- Rocksteady’s next game set in the Arkham-verse is looking to adopt the trend of live service games, against the wishes of many fans.
- Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League has an online requirement even in solo play, which hinders the experience of players and links the single-player mode to server integrity.
- Suicide Squad lets go of the novelty Rocksteady achieved with Batman Arkham games, and follows a more generic live service trend.
Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League is Rocksteady’s upcoming game set to be released on May 26, 2023. The game was highly anticipated by fans considering Rocksteady’s history with the Batman Arkham games. However, the reveal of its mechanics has the fanbase in turmoil.
The leaks of battle pass elements that surfaced prior to the announcement already had us all skeptical, and we hoped the game would take a different approach instead of the trend of live service games. The confirmation of the live service base in State of Play resulted in major opposition.
Players anticipating the next game of Batman Arkham developers are left with disappointment as Suicide Squad adopts a live service structure with a seemingly high focus on loot and microtransactions. The game also requires an online connection even in the single-player mode which seems like a bad idea.
The Problems Of The Live Service Concept
Even before Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League, the live service model has been riddled with controversy, and rightfully so. The basic concept behind it was for the games to keep running for years, but to achieve this, you need to provide fresh and engaging content to justify the purchases.
It’s not that the concept is bad as a whole, there are many successful live service games that have continued to please their fan base and have executed the concept with perfection, like Fortnite and Destiny 2. The problem was in the attempt to replicate this success in a rather half-baked manner.
The live service model shouldn’t be used as an excuse to release unfinished games. What ruins the live service games for many people, including myself, is the severe lack of content or a lot of necessary stuff locked behind paywalls and microtransactions.
For a live service model to be appealing, the developers need to plot a proper roadmap of content and deliver on it to keep up the popularity of the game. When fans are unaware of what the game will likely offer them, ambiguity and uneasiness about the game’s future further increase
Take a look at Marvel’s Avengers, which suffered a demise due to similar circumstances. The premise of an Avengers game had a lot of potential for a single-player game, or even an online multiplayer would have fared much better. Guardians of the Galaxy ended up proving this notion.
A live service base felt unnecessary initially, but it could have been better handled with proper planning. Instead, Marvel’s Avengers provided surface-level gameplay with a deep focus on microtransactions and the unavailability of appealing content. The game became stale quickly and is now to be discontinued soon.
With many developers following suit to benefit from the Games as a Service idea, the industry is soon to become saturated with live service titles as these games require to be long-running. With this many games available, the lack of originality becomes apparent to the players very quickly as they start to lose interest.
This is evident by the fact that lately, many live service games are shutting down as they become unable to remain competitive in engaging the players.
Always-Online Limits The Single-Player Experience
Like Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League, the trend of online-only has recently been adopted in multiple games like Redfall and Gran Turismo 7. Internet requirement for multiplayer is a different thing, but I think constant internet for single-player experience is needless.
Many gamers are voicing their discontent over the online requirement of single-player. Consider the people suffering from disconnections or slow connectivity due to any reason. Even if they opt to play the single-player mode instead, the frequent disconnections will severely limit their enjoyment.
Another factor to consider is that with this requirement, even the single-player campaign will be linked to the server availability. Server maintenance and updates are a necessary factor, but if the server goes down for said maintenance, the game will be completely unplayable, single-player included.
A similar problem plagued Gran Turismo 7 when the servers went offline for around 30 hours. The extended maintenance locked out even the single-player, which increased frustration among the fans and was one of the reasons for them review-bombing the game.
An extension of the server-based logic can be derived that with the single-player experience also server dependent, the game loses its preservation and sense of ownership. As soon as the servers shut down, players will lose all access to even the single-player mode. Suicide Squad can suffer the same repercussions.
Personally speaking, I like to replay single-player campaigns that appeal to me, and it’s the same for many gamers. Even if the multiplayer no longer works, the single-player mode is preserved and can be replayed by those that fancied it. But that facility is lost, as the game will be rendered useless if it doesn’t perform well.
The Appeal Of The Arkham Games
Suicide Squad’s developer Rocksteady is majorly known by many as the developer behind the phenomenal Batman Arkham games. The games were filled with originality as they gave you the control of the caped crusader in a revolutionary game with many unique mechanics of combat flow, stealth, and stunning environments.
The release of Arkham Asylum back in 2009 came as a surprise to many, as the game provided you with the premium Batman experience. A gloomy world design fitting the Asylum theme, smooth combat with reflexive combat that made you feel truly powerful, and innovative stealth sections true to Batman’s style
Arkham City improved upon everything and provided you with a compelling story and open world, considered to be the best Arkham game by many. Despite Arkham Knight’s problems with repetition and story, it was still a very good game.
When Gotham Knights were announced, people were eager to experience this successor of the Arkham games, and WB Games Montreal was developing it, the developers of Batman Arkham Origins, which was a well-received game.
However, Gotham Knights had many problems, including the limited combat mechanics, a focus on the loot and XP mechanism, and the simplification of the story and quest design. With Rocksteady as developers and the game to be set in the Arkham-verse, fans had high expectations from Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League.
Because of its complete shift away from the Arkham games and the employment of a model that was more or less the cause of failure of earlier superhero games, Suicide Squad has received a harsh reception as fans hoping for another Arkham experience have been let down.
I can’t believe that’s Suicide Squad. ****. Like ill keep an open mind, Rocksteady don’t miss yadda yadda but absolutely nothing about that gameplay (or storytelling) hit for me. Can’t imagine playing that loop for months or years as intended. God I hope I’m wrong.
— Skill Up (@SkillUpYT) February 24, 2023
Even if overlooking the comparison to the Arkham games, the gameplay loop is quite repetitive. Despite having distinct characters like King Shark and Captain Boomerang, they appear to use the same firearms instead of their trademark fighting styles and weaponry.
Rocksteady did something unique and novel with the Arkham games. They stood out among the many superhero games and were the source of inspiration for future games. Instead of pursuing that originality, Suicide Squad aims to capitalize on the trends of live service games, and I think it was the wrong direction to pursue.
Thanks! Do share your feedback with us. ⚡
How could we improve this post? Please Help us. ✍