Let’s discuss the penultimate panel from the FanDome, hosted by Will Arnett, covering the unveiling of Rocksteady Studios’ upcoming game Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League. This will be Rocksteady’s first full game since 2015 (not counting the very short VR game they did in 2016) when they concluded their Arkham series with Arkham Knight. Love or hate the games, it cannot be overstated how influential they were, both in the field of video games (Assassin’s Creed games released after the first game and the PS4 Spider-Man game draw heavily from them) and in the media in general, with the first game largely being seen as the impetus for Harley moving away from clown costumes to other (generally more sexualized) attire. Many people have been wondering what their next project would be, though I doubt anyone expected what we got.
And what did we get? Well, as it turns out, this game will be centered in Metropolis after an invasion by the alien Brainiac. Something’s happened to all or some of the Justice League to turn them evil and murderous (we only see Superman in the panel, but given the title, we can assume other characters have suffered the same fate as well). And so Amanda Waller has sent a four-person Squad into Metropolis to kill the League. Whether the game will actually feature you killing the League is up for debate, as a conversation Will Arnett has with the Squad makes it pretty clear most of them want to cut ties and get out rather than try and fight the League.
We didn’t get any gameplay footage (maybe, the cutscenes of Arkham Knight were all done using the impressive in-game engine rather than pre-rendered cutscenes, so the same may be the case here) in part since the game isn’t slated to come out until 2022 and will be on the next generation of consoles, but we do have some information regarding the game. This iteration of the Suicide Squad will consist of Harley Quinn, Deadshot, Captain Boomerang, and King Shark (who rather strongly reminds me of Drax in the trailer and conversation with Will Arnett) and will aim for a mixture of superhero/villain empowerment similar to the Arkham series and high octane gun battling. Honestly felt like the two most recent Doom games from watching it, just more colorful.
Overall, for a 20 presentation on a game that won’t be coming out for two years, it was quite good. Light on the details and gameplay footage, but good for the limitations their timeframe presented.
With that being said, we need to address an elephant in the room. Namely that recently accusations of sexual harassment have come out from the majority of the women who work at the studio. As of the time of this writing, this is relatively recent news, and the full scope and reaction from Rocksteady themselves have not shaken out (though Rocksteady did release this statement). That being said, it is a serious issue that has to be addressed when talking about the studio at the moment. To do otherwise while talking about their game would be irresponsible. Do with that information what you will.
Images courtesy of Warner Bros and Rocksteady Studios