Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League’s new Joker is here, and players aren’t laughing

Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League’s new Joker is here, and players aren’t laughing

Rocksteady Studios’ Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League got a shot in the arm Thursday with the release of its first season, which notably brings the Joker back to the franchise’s Arkhamverse. Joker is a newly playable character, plucked from an alternate-reality Elseworld, who joins the Suicide Squad on their mission to kill a bunch of alternate-reality Braniacs.

Players who have stuck with Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League for the past two months and are now getting their first taste of Rocksteady’s DLC plans don’t seem too happy with how the Joker has rolled out. Unlocking him requires more of the same grind that Kill the Justice League has been criticized for, and there’s very little new narratively to renew interest in the game, players say.

Kill the Justice League’s Joker is free to acquire, though players can spend a premium currency known as Luthor Coins to unlock him faster. For players who don’t want to pay, they’ll need to play the game’s repetitive missions for a couple hours to unlock Joker. By doing so, they get a new playable character with a new talent tree to fill out and Joker’s unique style of traversal. In action, Joker looks pretty fun.

But story-wise, players get only an animated intro explaining Joker’s world and Brainiac’s invasion, and a cutscene introducing him to Amanda Waller’s Task Force X. There’s a bit more background tucked into the Batman Experience interactive exhibition in Metropolis, which is interesting, but based on heated player response to the new additions, it’s not enough to satisfy Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League fans.

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Feedback from players on Steam and the game’s subreddit has been swift and largely angry. Players are complaining about having to grind new levels, called Fear episode rank, and repeat a boss fight. As in the original game, players will have to defeat a version of Brainiac based on a pre-existing boss; instead of fighting a version of Brainiac mimicking the Flash, this time they’ll face a Brainiac who uses Green Lantern’s boss mechanics. It’s more repetition in a game already infamous for its monotonous tasks.

Season 1 also offers a cosmetically modified version of Metropolis, one that’s corrupted with nice-looking Joker imagery. But those new additions, new Incursions missions, cosmetics, and gear simply aren’t enough for players to come around to Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League’s offerings.

“It’s absolutely fair to say that this season was make or break for this game,” one player on the game’s subreddit complained. “I was hoping for some new missions or some additions to the story [but] instead it’s just added a new character you either grind for or buy and nothing more, no story, no new missions, no new content, there is nothing different besides new Riddler crap and some reskinned buildings. I really wanted this game to do well and I believed it could but this was just disappointing and probably killed it.”

“So Rocksteady wants us to grind the same old missions, get bored of them all over again, just for the privilege of experiencing the main reason people came back (the Joker), and continue grinding those same missions you just got bored of again,” said another. “Yeah no thanks.”

Part of this angry knee-jerk reaction seems to be that these are the players who have loved Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League the most — or at least those who have stuck with it longer than the rest — and they want to see Rocksteady succeed with it. Those players want the other three promised playable characters to come out, and for the game’s story to grow. But tepid response to the game and low player counts spell doom for Kill the Justice League as a long-supported live-service game. Joker’s release and season 1’s content offerings don’t inspire confidence. (On Steam at least, the game has seen an uptick in players, with thousands of concurrent users playing the PC version compared to hundreds earlier this week.)

There’s still more coming in season 1, however. Rocksteady describes this week’s launch as part one of a two-episode season. Still to come are new weapons inspired by villains like Two-Face, Reverse Flash, and Black Manta, as well as new infused enemy types, and another Brainiac battle, this one modeled after the main game’s Superman boss fight. Whether any of that is received more warmly by Suicide Squad fans remains to be seen. But there’s little reason to be hopeful.