It’s now been over five years since Batman: Arkham Knight came out, and in the time that has passed since then, curiosity around what Rocksteady’s next project is going to be has grown to epic proportions. At the recent DC FanDome event, that next project was finally unveiled as Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League. And though all we got was a cinematic trailer, thanks to that and an interview with creative director Sefton Hill in the panel itself, we’ve learned plenty of interesting things about the game. Here, we’re going to round up some of the biggest talking points about Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League that you should know about.
If ever there’s a competition for games with incredibly descriptive names, Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League will surely be in the running for the top prize. The name pretty much says it all- you’re playing as members of the villains-turned-heroes group known as the Suicide Squad, and you’ve been tasked with taking down the Justice League. But how exactly has this group found itself in this situation? Amanda Waller has implanted nanite bombs in the heads of the Suicide Squad and is forcing them to fight against a big threat in Metropolis. That big threat is the Justice League, and their primary target is none other than Superman himself- all of them have gone rogue.
So let’s talk about the Justice League itself- we know Superman and his fellow superheroes have gone rogue, but how exactly did that happen? Well, based on the trailer, we can say that Brainiac involved, so there’s probably some mind control shenanigans going on, but anything beyond that is just a guessing game right now. Other than that, something else we’re excited to learn more about is exactly which superheroes we’ll be squaring off against in the game. Superman, obviously, but beyond him? The Flash was mentioned briefly during the panel after the game’s reveal trailer was shown off, so we can probably expect him to show up, but how about the likes of Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, Aquaman, and more? Given the game’s subtitle, all of them seem like a pretty big bet.
There is one notable member of the Justice League we’ve left out though, and there’s a good reason for that…
Something else that Rocksteady have confirmed is that Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League is going to be set in the Batman: Arkham universe. According to Sefton Hill, this is a continuation of that universe, and, as he puts it, “a lot of the threads and storylines you’re going to see come to fruition in this game.” That would have been interesting no matter what, but given how Arkham Knight ends, it becomes even more so. By the time Arkham Knight comes to a close, Batman is publicly considered dead, though the game’s very last moments do hint that the Caped Crusader is still at large. Given that, how will he figure into Suicide Squad’s story? Is he still an active member of the Justice League? If he isn’t, does that mean he hasn’t gone rogue like his fellow Justice League members have? That all remains to be seen, but our curiosity is definitely piqued.
The thing that Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League’s reveal trailer makes abundantly clear before anything else is that it is going to be set in Metropolis, and based on that cinematic trailer, its vibrant and colourful palette is going to present an interesting contrast to the dreary and gothic environments of Arkham’s Gotham City. Sefton Hill has also talked about wanting to bring Metropolis to life like never before, and while it’s hard to gauge much from that – this isn’t the first time we’ve heard marketing buzz words and phrases like that about an open world game – we’re still curious to see what Rocksteady will do with this location. The game’s reveal trailer makes it look like Metropolis is under a devastating attack from super-powerful forces that are completely ravaging the city, so it’s entirely likely that the open world environment players will be placed in won’t be a very bustling one- at least not in the traditional sense of the word.
WHAT EVEN IS IT?
Rocksteady made a name for themselves as one of the best developers of melee combat, exciting traversal, and empowering stealth in the industry with their Arkham games, but Suicide Squad is an entirely different beast. So what even is it? Sefton Hill called it a blend of genres- it’s an action-adventure game, but third person shooting also seems to be a big focus… which isn’t surprising, given some of the playable characters involved- more on this in just a bit. We can probably expect melee combat to play a big role as well, but when it comes to traversal, there isn’t much that Rocksteady have said yet.
Let’s get down to brass tacks- what characters are going to be the stars of the show in Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League? The four main playable characters have been confirmed as deranged clown lady Harley Quinn, deadly marksman Deadshot, mutated aquatic beast King Shark, and snarky trickster Captain Boomerang. Harley Quinn and Deadshot have both had pretty prominent roles in the Arkham universe in the past, while King Shark and Captain Boomerang have also been involved (outside of the games, especially), so it’ll be interesting to see how Rocksteady build upon those foundations with these four characters.
Given the fact that we’re playing as these four very different characters, combat in Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League promises to be interesting. All four of them will have their own unique abilities and skills, of course, and different weapons to master and upgrades to unlock- and it seems there’s going to be plenty of depth across all four of them as well. Harley Quinn uses her baseball bat and has a certain love for explosives; Deadshot can get around using his jetpack, and fights with his arm canons, a fuel gun that allows him to set enemies on fire, and, of course, his sniper rifle; King Shark has his two deadly claws, raw brute strength, and can wield a massive machine gun; and Captain Boomerang looks to be the most agile one of the lot, and uses, as his name implies, a special boomerang. What’s exciting is that there’s apparently going to be a lot more to each of these characters than that, with Sefton Hill claiming that each of them will have more depth to them than Batman did in the Arkham games.
Leaks had been suggesting for a while that Rocksteady’s Suicide Squad game would be a live service co-op title, and though the developers haven’t yet said anything about whether or not it’s a service game, they have confirmed that it’s a co-op game. Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League will allow up to four players to play together- but you’ll still be able to play the entire game solo if you wish. When playing solo, the three characters that you’re not controlling will be controlled by the AI, and you will also have the option to switch between them whenever you want.
Given how long it’s been since Arkham Knight came out, we can probably assume that Suicide Squad has been in development for a while- and it’s going to remain in development for a while longer. The game is coming out in 2022, and unlike Gotham Knights, which is also releasing on PS4 and Xbox One in addition to next-gen consoles, it won’t be a cross-gen release, and will be releasing only on PS5, Xbox Series X, and PC.