Stop me if you’ve heard this before: “A delayed game is eventually good, but a rushed game is forever bad.” It is a quote by Shigeru Miyamoto talking about delaying the launch of the Nintendo 64 by three months. It is a quote everyone points towards whenever a game gets a delay and it stands true to this day. In recent times though, this quote does not look good for titles with particularly long development times with no end goal in sight (such as Beyond Good And Evil 2 or Skull and Bones). And now, we find ourselves looking at Suicide Squad: Kill The Justice League and asking the same question: Will a delay help this game?
Why the Delay?
With the original release date set for May 26, 2023, Rocksteady’s latest title got to get the red carpet treatment with Sony’s State of Play presentation on February 23, 2023. It was going to be a slam dunk for Rocksteady to show off the gameplay, how fun and exciting the game will be, and have the chance to talk about all the big things coming up and what to expect on launch.
At least… That was the intention. Instead, the reception was lukewarm at best and despised at worst. So much so that a few weeks after the showcase, rumors spread on social media about the game likely getting a delay to address the backlash, and instead of coming out in a few months, we find ourselves with a game that no longer has a release date. Coming out sometime this year, but no specific release window.
Was May/June 2023 too chaotic of a time to release?
Now a game can see a delay for a variety of reasons. Perhaps it could be a game has too many bugs, isn’t performing as well as it should, or has to extend production as it may not be ready by the time of launch. For others though, they believe it is because of the time the game would release.
What are the chances Tears of the Kingdom will overshadow other game releases in May? Chances are… most likely.
If we look at the time Suicide Squad: Kill The Justice League was to come out, we could see that it was going to be in a rather particularly busy time of the year. Usually, it might not be so bad to have your game come out toward the start of summer, but this year is considerably packed with some rather big titles:
- Star Wars Jedi: Survivor (PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S) – April 28
- Redfall (PC, Xbox Series X|S) – May 2
- The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom (Switch) – May 12
- Street Fighter 6 (PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox Series X|S) – June 2
- Diablo IV (PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S) – June 6
- Final Fantasy XVI (PC, PS5) – June 22
If the previous release date of May 26, that would mean this game would literally be landing in the middle of some rather high-end titles. Of course, could Suicide Squad: Kill The Justice League stand next to these titles and fair well enough on its own? Certainly, but there is a history of Legend of Zelda usually burying whatever game it goes up against. And it wouldn’t be like Rocksteady to only now find out about this and chose to push the release back to avoid Zelda. So, is there another reason?
Looking At The Problems
This can be particularly hard to say since we can all draw our own conclusions as to why Suicide Squad: Kill The Justice League no longer has a release window. However, the striking thing to consider is how from the gameplay we got to see, there weren’t any kind of visible performance issues. Nothing that was breaking the game like bugs or anything else (although it would be concerning if we did see that happen during the gameplay demonstration).
For all intents and purposes, the game looked like it was ready to release in a few months. As such, what happened when Rocksteady decided to go into a full reverse? Well, we can point to a couple of glaring concerns.
Exhibit A) A lack of identity
Yeah, Suicide Squad: Kill The Justice League is basically a run-and-gun and everyone is using guns. Makes sense for Harley and Deadshot to use guns, but then others believe that a guy who calls himself “Captain Boomerang” probably should be using boomerangs rather than a minigun. And it would seem wrong to see King Shark (someone who can be brutal he can be in close-range fights) decide the best gun for him to use would be a sniper rifle.
The examples may be exaggerated, but it isn’t the like gameplay shown didn’t show this to not be a possibility. If Harley can slide around while firing a Minigun at full blast, it isn’t hard to assume anyone in the squad can seemingly use any weapon. But that in itself lies the problem too: You can choose whatever guns you want the Squad to use, but it can seem like there’s little “Self-Identity” for the four villains.
They may all look different until everyone pulls out assault rifles and opens fire.
Outside of their unique movement abilities and attacks, they are all going to shoot enemies the exact same way. It can make one wonder if perhaps they could have done something like “limiting what characters can use what weapons” such as having King Shark be the only one to use a minigun while not having access to pistols or SMGs due to how they are too small for him to use. That could have been something to make you consider which member of the Squad you should choose.
We might not have seen everything the Squad can do just yet, but from the gameplay shown, there doesn’t seem to be much that would make it seem like one would be a preferred choice over another.
