After seven months of relative silence, Rocksteady Studios finally offered some new information and gameplay for Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League. The controversial live-service shooter is still releasing on February 2nd, 2024, for Xbox Series X/S, PS5 and PC, and thanks to the first episode of Suicide Squad Insider, we know more about the story and gameplay.
Here are ten new things you should know about the title, including what to expect from its combat, how it leverages the PS5’s features and the content of the Deluxe Edition.
Entering Metropolis and Hall of Justice
The story section provided some context on who the Suicide Squad are. Formed by Amanda Waller, director of Argus, they’re supervillains sent behind enemy lines to take out the Justice League. The reasoning? Brainiac has invaded, and many established heroes, like Superman, The Flash, Green Lantern and Batman, have gone over to the purplish dark side.
An early section of the game sees Deadshot, King Shark, Harley Quinn and Captain Boomerang arriving in Metropolis. More specifically, they take a special elevator while still in their prison jumpsuits and end up in the Justice League’s Hall of Justice. This is how they obtain their traversal methods – Deadshot gets Gizmo’s jetpack, Harley Quinn takes Batman’s grapple gun and Bat Drone, and Boomerang obtains the Speed Force Gauntlet belonging to Doctor Sivana, which finally explains his “teleportation” skills.
As for Metropolis itself, it features several iconic locations like the Daily Bugle, but also some references to Batman, Wonder Woman and Superman with its buildings and posters. Brainiac’s arrival has wrought widespread destruction, as the city has become a battlefield, its citizens corrupted into enemies while his Skull Ship lingers menacingly in the skies.
Nevertheless, Metropolis is designed for movement and verticality and is over twice as large as Gotham City from Batman: Arkham Knight. All the open-world tropes apply, including patrolling enemies to fight in the streets and secrets. Interestingly, there’s a day/night cycle, though how that comes into play is currently unknown.
Jetpacks, Grappling Hooks and Speed Force
Depending on the Suicide Squad member, your journey across Metropolis will differ slightly. Captain Boomerang, for instance, is like a speedster, dashing around with the Speed Force Gauntlet to cover great distances. Meanwhile, King Shark leaps and bounds while dashing several times in mid-air, as is fitting with his massive size.
On the one hand, Harley Quinn grapples around, not unlike Batman from the Arkham games, even using the Bat Drone as a grapple point or to run up walls when necessary. However, Deadshot can fly through the air with the jetpack, which also comes in handy when targeting enemies without touching the ground.
When we first received an extensive look at the gameplay in February, Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice became quite the meme for seemingly homogenizing each character by giving them guns. They still have guns, but at the very least, their playstyles appear more distinct than the initial showing. Deadshot is proficient with sniper rifles, assault rifles and pistols and can hover in mid-air to shoot enemies. He also has his wrist cannons for fighting up close. Harley relies on her movement and momentum to bash enemies with a baseball bat or swing around and shoot them.
King Shark personifies the phrase “Death From Above” and can launch himself into the air before smashing down, causing area of effect damage. As more of a tank, he can take a hefty amount of punishment and favors shotguns, heavy weapons and assault rifles as much as cleavers, knives and sickles. Finally, there’s Captain Boomerang, who can teleport around, throw boomerangs at enemies and utilize sniper rifles, SMGs and shotguns.
Juggle Kills and Shield-Harvesting Strikes
Two new combat mechanics, available to all characters, were showcased – Juggle Kills and Shield-Harvesting Strikes. The former requires a melee strike, which can also break enemy shields. Successfully juggling an enemy with a melee attack causes all shots from your guns to deal guaranteed critical damage for a brief period. Brawling to bolster your gun damage is thus encouraged.
Shield-Harvesting Strikes can recharge some of your shields. They apparently activate when shooting an enemy in the leg and following up with a melee attack. It’s an interesting dynamic, as you can either melee and then shift to gunfire for added damage or shoot first and then melee any enemy for added survival.
Of course, it wouldn’t be a game in the Batman: Arkham universe without a takedown mechanic. Dubbed the Suicide Strike, it can one-hit kill any enemy. The tradeoff is that it takes time to recharge, so you need to think carefully about when to use it. Whether you can build it faster by dealing more damage or taking out other enemies remains to be seen.
Another interesting mechanic is the Counter Shot, which takes inspiration from the Arkham series’ counter system. As an indicator lights up above an enemy, you can shoot them to interrupt their attack, stun them or deal damage. Different enemies respond differently when Counter Shot is triggered. Given how long-range some encounters can be, it can make space as you close the distance for Juggle Kills and Shield-Harvesting Strikes or even stop attacking enemies dead in their tracks up close.
On PlayStation 5, Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League supports Activity Cards and 3D Audio while leveraging the solid-state drive to “push the boundaries of freedom” for traversal, according to a PlayStation Blog post. The DualSense’s Adaptive Triggers make for more realistic trigger pulls, while its Haptic Feedback enables you to really feel the power of Captain Boomerang’s attacks hitting his enemies (yes, seriously).
Standard and Deluxe Edition Details
Pre-orders are available now for the title, with the Standard Edition costing $69.99 and including the base game and Classic Outfits pack, which has the squad donning their old-school costumes. You can also access the free Battle Pass tiers as they become available and all post-launch seasonal content, including new missions, environments, items, events and new playable villains who are “earnable,” quote-unquote.
The Deluxe Edition costs $99.99 and includes the same content while throwing four Justice League outfits, three Black Mask Notorious Weapons (a pistol, sniper rifle and heavy weapon) and four Squad Golds weapon dolls. You also get four No Shade Outfit color swatches and a Premium Battle Pass Token.
Pre-ordering this edition also nets 72 hours of early access to the game, allowing you to play on January 30th instead of February 2nd. Furthermore, PS5 digital pre-orders get four Rogue Outfits as a bonus with either edition.
Switching Characters Between Missions
Since its announcement in August 2020, Rocksteady has maintained that Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League is a co-op experience for up to four players. Solo play is supported and allows for “switching between characters at will” per the original press release. However, in the Suicide Squad Insider episode, studio director Darius Sadeghian said you can switch characters between missions while playing solo and still savor “each and every story twist.”
My impression was being able to switch between squad members in the middle of a mission, based on the initial statement. Regardless, if character-switching is only possible before a mission starts, it’s good to have some clarity now.
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