Did Rocksteady Studios make the right call on this one?

Rocksteady Studios’ latest AAA effort brought eager gamers Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League this week. Nearly ten years have passed since their last full-fledged project, not including Batman: Arkham VR. Unfortunately, Suicide Squad is not off to a great start. The game experienced live-service issues on day one, bringing the idea under even more scrutiny. And this was already a game said to have seen massive reworks along it's development process. 

However, nothing feels more unfortunate than how Suicide Squad hollows the original Batman Arkham series, for what feels like a quick payday. The gaming version of robbing Peter to pay Paul.

The brilliance of Rocksteady’s Batman: Arkham series

The Batman Arkham series began in 2009 with Batman: Arkham Asylum, a game that lives up to its reputation and then some. From the fluid combat to the outstanding villain selection and voice-acting performances, it is one of the best Batman games, kicking off an epic series that changed action games for a generation.

Long-time Batman and Joker voice actors Kevin Conroy and Mark Hamill put forth some of the best efforts of their entire careers, with the game leaving you wanting more. As a result of the overwhelmingly positive reception, Arkham Asylum received accolades across the board, including several Game of the Year nods. 

Arkham Origins, City, and Knight continued and concluded a fantastic storyline, capping off the successful franchise. It felt like a legacy had been secured. That was, until the developers decided to set Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League in the same memorable Batman Arkham universe, a genuinely baffling decision.

THAT'S how they ended Arkham Batman’s story?


Suicide Squad Kill the Justice League (Image via Warner Bros. Games)
Suicide Squad Kill the Justice League (Image via Warner Bros. Games)

A controversial storyline, Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League, revolves around DC villain Brainiac’s successful brainwashing of the famous superhero faction. As a result, Amanda Waller establishes Task Force X, better known as the Suicide Squad. 

One thing we can give the game credit for, its title isn't a lie.

This team of misfits and criminals consists of Harley Quinn, King Shark, Deadshot, and Boomerang. Their goal, you ask? That is to kill the Justice League, including Superman, The Flash, Green Lantern, and Batman. As one would suspect based on the title, the Suicide Squad chips away at the possessed Justice League, but Batman’s storyline has garnered most of the focus since the game launched. 

The Bat consistently appears in the game, with the late Kevin Conroy turning in another brilliant performance. Unfortunately, the legendary Arkham Batman meets his bitter and abrupt end after being captured by the "heroes." 

With no further need for “Bats,” Harley Quinn executes him with a headshot to draw out Superman, ending an unforgettable 15-year run. The decision feels cheap, and an unacceptable conclusion to Arkham Batman’s story when considering the legacy it built. 

But, hey: What better way to market and build a game than to piggyback off a beloved story and trilogy, right?

What could have gone differently with the Suicide Squad Batman outcome?

This story would be fine if not set in the Arkham universe. The way Arkham Knight ended was an ideal conclusion for the series. It would have felt more satisfying had this game’s Batman not been the Arkham Batman. 

Multiverse storylines are all the rage nowadays, so it’s worth questioning why this occurred in the Arkham universe. Perhaps it made Suicide Squad more appealing to loyal fans, but logic is certainly in question. Sure, the game's whole premise is to eliminate the Justice League, but why include a character that had a near-perfect send-off in the previous installment?

Any Batman would have done for this story. Why not Fortnite Batman? Credit: Epic
Any Batman would have done for this story. Why not Fortnite Batman? Credit: Epic

After all, there's an entire Elseworlds of Batmen out there to choose from. Why did it need to be the Arkham trilogies' Dark Knight?

Rocksteady could have left well enough alone following Arkham Knight or at least given the iconic character a more creative and satisfying ending. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen, leading to a lackluster outcome. The only sure outcome is that Conroy's Batman is surely gone and never coming back, for better and worse.

It's important to remember the best of the Arkham series for all its positives and not let Suicide Squad rain on that parade.

Stay tuned to esports.gg for more gaming and esports news