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Suicide Squad devs say despite being a live-service game it'll respect players' time because 'We all love playing games, but we also have lives'

 Deadshot wears a Batman outfit.
Deadshot wears a Batman outfit.

It feels like the internet's already made up its mind about Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League, to the degree that I can't imagine it receiving any kind of fair response when it launches on February 2. It's become a symbol of everything wrong with live-service games, which is a reputation I imagine Rocksteady is eager to get ahead of.

One way that's been happening is in Q&As on the official Suicide Squad Discord server, where developers have been answering question about things like its battle pass, seasonal content, endgame, and multiplayer. The answers have been fairly promising. For starters, the battle pass will only hand out cosmetics and premium currency rather than anything game-altering, and it won't be banished to the Phantom Zone once a season ends.

As studio director Darius Sadeghian said, "you will be able to go back and play previous Battle Passes after a Season ends. We believe that our team has created some of the best looking cosmetic items ever, and we want those to be available for our players to enjoy without fear that they'll miss out on anything." You'll also be able to replay the two "episodes" added with each season, which Sadeghian described as including "new gear (including an Infamy set themed around an iconic DC villain), new missions, and new boss fights all for the low, low price of (you guessed it) free!"

On the subject of how much of Suicide Squad is playable solo, the answer is apparently the whole enchilada. "All the content and missions we have in the game can be played Solo or in any group configuration", said game director Axel Rydby, adding that, "if the fourth player in your 4-player squad couldn't make it because they have the audacity to have a life outside of the game, it won't stop the rest of you from playing if you choose to keep going."

Rydby went on to emphasize that, "We all love playing games, but we also have lives (sort of) and that's been a big part of our design philosophy making this game. We don't want the game to feel like a life commitment or be a game where you have to sacrifice a lot to see all the content on offer, or feel like you're not making good progress in the game if you can't play hundreds of hours. We want this game to be generous, both with your time and with all the features we have to offer."

One of the frustrating things about live-service games is that they gate stuff you want behind the higher levels of a season pass, even if you pay for the premium version, then take it away when the next season rolls around. It's a relief to hear Suicide Squad won't be doing that, and that it won't be forcing me to play with friends when I mostly play videogames to get away from people.

The answers don't do anything to reassure me about Suicide Squad's other issue, however, which is that it's a looter-shooter. Rocksteady's Arkham games were designed around letting you do things Batman would do, to the point where "they make you feel like Batman" became a cliché. Suicide Squad, by contrast, seems to be bending its characters to fit an existing genre, giving every member of its cast guns and a traversal method whether it suits them or not.

Suicide Squad will be out on February 2.