If you’ve been anywhere on social media in the last couple of weeks, you’ve seen how angry the new video game Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League has made people. But the ire the game has stoked is worse than anyone likely would have guessed; Windows Central reports that Google searches for “Suicide Squad refund” have spiked 791%. They’re speculating that this is because of a bug in the game’s early access period that gave players a 100% completion before they even started playing. Aside from spoiling the story for gamers, this resulted in Rocksteady taking the game down for maintenance. As early access was only granted through purchasing the Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League Deluxe Edition, players had to pay $100 to participate, and now they’ve either had the story ruined for them or are unable to play at all – the latter of which, Windows Central notes, may be a violation of the early access agreement.
I’m sure the bug and resulting maintenance have a good deal to do with the buyer’s remorse gamers are experiencing, probably even most of it, but Windows Central fails to mention the anger over Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League’s treatment of some legendary DC heroes, particularly Batman.
Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League appears to live up to its title, with the criminals of Task Force X eliminating some of the biggest heroes in comic book history. Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, the Flash, and Green Lantern all meet untimely ends throughout the game. And I think people expected that; it’s more the way it’s done and the setting of the game that are irking fans. Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League is set in the universe of the Arkham games, meaning that the Batman Harley Quinn unceremoniously executes after taunting him about the poetic justice of it all is the same version of the character gamers played as through four other titles. (According to the Wikipedia story rundown, he and the other Justice League members are being mind-controlled by Brainiac, which is why they’re evil now.) This is also the legendary Kevin Conroy’s last performance as Batman following his unfortunate passing, with the possible exception of some minor voice work in the upcoming Crisis on Infinite Earths animated film, so the wound is even deeper than it would have otherwise been.
Elsewhere, the Flash is urinated on by Boomerang after he’s killed, which, while in keeping with the character, is another instance of seemingly sticking it to a beloved DC hero. Again, the setting is important; this is not an alternate universe full of twisted versions of our heroes like the Injustice games were, but the real Flash. The decision to do this is baffling, but it becomes clearer when you realize that, as Yellowflash pointed out in a video, a feminist consultant group called Sweet Baby Inc. had a hand in crafting the story, particularly the cut scenes. What makes this stand out is the treatment of Wonder Woman as opposed to the others; she is the only Justice League member not under Braniac’s control, and her death is noble and heroic as opposed to humiliating, like Batman and the Flash. And now, Rocksteady has flushed a previously lucrative franchise down the drain; whether it’s the bugs or the character treatments that add insult to injury is open for debate.