Hopefully by now, everyone reading this is aware of the fact that Suicide Squad has been released (at least here in the United States), and it has been met with some - what's the best word for terrible? - let's say, mixed reviews. Yet regardless of the critic reviews or popular opinion, Suicide Squad was and can still be a pivotal movie for the DCEU depending on how the studio reacts to the reviews and fan sentiments. Even with the poor reviews, there's enough box office revenue to justify a Suicide Squad game - and I wanted to take a look at what that would look like.
The Suicide Squad, if you didn't know, is a collection of some of DC Comics' finest villains. Since the Squad's introduction in 1959, there have been several different characters within the ranks, some of the most notable being: Harley Quinn, Deadshot, Killer Frost, King Shark, Rick Flag, Power Girl, Deathstroke, Reverse-Flash, and even Superboy.
Based on these characters you can see that the Suicide Squad hasn't always been filled with incarcerated villains as you would assume if the film was your only source to compare.
There's So Much More A Suicide Squad game Could Do Than What's In the 2016 Film!
So knowing how deep the Suicide Squad truly is, it begs the question as to how a video game could be developed to focus on the Squad rather than just have them added to a current game, such as in Injustice: Gods Among Us. Games like Injustice and the Batman: Arkham series have been incredibly beneficial for characters in the Suicide Squad. especially our beloved Harley Quinn. Her rise to center stage has been in part to her appearance in the Arkham series (among other things) and it's easy to see why. Having characters like Harley, Deadshot, Killer Croc, and King Shark appear in other major games has just gone on to prove that the Squad deserves their own game.
So the Question Now Is, When Could We See a Stand Alone Suicide Squad Game?
There's an underlying fear of making a video game based on a movie because it's not like we've had a great deal of success with them thus far, check out Batman Forever, Catwoman, Spider-Man 3 and Thor: God of Thunder if you'd like to have a good laugh.
Yet, even with the fear of bad movie-based games, it CAN be done well. If done correctly, it's possible for a Suicide Squad game be an outstanding addition to the superhero gaming genre.
But I'm thinking that the Suicide Squad game should follow more in line with the things that Injustice and Arkham did right: the mechanics, the ambiance, the fantasy of becoming the playable characters. That's really the draw for a Suicide Squad game, I think, because ultimately who wouldn't want to "become" our favorite character, if only for a few hours? I think that a Suicide Squad game could succeed wonderfully in any of the following 3 possible kinds of games.
GENRE: ENSEMBLE FIGHTING
Imagine if you will Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance, the game that revived the crumbling Mortal Kombat franchise in 2002. Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance was a refreshing return to the classic fighting mechanics of the franchise, but with it came new innovations like character-specific fighting styles and a deep, intuitive combo system.
It was the precursor to several current generations of fighting games and to an extent helped many fighting franchises realize their own potential.
With that game in mind, picture a similar-in-premise game but featuring the wide assortment of characters across the various iterations of The Suicide Squad and then incorporate the unique fighting style for each of the characters in-game. The Suicide Squad game would be similar to Injustice: Gods Among Us, the Suicide Squad game would need to introduce a game feature possibly similar to Konquest Mode from Mortal Kombat: Deception (the follow up to Deadly Alliance).
Konquest in Deception took more of an RPG style where you could lead your character across a map to discover the secrets of the Squad and A.R.G.U.S. Each character would have a different story that tied into the back story of how The Suicide Squad was created.
GENRE: OPEN WORLD RPG
Speaking of an RPG style game, Suicide Squad would lend itself well to the open world genre as well. Going back to classic PlayStation 2 games, I'd envision an RPG adventure to build off of the stylings of the Final Fantasy franchise, but more specifically a little gem called Rogue Galaxy.
Rogue Galaxy was a real-time hack & slash action-RPG which allowed the player to control one character (could be changed at any time) and interact with the pseudo-open world. It incorporated concepts like ability enhancement (FFX's "Sphere Grid"), a weapon system (Dark Cloud's "SynthSphere") and countless side-quests but once you had progressed through the beginning linear gameplay, the universe would be opened up and you could travel among the planets.
I see the same game style working for a Suicide Squad game. Imagine you start out as Rick Flag and you're approached by Amanda Waller to collect a varied assortment of individuals to face some massive villain that is threatening the entire world. You're character would begin off exploring and would encounter a character from the history of The Suicide Squad.
Similar to other RPG games you would enlist the character into your ranks and as you progress through the story (and side-missions) you can level up the characters in your team and upgrade weapons or gather new ones. The potential is nearly limitless for an RPG based on the Suicide Squad characters.
GENRE: NARRATIVE-BASED ADVENTURE
One of the best narrative-based games of our generation is Telltale Studio's Season One of the Walking Dead, and Telltale followed it up with one of their best efforts with Tales from the Borderlands. Tales from the Borderlands is based on Gearbox Software's franchise, Borderlands, and is filled with absolute hilarity and a likable story.
The Telltale games have always focused on the story, and then made it interactive with button prompts and story influence based on those choices.
Imagine if Telltale was able to take on The Suicide Squad, allowing you to play as a few specific characters a la Tales from the Borderlands where you played as 1 of 2 characters. Then throughout the game your choices influence the games progression as well as what happens for the other characters in your Squad.
The potential for seeing Suicide Squad as a narrative based game is nearly limitless and would allow us to feel like we're creating our own story similar to what is possible in Telltales newest Batman game.