It may not have Margot Robbie, but Rocksteady’s upcoming Suicide Squad game made a moderately impressive showing during Geoff Keighley’s three-hour advertising gauntlet tonight.
Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League looks like Arkham meets Borderlands, a chaotic mess of superpowered gunplay featuring some of DC Comics most volatile anti-heroes. If this new footage is anything to go by, expect lots of cussing, edgy banter, and destructive set pieces as the Suicide Squad saves a huge, open-world Metropolis in their own, unique way.
Based on the long-running DC Comics series of the same name, Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League concerns a group of incarcerated supervillains who have been conscripted by the United States government to undertake missions considered too dangerous or too controversial for a normal approach. In exchange, the squad will receive commuted sentences. With most of the world under Brainiac’s control, Superman and The Flash included, it’s up to weirdos Harley Quinn, Captain Boomerang, Deadshot, and King Shark to save the day.
Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League is apparently set in the same universe as Rocksteady’s uber-popular Arkham series, eschewing that previous franchise’s solo, Batman-focused structure for four-player, cooperative gameplay. Sure, you’re totally able to play alone, switching between Suicide Squad members while the others are controlled by the CPU, but it seems like you’ll get the most bang for your buck by getting some buddies together and killing the Justice League together.
“The game is a hybrid of Rocksteady’s experience in bringing characters like Batman to life combined with really powerful, awesome gunplay,” creative director Sefton Hill told DC FanDome attendees after Suicide Squad’s reveal in August 2020. “Each [character] has a richer move set, more things you can do, and more skill required to master them than you even had with Batman. It’s really about creating a whole spectrum of possibilities for the player to use.”
While more recently focus has been on the abuses at companies like Activision Blizzard, Riot Games, and Ubsioft more recently, Rocksteady faced its own reckoning last year when a letter describing leadership’s inaction towards sexual harassment within the London-based studio was made public by The Guardian. The document, which was signed by 10 female employees and delivered to Rocksteady bosses in November 2018, detailed inappropriate behaviors such as the use of transgender slurs, derogatory sexual comments by men about female colleagues, and unwanted advances.
Shortly after the report was published, Rocksteady disputed the argument that it hadn’t done enough to quell this behavior, saying, “[W]e met with all our female staff, we listened, and we dealt with the issues raised.” The studio also hired an “independent third-party” to speak with employees about anything they’d like to report about their experiences at the company. Finally, a second letter affirming this series of events was published by Rocksteady, which claimed it came “unsolicited” from several of the women who signed the first.
“I’d say 97%-98% of the developers [at Rocksteady] are incredible people,” the female Rocksteady employee who brought the original letter to light told The Guardian at the time, “and it’s so unfair that this will land on them because a few people weren’t managed properly.”
Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League is coming to PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, and PC sometime next year.