Tuesday, January 30, 2024

Early Game Review: 'Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League'

The rowdy band of mercenary convicts known as the Suicide Squad is used to facing impossible missions that just about guarantee death. The latest attempt: To turn the tide of early griping from gamers about their new game.

Although some players complained of a buggy launch, my time with the game was silk-smooth and thoroughly enjoyable. I reveled at the opportunity to take control of King Shark, Captain Boomerang, Harley Quinn and Deadshot in their madcap caper to take down the world's superheroes.

The effort comes from Rocksteady Studios, which developed the Batman-centered Arkham trilogy, that redefined superhero gaming. The new effort leans hard -- probably too much so -- into the live-service aspect of multiplayer, dreaming of topping the mindshare of the Fortnights and Call of Duty games of the world.

The game entered early access Jan. 30 and officially releases Friday, looks to capitalize off the momentum of James Gunn's 2021 reboot film and follow-up "Peacemaker" series.

Whip-smart writing that's filled with gallows humor permeates the game, which offers a sardonic, sacred cow-roasting take on the DC mythos. The visuals also delight, blending into the lightning-fast traversal that gleefully overpowers its characters in an effort to replicate the free-swinging fun of the PlayStation Spider-Man games.

As a result, Harley Quinn is a drone-toting grappler who can traverse buildings at rates that would make Superman dizzy. Deadshot ditches his stealth reputation as a speedster who occasionally stops and pops heads with his sniper rifle. And the lumbering King Shark can rocket across canyon through the force of sheer will.

All players have diverse abilities, but also can pull out firearms to lay waste to faceless enemies en masse to rack up kill counts. As a result, there's a sameness to the ways each character controls, but that's likely for the better. The name of the game is high-caliber, team-focused action rather than diverse gameplay experiences with each character.

While I would have liked to have seen some more cohesive storytelling and interaction with the Justice League heroes, I admire the game's gusto and moxie, and will be returning to button-mash my way through the adventures time and again when I'm in need of something light and breezy. 

"Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League" may not win over the haters who are determined to knock it off its pedestal, but it's carved out its share of my PS5 hard drive for months to come.

Publisher provided review code.

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