Less than three months before it was due to launch, a Bloomberg report says Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League has been delayed. An announcement at the 2022 Game Awards had set a release date of May 26, but it has now apparently been pushed back to later in 2023.
It’s been a rough year for Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League so far. A February gameplay showcase did not make an overly positive impression with many fans: The YouTube clip embedded above sits at a ratio of 3.2K thumbs up to 10K thumbs downs. Not that it was awful in any particular way, just not really great either—as staff writer and resident shooter pro Morgan Park put it, “it’s a looter shooter alright.”
“My friend group is always hungry for a new co-op shooter, and it’s not every day one with a massive budget comes along,” he wrote. “On the other hand, after 50 hours of looting identical scarves and juggling a pointless gear score in Hogwarts Legacy, I’ve had it up to here (imagine I’m holding my hand very high) with half-baked RPG systems. Finding a new gun/sword/wand with a slightly bigger number has become a shortcut for meaningful progression.”
The Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League subreddit had a similar reaction: Some redditors liked (or at least, didn’t hate) what they saw, but the broader feeling seemed to be one of general disappointment.
- “The gameplay looks really dated. Jumping high and shooting mindlessly while NPC chatter is going on nonstop. I got bored just looking at it.”
- “I don’t even understand what’s going on with the supposed variation in gameplay between these characters. They’re all using the same kinds of guns, moving in more or less the same ways, it just seems strange and uninspired.”
- “It just looks like a sub-par looter shooter. Very disappointed.”
- “It looks like every other generic gear score driven live service shooter we’ve been getting for the past five years complete with an always online requirement and battlepass.”
- “Disappointed like the game looks fun but also repetitive. If there is more to it than that maybe it will break up the combat similar to how there was stealth, investigation, exploring to break up all the beat em up in arkham, but from what I saw it doesn’t feel like the same company that made Arkham games.”
Some fans were already unhappy about Suicide Squad prior to the gameplay showcase thanks to a January leak of a battle pass and in-game store, essentially confirming it as a live-service game. An FAQ posted to the Suicide Squad website after the February gameplay showcase also revealed that Suicide Squad requires an always-on internet connection, even for solo play.
According to Bloomberg’s source, the delay was not prompted by that reaction, however, but simply to give developers time to address bugs and improve various aspects of the game. That makes sense, because there’s only so much that can be accomplished with a delay, especially one that occurs this close to release: You can polish mechanics and performance issues, but the fundamental elements of a game’s design are something else entirely. If I, for instance, find it weird and off-putting that King Shark can fly and packs a big machine gun (and, for the record, I do), well, you can’t patch that.
Warner hasn’t officially confirmed the delay at this point, and the Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League website still indicates a May 26 release date, but assuming the report is accurate, this will be Suicide Squad’s second delay: It was initially expected to be out sometime last year, but in March 2022 developer Rocksteady pushed it into spring 2023. Steam and the Epic Store both still show it as “coming soon.”
I’ve reached out to Warner for comment and will update if I receive a reply.