DC Ruins Its Best Batman Franchise Forever 

By Chris Snellgrove | Published

batman batsignal

When Batman: Arkham first came out, comics fans and video game fans were completely blown away. Nobody really expects much from licensed games, but we ended up getting something that was both an amazing third-person stealth action video game and one of the best Batman stories ever told. That game led to sequels that were even more epic in scope and execution, but we’ve got some bad news: after the awful storytelling and weak overall quality of Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League, we’re afraid DC has permanently ruined its best Batman franchise.

Batman: Arkham Came To An Inglorious End


Some of you are likely trying to fumble your phone out of your utility belt to ask your comic nerd friends the obvious question: how does a Suicide Squad game ruin Batman: Arkham and its sequels? The simple answer is that despite being an entirely different game and featuring entirely different protagonists, Kill the Justice League is set in the Arkham universe of games and comes to us courtesy of the same developers. That wouldn’t be a problem if not for the fact that the game is absolutely awful on almost every level.

Fans Are Outraged

On paper, Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League sounds great: Rocksteady Studios, the same team behind Batman: Arkham and its sequels, wanted to bring us a game where the Justice League gets infected by Brainiac and Harley Quinn and her Suicide Squad crew have to kill everyone’s greatest heroes to save the world. It was a cool premise from a video game developer who hadn’t let us down…what could possibly go wrong?

Batman: Arkham Was A Classic Series

The main problem is that Batman: Arkham and its successful sequels had been single-player games built primarily to deliver a killer “one and done” story. By contrast, Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League is a live-service game, which means that it was designed to have content continuously added to it over time. Sometimes, that’s a good idea (live-service Fortnite, for example, is one of the most successful games ever made); most of the time, though, it means that we get a game that feels half-finished and gets abandoned by players long before the studio can dazzle us with something good.

Suicide Squad: Kill The Justice League Doesn’t Fit In The Same Universe

As a result of focusing on live-service gameplay, Kill the Justice League doesn’t have the perfect plotting and pacing of Batman: Arkham. Instead, you get one generic mission after another, and one of the only inducements to keep playing is the possibility of getting better gear. But somewhat paradoxically, better gear only matters when players are going to take on bigger challenges, and in the case of this game, players are simply leaving the game altogether.

Fans Reject The Latest Game

When this very unconventional follow-up to the Batman: Arkham game was released on February 2nd, it reached a peak amount of PC players on Steam: 13,459 players. While it’s natural for games to lose a few players, Kill the Justice League has notably been bleeding players every single day since that peak, and as of February 17, the overall player number had dwindled to 2,007 players. Put another way, this game has lost 80 percent of its players, and that number will only continue to grow.

Arkham Knight Looks Great In Comparasion

Batman Arkham Knight

Another embarrassing detail about Kill the Justice League, a game that currently has a Metacritic meta score of 60 and a 3.7 rating from players, is that it officially fails as a sequel. When it came out, nostalgic fans began replaying the Batman: Arkham games, and on February 10, gaming outlets noted that more Steam players were playing Arkham Knight (the final game in the original trilogy) than Kill the Suicide Squad. To put that in context, more players were interested in playing a title nearly nine years old rather than a sequel that should have been one of this year’s most highly-anticipated titles.

The Death Of Batman

Still not convinced Kill the Justice League ruins the Batman: Arkham franchise? Here comes a big spoiler, so don’t say we didn’t warn you: Batman himself is one of the infected Justice League members that the titular squad has to take down, and they succeed in brutal fashion. We see Batman get gassed with Scarecrow’s fear toxin before Harley Quinn makes the now-dead Joker’s biggest dream come true by blowing the Caped Crusader’s brains out.

Fans Consider Kill The Justice League Disrespectful

That’s right: this sequel to the Batman: Arkham games ensured there would be no other games in this franchise featuring Batman by killing him in the stupidest and most degrading way. Our theory is that players aren’t abandoning Kill the Justice League in droves because of how bad the repetitive gameplay is but because they don’t want to think about this game’s disrespectful treatment of Batman every time they fire up Arkham City or Arkham Knight.

The Arkham-Verse Deserved Better

It’s more than a bad sequel: it’s a game that retroactively tarnishes the previous titles, some of the best games ever made, while treating the best superhero like dirt. We have a feeling this is the end of the “Arkham-verse” no matter what, and we can’t help but feel anger at DC and Rocksteady Studios for killing the best Batman franchise we have ever had. 

All we can do is leave a message for the last poor soul to play this game before the player count dwindles to zero: don’t forget to turn the lights off for this once-epic franchise on your way out.