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Episode 11: Suicide Squad - Kill the Justice League






If you saw my previous entries in the 52 Game Challenge, one of them was about Marvel's Avengers. It was a short lived live service endeavor that had a lot of weak points, but was a guilty pleasure of mine for what it did right as a looter brawler. Go figure if Marvel was going to do something, DC would catch on to do the same.

And the same they did with Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League. It's a live service shooter that takes place in the Arkham Universe, and that puts me in an interesting position...

...I never played a single Batman Arkham game.

So I'm diving into this sort of game with no expectations, no pre-established understanding of the world or characters, nothing. It was a game I got so I can play with friends. In this case, my squad of @Ryannumber1gamer, @Lady Marieand @Winston. And this most definitely affected my opinions on the game. This game has been dragged across the mud by Arkham fans. This isn't the game they wanted, this isn't the way to honor Batman, etc.

And those opinions are valid and all. But since I have no connection or attachment to this world, I'm just seeing it as a DC game. And how is it?

It's not bad.


I have a decent enough familiarity with the Suicide Squad. And by decent, I just mean exposure to the movies. One being absolutely terrible, and the other being one of my fav DC films of all time. You can take a wild guess which is which. So the basic concept of the team is something I'm familiar enough with. And the squad themselves are fun characters to follow, which really help lift the story up.

Making the game focus on just four very contrasting characters (Deadshot, Harley, Captain Boomerang and King Shark) make for a lot of great, witty banter. It's their dialogue that amplify the experience, and there is no shortage of that there. In cutscenes, gameplay, traversal and menus, the Suicide Squad won't shut up and I mean that in the best way.

I wouldn't say any have particularly stellar arcs or anything. There is one solid moment with Batman and fear gas that help lean into more of the inner turmoil of the characters. But otherwise, a lot of the story revolves around the external looming threat of Brainiac, the Justice League and the multiverse as basically set pieces for the haul of post-game content that... probably won't happen, let's be real. Not with that financial performance.


As for the gameplay though, let's start with some positives. Cause there are a lot that help the game shine and even outperform Avengers in many areas. The traversal is great. Every character has a unique way to get around the sprawling districts of Metropolis, from King Shark's jumps, Boomerang's Speed Force tricks, or Deadshot's flight. While I wish there were upgrades to improve the means in which you traverse, it is all very smooth and easy to control. This also aids in combat as well, making traversal the name of the game.


The other thing I have to IMMENSELY compliment this game for as well is how it handles side missions. In Avengers, it's a lot of grindy busywork with little reward aside from incrementally increasing gear. Suicide Squad breaks the mold where yeah, there's a lot of repetitive side missions, doing them is well, well worth it. Everything provides a very tangible, very effective bonus that literally changes gameplay in a substantial level to make you stronger for the rest of the game.

It is worth it to go out of the way and beat everything in Metropolis, cause in no time at all, you're equipped with all kinds of new status effects to debuff enemies, weapons in vehicles, and immunity to certain enemies and hazards. It's all passive, too. You do nothing once you beat those missions, you just ARE that much more stronger and effective now. It's very rewarding.

And overall the combat is... solid. It's good for what it is, a third person shooter in every sense of the word. There's skill trees to make combat more exciting, and a few super moves, but it's all mostly swapping between a primary and secondary gun and raining hell on any alien scum that comes your way.

It ain't my thing though. I'm more of an up close and personal brawler kinda guy, and that's why Avengers resonates with me more. And Suicide Squad doesn't provide nearly as many options for your characters to use their unique physical attributes to style on enemies. It's more just the usual aim and shoot, with traversal mostly making the difference in terms of keeping your character unique.

But still, it's solid enough, and fun enough combat mechanics where working with your team is encouraged.

My problem though, and where the game falters is... well...





This game is information overload, man. There's enemies everywhere, yet also so far away. They're all grey with neon, on equally grey and neon buildings. There's explosions and particle effects EVERYWHERE. I can't tell where the hell I am, who I'm shooting, and why. It is absolute frustrating to constantly be lost in firefights because all of a sudden the target is a couple miles away from me, and my teammates are already there dispatching them before I realized there was still more fighting.

In contrast, Avengers, most fighting takes place in boxed in areas. The enemies you have to kill are placed in a room where it's less you're locked in here with them, they're locked in here with you. Here, it's an aerial rave where you hope your bullets are landing amidst the streaks of orange, grey and purple.

You know what they say about seeing.

and i cant see

so i cant fight

And in the end, that kinda kills the vibe. What good is solid combat if I don't feel like I'm even engaging in it? The bosses just amplify this problem even further. Couple that with incredibly grindy Battle Pass experience dripfeeding and awful cosmetics, and I had my fill after I killed my first Braniac and decided to cut my losses with the post-game.

Still, there is a lot a good in this game than others would have you believe. And if you like shooters, I see no problem grabbing it on a sale and seeing what you can get out of it.

I just wish I could SEE it most of the time.




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