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Disastrous flop Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League at one point had a vehicle system

Just one of the many ideas that were scrapped during development.

Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League - Harley Quinn
Image credit: Warner Bros. Games

Bloomberg's Jason Schreier has been able to put together much of what went wrong during development with Warner Bros. Games and Rocksteady Studios' Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League. It all more or less happened how you'd expect, but some of the scrapped content was a bit of a head-scratcher.

The report goes into detail about the trend-chasing feedback coming from Warner Bros. Games and the hurdles that devs at Rocksteady had to overcome to deliver something just cohesive enough after several delays. By now, we know the publisher is disappointed with the financial performance of the game, which was mostly met with cold shoulders by gamers and press alike, but learning more from sources close to (if not directly involved with) the development is always illuminating.

I reviewed the game back in February, highlighting its positives (of which there are many, actually), but also confirming our suspicions that it was yet another bunch of separately cool elements trapped inside the wrong type of game, one that the studio likely didn't want to make. Unsurprisingly, Schreier's report confirms as much, with sources stating that the traditionally single-player studio had to grow "from roughly 160 to more than 250 people."

The lack of experience in the multiplayer, live-service arena became evident sooner rather than later, and we all know how that went; Suicide Squad: KTJL's loot and endgame systems are a bit of a bland nightmare that don't even fit the IP it's adapting. More surprising is the fact that Sefton Hill, Rocksteady co-founder and one of the four directors on the game, pitched "an elaborate system of vehicles that would allow players to deck out cars with weapons and navigate through the game’s alien-infested streets," something that didn't make much sense when the starring antiheroes of the game already had super-powered means of swiftly travelling through the Metropolis map.

Harley Quinn bonks an enemy on the head with a bat in Suicide Squad: Kill The Justice League.
Image credit: VG247/Fran Ruiz

While it's pretty clear that the game-defining 'live service ambitions' and reported narrative cutbacks came from up top, it's baffling to read about Rocksteady heads toying with (and wasting time and resources on) ideas that hadn't even worked out well for them in the past. I mean, Batman: Arkham Knight's most heavily criticized aspect was, by far, the overabundant vehicular sections in which the Batmobile turned into a clunky tank, which was the last sort of thing you wanted to be doing in a Batman game. Those who've played Suicide Squad know that, in a way, vehicles ended up in the game, albeit more like temporal power-ups of sorts which are provided by Gizmo during certain missions.

Thankfully there's a bit of hope for Rocksteady and its creative output at the end of the report: "The studio leaders are looking to pitch a new single-player game, which would return Rocksteady to its roots." As for potential layoffs, a recurring fear among developers and players alike at the moment, it appears that "Warner Bros. Games was looking to do more collaboration between its dozen studios and that the company was understaffed compared to competing publishers, so job cuts at Rocksteady wouldn’t make sense." We'll see how that goes after Suicide Squad: KTJL inevitably gives up on its post-launch plans, but fingers crossed.

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