Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League looks like Game of the Year material already

“Holy shit.” These are the words uttered by Captain Boomerang at the end of the Suicide Squad: Kill The Justice League gameplay trailer that aired at The Game Awards 2021. The Flash has just gotten the drop on the Captain and his pals, Harley Quinn, King Shark, and Deadshot, and while watching our first slice of in-game footage of the whole crew tearing up the city of Metropolis, laying waste to hordes of Brainiac foot soldiers, and seemingly really enjoying themselves in the process, I too found myself mumbling the same sentiments under my breath. 

It’s been said that Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League is Batman: Arkham’s twisted sibling. I’d go one further to say that this is Rocksteady unhinged and untethered, with the studio clearly having just as much fun messing around action-adventure conventions as the eccentric characters they’re bringing to life.

Why less serious?

Key Info

Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League

(Image credit: Rocksteady)

Game Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League
 Rocksteady Studios
Publisher Warner Bros
Platforms PC, PS5, Xbox Series X
Release 2022

For starters, these characters are antiheroes. The Flash, Green Lantern, and Superman have been brainwashed by antagonist Brainiac, so the story goes, and while it appears Wonder Woman has not been affected by the same mind-altering affliction – as per what came out of DC Fandome 2021 – the Suicide Squad’s remit is clear: kill Superman and anyone else who stands in the way of doing so. 

Doing so while in control of Captain Boomerang, Harley Quinn, King Shark, and Deadshot looks absolutely stunning, by the way. From Quinn’s grappling hook plunges to her penchant for shoveling cartoon bombs into enemies’ mouths; from Shark’s Spidey-like wall-traversal to his ground-shaking AOE attacks; from Deadshot’s ranged machine gun sharpshooting to his aerial sniping; and from the Captain’s sprint offence to his lightning-quick parkour – it really is a lot to take in, but a joy to behold all the same.

The thought of doing all of this in single-player mode is exciting enough, but the idea that these sun-kissed streets of rage can be tackled with up to three mates in online multiplayer, each filling the supervillain shoes of your remaining Suicide Squad members, could plant Kill the Justice League firmly among Game of Year contenders from launch. After all, Rocksteady has consistently proven its chops when it comes to solid superhero fare, and, despite Batman’s Arkham series being suited to its darker, moodier approach, being free of the Caped Crusader’s seriousness seems to suit a studio firing on all cylinders. 

In the latter stretch of the gameplay trailer, for example, the camera follows Captain Boomerang as he propels himself onto a tree-lined bridge filled with brainwashed enemies. Up ahead, King Shark can be seen atop the roof of an adjoining building, equipped with a rail gun and taking down his own swathe of aggressors. “Got ya back, Sharkey boy,” cries the Captain in his distinctive Australian lilt, before the two join forces, clean house, and celebrate with a customary tough guy high-five. It’s hard to say how much of this is pre-orchestrated for the sake of demonstration purposes, but the scope for variety from a tactical standpoint within this active open-world nevertheless feels huge at this stage.

Flip the script

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(Image credit: Rocksteady)

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(Image credit: Rocksteady)

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(Image credit: Rocksteady)

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(Image credit: Rocksteady)

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“Rocksteady is flexing its muscles, showcasing a multi-faceted repertoire, taking itself far less seriously, and enjoying every single second of it.”

Naturally, taking itself less seriously means Rocksteady can push the boundaries of combat further here than it ever has before. Despite them telling superhero stories, the Batman Arkham games were often grounded by realism, much similar to the Christopher Nolan Dark Knight films, yet Kill the Justice League is clearly larger than life, echoing everything from Saints Row to Sunset Overdrive and the most outlandish Grand Theft Auto 5 PC mods. Similar to how Bryan Cranson seamlessly transitioned from hapless comedy dad Hal Wilkerson in Malcolm in the Middle, to prestige drama titan Walter “Heisenberg” White in Breaking Bad, Kill the Justice League is the inverse of the process in game developer terms – Rocksteady is flexing its muscles, showcasing a multi-faceted repertoire, taking itself far less seriously, and enjoying every single second of it. 

And we’ve still to see so much more from this game in motion. This first portion of gameplay footage, of course, focuses on The Flash – but Kill the Justice League will also feature the aforementioned Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, and Superman, and will likewise incorporate Oswald Cobblepot, aka The Penguin. Given this game is set to unfold in the same universe as the Batman Arkham series, how the latter character is portrayed in-game will be especially interesting, particularly given the pretty crucial fact that Batman is, apparently, dead in this timeline. 

Not that this bright, bold, and brash world will mourn that fact – there’s simply too much going on, too many enemies to fight, and too many superegos to massage or dismantle. There are so many games I’m looking forward to in 2022, but Kill the Justice League is currently right at the top of my most anticipated. I’m looking forward to how WB Games Montreal handles a more recognisably sombre superhero affair in Gotham Knights, but I cannot wait for what Rocksteady has in store for us next with Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League.

Big in 2022

(Image credit: Future)

GamesRadar+ is exploring the biggest games of the new year with exclusive interviews, hands-on impressions, and in-depth editorials. For more, be sure to check out our Big in 2022 coverage.

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