Admittedly, that's a really low bar...
Fans of the DC universe of comic books have learned to deal with a lot of disappointment in recent years.
Whatever Zack Snyder stans will tell you about how the forthcoming "Snyder Cut" of 2017's Justice League will redeem everything, the reality is that the Marvel Cinematic Universe has broken through into mainstream success and become synonymous with "comic book movies," while the DC Extended Universe has mostly yielded a series of embarrassments.
From the infamous "Martha" finale of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice to the absurd silliness of Aquaman (sharks with frickin' laser beams attached to their heads!), serious comic book nerds have not exactly been treated to kind of adaptations they might have hoped for. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the 2016 train wreck that was Suicide Squad.
With messy reshoots, a wildly unfit outside company brought in to recut the footage, and director David Ayers and studio executives working at cross purposes, the final result was a nauseating mess that did a disservice to the beloved source material—and also contained near-lethal doses of Jared Leto. Not even Will Smith and Margot Robbie could save that mess.
Fortunately, the source material is still there, and has now been picked up by one of the most respected names in comic book adaptations: Rocksteady Studios.
While we don't have a lot of info on what the acclaimed video game studio will be doing with the series—just an ominous tweet and a telling url—there are at least five reasons why we can already guarantee that the result will be so much more satisfying than that awful movie.
The "Batman: Arkham" Series
Rocksteady Studios have proven again and again that they know how to produce a superhero video game that is faithful to the source material and tells a compelling story—with impressive visuals and liquid-smooth gameplay in open environments. Arkham Asylum and Arkham City are two of the most critically acclaimed video games of all time.
Even Rocksteady's "worst" entry in the series, Arkham Knight (because they weren't involved in Arkham Origins), is still a great game—despite the decidedly lacking PC port—and with five years since that last installment came out, they've been taking their time to get this next big project right.
More Time to Give the Characters Their Due
One of the major complaints people had with the Suicide Squad movie was the way the first half was almost entirely devoted to introducing the cast.
It's an understandable impulse. A lot of the appeal of Suicide Squad as a concept is in the over-the-top characters, and one of the things that people love about the 1980s Suicide Squad comics is the way they flesh out the cast of obscure characters.
But a 2-hour running time doesn't really give you enough room to do that. The effect is that most of the characters don't really get their due, and the first hour of the movie is a jarring a mess (not that the second hour is much better). But if the Batman: Arkham series is anything to go by, we can expect something like 10-25 hours of main-mission gameplay in Rocksteady's Suicide Squad game.
That should allow plenty of time to get to know each member of the squad, even if we don't include any side missions.
One of the biggest things people love about the Batman: Arkham series is the way the games make you feel like Batman. You get to sneak around and beat up bad guys in a way that is impressively immersive. The games also allowed you to play as a variety of other characters like the Joker, Catwoman, Nightwing, and Batgirl—sometimes even allowing you to switch between characters mid-fight...
Now take that mechanic and extend it to a brawl where you're playing as King Shark, Harley Quin, Deadshot, and El Diablo. While we don't yet know which version of the Suicide Squad the game will actually feature—and likely won't have any more details until the August 22nd DC FanDome event—the prospect of switching between characters with such different abilities mid-combat sounds like the good, fun kind of chaotic action (as opposed to what we saw in the movie).
Even if the character-switching isn't quite on that level, there's no doubt the Suicide Squad game will have an interesting variety of gameplay.
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Less Studio Interference
One of the frustrating things about the movie industry is that everyone in the world watches movies, so every executive with their hands on the purse strings feels qualified to interfere with how they're made. This tendency added so much chaos to the production of the Suicide Squad movie—with an attempt to change the movie's whole tone way too late in the game.
But hardcore video games—even games as popular as the Batman: Arkham series—remain a niche interest that most top-level executives don't know a thing about. So while Warner Bros. technically owns Rocksteady, the money people at the top can't quite micro-manage to the same extent as they did with the movie.
Not to say that studio interference hasn't ruined plenty of games in the past, but generally speaking—especially with a respected outlet like Rocksteady—the weird nerds who actually love what they're making get much more control and freedom.
You Get to Kill the Justice League!
Target locked - #DCFanDome - August 22. #suicidesquadgame https://t.co/HrXZNKwo0f— Rocksteady Studios (@Rocksteady Studios)1596805210.0
Oh right, that "telling url" mentioned at the top? It happens to be SuicideSquadKillTheJusticeLeague.com. As in Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League. Is that confirmed as the title for the game? Nope. Does it line up perfectly with an image of superman with Suicide Squad crosshairs aimed at Superman's head? It sure does.
Presumably players will need to master the various abilities of the Suicide Squad villains and use them to hunt down Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, Aquaman, and the Flash. As much fun as it is to play the hero taking out bad guys, there is something way more darkly satisfying about the idea of playing as a ragtag group of villains taking down iconic superheroes.
Did the Justice League do something to deserve it? Is there a twisting narrative that will lay out why they all need to die, in a compelling arc that puts the Suicide Squad movie to shame? Who cares? You get to kill Superman!
There's a lot we still don't know about what Rocksteady is doing with the Suicide Squad game. When is it launching? On what platforms? Will it line up with James Gunn's promising 2021 reboot, The Suicide Squad—which is keeping Margot Robbie and Viola Davis and adding Idris Elba and John Cena?
All we can say for sure at this point is that it's going to be so much, much better than that terrible movie.
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