Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League is merely weeks away from launch and ahead of that, Rocksteady has teased ‘hundreds’ of build possibilities for its lead characters. The details come from the game’s official Discord server, where director Axel Rydby explained that the endgame portion was based around complete Mastery, forcing players to switch out builds based on rising difficulty. It’s too early to tell whether one could easily plough through fights with an overpowered build they found in the early game, but the developer has promised eight loadout slots for easy access to gear — all of which trigger unique status effects and can be upgraded.
“We really want you to feel like you can make each character your own, and build it to suit your playstyle,” Rydby said. “But if you take the leap and really play into the gear, you can find truly crazy powerful combinations.” Rocksteady is using the term ‘Afflictions’ to refer to status effects, created by popular DC Comics character Poison Ivy, whose revival was teased via an easter egg in Batman: Arkham Knight. Players will be able to imbue Deep Freeze onto their weapons to discharge icy damage to oncoming hordes, use the Diablo Blaze to burn them to smithereens, or use something called Venom Frenzy to lay out chaos, which I’m guessing is based on Bane’s abilities. Then there’s post-launch content, which brings in game-breaking combinations. Ivy herself is a ‘precocious toddler’ now, bearing genetically engineered toxic powers, but barely any memory of Task Force X. She died at the hands of Scarecrow’s toxins in the previous game and was reborn as a new flower.
Each character — Harley Quinn, Deadshot, King Shark, and Captain Boomerang — comes with their separate Talent Tree, with unique skills tailored to their personality. Harley’s tree is composed of acrobatic moves for better traversal across Metropolis and explosion-based weaponry, whereas Deadshot’s is filled with critical damage skills that help you shoot the most precise and deadly bullets. Meanwhile, King Shark is melee-based, while the Australian loudmouth Captain Boomerang can blink around the map to get in and out of enemy range quickly. Regardless of what champion you pick, Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League functions like a generic looter-shooter where the larger gameplay revolves around firearms. And while Rocksteady refrains from calling it a live-service game, all the elements are still there — a battle pass full of cosmetics, heavy grinding, and plans for progressive post-launch content.
This shift from making beloved single-player Batman games to a Games as a Service approach could have to do with parent company Warner Bros. trying to turn its biggest franchises into long-term products by encouraging buyers to play the same game for months on end. It’s an attitude that has been received poorly by gamers, and rightfully so. Elsewhere, a recent Bloomberg report confirmed that despite rumours of a failed Superman game pitch, Rocksteady was never making one. In fact, following 2015’s Batman: Arkham Knight, the studio worked on the Batman VR game and an unreported multiplayer game based on an original franchise. Currently, it’s unclear whether that title is still under production.
Catch the latest from the Consumer Electronics Show on Gadgets 360, at our CES 2024 hub.