It feels like live service history is repeating itself right now, but it’s not too late to change that. Suicide Squad: Kill The Justice League hasn’t been well-received. Its reviews are middling, its gameplay accused of being repetitive and uninspired, and fans of the Arkham games have been left scratching their heads, wondering how the same studio that brought them one of the best superhero trilogies ever could create something that falls so far short of their prior Batman standards. The idea for Kill The Justice League was dreamt up the better part of a decade ago when every studio saw potential in the live service genre.
However, the genre has become saturated, and there is little unexplored territory left. Rocksteady likely realized this too late into development, and as a result, the game’s strengths will be diluted in future updates. It won’t have come as a surprise to Rocksteady that people are upset about its Arkham follow-up. There’s no escaping the Suicide Squad/Marvel’s Avengers comparisons.
Despite the criticisms, some players are enjoying playing as Task Force X. The hope is that Rocksteady will learn from Marvel’s Avengers’ mistakes and ensure that there is a future for its own comic book team. Rather than just adding new characters and outfits, the studio should focus on building on the story with each new addition to the game. The live service elements that are off-putting to many players are already entrenched in Kill The Justice League.
However, it’s possible to avoid these elements and focus on the compelling story content. Rocksteady has the opportunity to redefine what people think when they hear “live service,” turning the game into an episodic live service model that players reconnect with every few months when the story continues. It’s clear that Rocksteady knows how to tell a good superhero story, and despite the challenges, there’s still hope for Suicide Squad. The studio has the potential to learn from the mistakes of previous live service games and create a compelling and engaging experience for players.