetition is apparent.

Players’ initial task is to get all Suicide Squad members to the same area so their respective skillsets can be introduced. There is some variety between each character’s weaponry, although the majority of weapons are extremely similar to one another. Boomerang’s teleportation ability is the most intriguing, and Quinn’s rope swing using Batman’s technology is unique, too.

The transportation routine that is shown in these intro scenes reflects the majority of the game. The player bounces between platforms, most commonly building roofs throughout the game, and shoots enemies. Rinse and repeat.

While yes, “Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League” is a shooting game, the graphics and characters enabled a greater potential for the game that the developers overlooked. For a game that promises “free-range” gameplay, the extent is underwhelming. The player travels across Metropolis and even traverses multiple Earths, a perfect opportunity for greater skill advancement or side quests that developers bafflingly chose to leave out.

While “Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League” brings to life a visually-appealing, third person shooter version of the DC world and the fun of playing as the villain, the simplicity of gameplay and limited character skill sets make its success questionable, at best.