A new trailer for Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League premiered at DC FanDome and there’s a surprising number of visual references to the Batman: Arkham series. Given that developer Rocksteady Studios built its reputation on those Very Perfect Batman Simulations, then it makes sense they’d have some nostalgia for their previous work.
That being said, Rocksteady creative co-director Sefton Hill confirmed that Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League is set in the same universe as the Arkham games. So while the new trailer was unable to show us any meaningful gameplay footage, a full on year after its reveal at last year’s DC FanDome, we at least saw some fun nods to Rocksteady’s critically acclaimed trilogy.
Hill also said that the game is a hybrid between the Arkham games and some “powerful, awesome gunplay” in an open-world Metropolis. It will feature drop-in/drop-out co-op for up to four players, which kind of makes it sound like a Marvel’s Avengers deal, but hopefully without any live service elements or broken promises regarding pay-to-grind progression microtransactions.
The Road to Madness
The trailer’s opening visually recreates the beginning of 2009’s Batman: Arkham Asylum with a speedy drive past the road sign notifying motorists of the infamous sanatorium, right down to the “hitchhikers may be escaping patients.” In fact, it’s almost the exact same angle, and may even be a re-use of the original art asset but sampled at higher resolution for modern consoles. Only the trees have changed.
The scene we get of Amanda Waller recruiting Harley and the gang into “Task Force X” is set in the Intensive Treatment area, the first combat zone in Batman: Arkham Asylum. Debra Wilson, one of the GOATs of modern video game actors from Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus and Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, plays Waller, returning to a character she played in Telltale’s Batman: The Enemy Within.
Shark in a Hat
When the Suicide Squad receives a bunch of gear and tools from Gizmo, the DC Universe’s equivalent of Marvel’s Fixer, we see a number of things from Arkham. Tools like Batman’s grapnel gun resemble the design from 2015’s Batman: Arkham Knight while King Shark puts on the bowler hat that Riddler wore in 2011’s Batman: Arkham City.
Evening the Odds
A clunker of a car that can only charitably described as “a Batmobile” careens through the streets of Metropolis. It’s got a repurposed Batsignal for a headlight and has the same cross-frame as the one that appears on the top of the GCPD building in Arkham Knight. No indication on whose driving, but we’re pretty sure it’s not going to be Bruce Wayne’s cowled alter ego.
Bird’s on the Loose
Penguin makes an appearance in the final moments of the trailer, and while he’s visibly older than in Arkham Knight — he’s grown his hair back out but it’s a stark white. But what clues us into the fact that this is the same Penguin we remember stomping in Iceberg Lounge is the beer bottle bottom that he uses for a monocle.
Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League is set to arrive exclusively on current generation consoles such as the Xbox Series X|S and Windows 10 PCs. A release year of 2022 has been given but no word on whether that’s later or earlier in the year.