Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League, Rocksteady’s multiplayer Destiny-like with DC villains, will fill the conspicuously Joker-shaped hole in its rogues’ gallery of Batman baddies in March with the launch of the live service game’s first season of free post-launch content.
Kill the Justice League marks Rocksteady’s return to the DC universe after their trilogy of single-player Batman Arkham games: Asylum, City and Knight. It’s technically set five years later in the same universe, in fact, which will raise some questions for those who finished Arkham City. Rocksteady is getting out ahead of those questions in its reveal of the Joker’s return as a playable character in Suicide Squad, though. (Spoilers for Batman: Arkham City follow!)
While The Joker of the Arkham-verse, as Rocksteady are calling it, is still dead, The Joker who will appear in Kill the Justice League is technically a different Joker altogether. In fact, he’s not even from the same in-universe universe as the Arkham Joker, instead being pulled in from an alternate dimension as with DC Comics’ non-canon Elseworlds comics.
The differences between Arkham Joker and this new Elseworlds Joker can be seen and heard. First off, Mark Hamill no longer provides the Joker’s distinctive cackle, with a Joker who sounds, at least to my ear, kind of just… like a guy? This is apparently part of neu-Joker’s backstory in the game, having previously been part of the Suicide Squad in his previous universe and now trying to work out who he is while not being quite as cartoonishly clowny as other appearances. (He has, at least, discovered the same fondness for purple, green and clown facepaint.)
What he perhaps lacks in vocal OTT – at least from the brief clips in the attest behind-the-scenes look – NeuJoker makes up for in gameplay, wielding a rocket-powered umbrella that lets him rocket (er, brolly?) jump into the air, glide around and grind across the floor on the opened umbrella. If that wasn’t enough, he’ll also have a straight-up mace on a chain to whack enemies with.
The playable Joker will be accompanied by a Joker-themed environment, two gameplay episodes with missions and other activities, new enemies and boss fights, extra gear and weapons, and some extra Riddler content to boot in Kill the Justice League’s first season of post-launch extras. Rocksteady have said that the game’s gameplay additions will be free, with no battle pass and only cosmetics costing extra real-life money.
The Joker’s arrival from an Elseworlds universe will kick off a trend for the game’s subsequent seasons, which will each be themed around a different character from the DC universe. Pulling the alt-reality familiar faces into the game will be Brainiac, voiced by the ever-dependable Jason Isaacs. Hello to him.
After Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League releases on February 2nd (March 5th on the Epic Games Store), Season 1 will start in March with the addition of The Joker, with seasons two through four adding three more playable characters along with their respective environments and other new gear, weapons, activities and missions.