Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League – Review

Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League rocks an incredible story – but one let down by monotonous mechanics.
suicide squad kill the justice league

Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League is a Frankenstein’s Monster of a game – made of robust, hearty parts, but perhaps assembled in the wrong order, with the wrong stitching and shaking hands. It’s wonderful in some parts and baffling in others, with its sheer sense of madcap joy and deft storytelling only fleetingly allowed to run free before it’s muffled by less cohesive elements. In a word, it’s odd. Very, very odd.

In its opening, it makes a grand impression – the city of Metropolis has fallen to the might of the villainous Brainiac, and the only option left to the world is the activation of Amanda Waller’s favourite tools: the titular Suicide Squad. Harley Quinn, Captain Boomerang, King Shark and Deadshot are called into service at risk of death, reluctantly forming an anti-hero squadron to bring down a corrupted Justice League.

While the situation is grim, the storytellers at Rocksteady Studios manage a nice balance between dour story beats that feel inspired by James Gunn’s The Suicide Squad and The Boys in equal measure, and a more light-hearted tone. While there are occasions where Kill the Justice League still feels needlessly dark and hopeless, for the most part, its action is kept lively, dynamic and genuinely quite funny.

Read: Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League – Review Roundup

That’s in no small part thanks to the voice work of the game’s main cast, and snappy dialogue that relies on sharp, well-written humour and situational comedy delivered well. Harley’s admiration for Wonder Woman is a particular bright spot in the story, and provides an unexpected emotional weight as the stakes ramp up.

suicide squad kill the justice league story
Image: Rocksteady Studios

Likewise, the growing camaraderie and constant banter between each member of the Suicide Squad provides a levity that keeps the story humming at a brisk and engaging pace. Each hero is immensely likeable, despite their personality quirks, and Kill the Justice League does a wonderful job of outlining their growth throughout the story.

The same finesse is unfortunately not shared with the primary gameplay of Kill the Justice League, which feels undercooked in comparison. Where the narrative of the game is telling an artful, devastating tale of resistance against all odds, gorgeous cutscenes are typically linked by lacklustre and repetitive looter-shooter gameplay that becomes monotonous in a relatively short time.

When you’re not discovering fun facts about Captain Boomerang’s unmentionable, or Harley’s freedom post-Joker, you spend your time in Kill the Justice League taking on bite-sized missions to further the goal of freeing Metropolis from Brainiac’s reign.

What that repeatedly consists of is shooting hordes of aliens – usually on rooftops after taking down their shields and high-powered weaponry, sometimes with a car, and sometimes with hostages involved. No matter which mission you take on, these bounds rarely deviate. While you will occasionally get a mission with unique parameters – enemies will take damage only by certain attacks or weapons, requiring more strategy – these don’t tangibly shake up your efforts.

suicide squad gameplay
Image: Rocksteady Studios

No matter which character you’re playing, you’ll essentially be in a rinse-and-repeat cycle of taking down enemies and bases, using guns and melee weapons to defeat baddies and steal their shields for higher defence. With a peppering of other challenges – Riddler Trophies to collect, delightful riddles to solve, and a bunch of traversal challenges – there is some relief as you’re trampling through the story, but these amusing side missions aren’t quite enough to make gameplay feel diverse.

What doesn’t help matters is that each character in Kill the Justice League plays fairly similarly. While each has special attacks and traversal mechanics – Boomerang can teleport across distances, Harley can swing, King Shark can high jump, and so on – when it comes to combat, there’s not a significant difference between each anti-hero.

They all feature some variation on over-the-shoulder shooting and targeted melee, with not a whole lot of room for experimentation. To be clear: the combat feels excellent – and shooting is sharp, accurate, and satisfying – but it’s let down by the game’s mission repetition, and lack of enemy variety. Across a 10-12 hour campaign, you’ll face off against the same types of enemies over and over, with only slim differentiation between heavies and grunts.

There are flashes of inspiration in the game’s Justice League boss fights – with battles against The Flash, Green Lantern, and Batman featuring particularly cool quirks and a need for trickier tactics – but sadly these more creative ideas are rare in gameplay.

suicide squad gameplay world
Image: Rocksteady Studios

It’s an issue that continues in the post-game of Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League, which is strangely designed as a live service game – in a way that feels shoehorned in. Missions in the postgame continue trends in the main game, with many of these being similar or the same as their predecessors. While they’re designed to be more moreish, and support multiple seasons of content, it’s hard not to feel like you’ve had your fill once the campaign concludes.

After hours of shooting at the same enemies, completing the same tasks, there’s not much more of the game to see – and while that may change once its first season kicks off, at launch, it feels barebones. Given the quality of work that’s gone into Kill the Justice League, from the game’s bright and very impressive open world to its combat and its unique storytelling, it’s a shame that its live service elements feel so tacked on.

Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League feels like it was designed as a single-player narrative adventure, with plenty of love and care devoted to its killer story (which should rightfully be considered among the best DC adaptations), before it was transformed into something else entirely. In individual parts, it shines incredibly brightly and there are strong, clever choices in the game’s narrative – but like Frankenstein’s Monster, the way it’s put together means it doesn’t quite realise its true potential.

Three stars: ★★★

Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League
 PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PC
Developer: Rocksteady Studios
Publisher: Warner Bros. Games
Release Date: 2 February 2024

The PS5 version of Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League was provided for the purposes of this review. GamesHub reviews are rated on a five-point scale. GamesHub has affiliate partnerships. These do not influence editorial content. GamesHub may earn a small percentage of commission for products purchased via affiliate links.

Leah J. Williams is a gaming and entertainment journalist who's spent years writing about the games industry, her love for The Sims 2 on Nintendo DS and every piece of weird history she knows. You can find her tweeting @legenette most days.