Exhibit B) The Purple Zit Outbreak of Metropolis
So now that we addressed our villains, let’s turn our attention to Metropolis itself. From the studio that did give us the Arkham Series it is nice to finally be somewhere that isn’t Gotham. You can tell there is quite a bit of space to work with here and to see what Rocksteady’s vision of Superman’s home turf is (while getting invaded by Brainiac’s forces).
It is also during this time we get to see the game in action and how it will unfold between our four playable characters. It is nice to know that even if you play solo, the squad will be bots (even though there will be “always online even when playing solo” to be aware of). However, while our playable villains might have a lack of self-identity, we run into a similar issue with our enemies too.
Three guesses about where the weak spots on this tank are.
You have your grunts and other enemies that you can gun down, or smack around in close range, but then there are other, bigger enemies to deal with. How is the Squad supposed to take down a tank and helicopters? Well, they have purple zits. Better shoot those. And the big tower walker thing? It also has purple zits, so shoot those too.
Yeah, it may be a trope in gaming to have glaring shootable weak spots to be glaring and shootable, but it can be quite notable when it feels like they pop up everywhere. Maybe if that Zit was moving around like a parasite and making it harder to shoot, that could have been something. Otherwise, you are just popping zits with bullets.
And those two are the biggest issues people have with this game- oh, who am I kidding…
Exhibit C) The Battle Pass…
Ok, we’ve danced around this long enough. At the time when I looked at the “Evolution of Gaming,” I did omit two things: Loot Boxes and Battle Passes. This is because as of late, these two had a rather poor reception with how they were utilized. Either “the chance to get something unlocked” or “having to complete the pass before it expires and lose the chance to unlock them forever.” Not exactly positive traits to have in your game (while making it seem like the player’s time is being wasted by telling them they need to grind for hours on end to get this one piece of cosmetic they would opt out to buy it out directly if they could).
The reason why I bring these up is how in Suicide Squad: Kill The Justice League’s FAQ, we see both of these mentioned. In the case of Loot Boxes, there won’t be any. For the Battle Pass though, they did say there will be earnable goods like outfits, emotes and other items to customize the look of your squad.
“Look at my multi-color rifle, guys! Batman will never know what hit him!”
That’s all fine and good for those who will be devoting themselves to the game, but for others, they may not have the time to dump the hours in to get that one skin. And for this to get as high of a focus as it did during the showcase was enough for some people to throw their hands up and give up on Rocksteady. “The company that gave us the unforgettable Batman Arkham series and this is what they have been reduced down to.”
How Do We Address the Problems?
This is the question I’ve been asking myself ever since the talks of the delay were coming up and one that has left me scratching my head in confusion. What do you do with this game, exactly? How do you fix these problems without doing a complete overhaul? It isn’t like “delete the battle pass” is going to magically make the gameplay better. And even if you were to somehow make the characters more unique than they currently are, at the end of the day, “throwing more boomerangs” isn’t going to suddenly make Captain Boomerang a must-play character.
Pretty sure The Flash wouldn’t take those boomerangs seriously even if he wasn’t mind controlled.
This is so baffling to consider since we weren’t too far away from the release of the game, and thus we could say everything has already been set in stone by now for what to expect. At this point, there has to be a logical reason behind the delay. “We got a bad reception during the State of Play,” doesn’t cut it. At least in the case of games like Halo Infinite, you could see how the game was not ready for its previous release date, thus pushing the game back was a necessity.
Conclusion: Will Suicide Squad: Kill The Justice League be in a better place when it launches?
Personally speaking, my interest in Suicide Squad: Kill The Justice League didn’t rise or fall after the showcase. As someone who enjoyed run-and-gun games like Sunset Overdrive and the Crackdown series, I’m looking forward to the full release. While we have a good idea of what to expect out of Suicide Squad: Kill The Justice League, we don’t have a full grasp on what to expect in between the missions. If you will be constantly fighting from point to point or if it will be like the Arkham series and enemies are just hanging out waiting for someone to shoot them.
My concern solely lies on how long this delay will be. If a game was about to “Go Gold,” there isn’t really much of a reason to delay it unless something severe had happened on top of the lukewarm reception. Hopefully, when the time comes to kill the Justice League, it will be able to find a way to crack the code that Avengers and other Live-Service Games had failed to accomplish. What are the chances of that happening? About as good as taking down Superman with a regular handgun.
But what do you think? Did Rocksteady need the delay? What can they reasonably do to address the problems? And will the final product be better or worse for it? Be sure to leave your comments down below and be sure to follow us here at Strangely Awesome for more on Suicide Squad: Kill The Justice League and other things happening in the gaming world.
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