Future historians will refer to the "Arkhamization of Melee Combat" in their treatise on this era; it will be an entire section. It's not a hundred percent clear what they'll say about Suicide Squad yet. And since the only people who can play at the moment are authorized streamers and people who paid a hundred dollars, the dataset is somewhat confounded. The weirdest thing we can detect so far is that, however we jumped the track into this reality, Gotham Knights is much closer to the Arkham mold than Suicide Squad. That's a lot to take in.
After the Arkham games, it really seems like Rocksteady could have done anything. Aggregated together, I think it's as era defining as, let's say, Doom. And I told Mork as much. I said, "Mork, I feel like there isn't a character they couldn't have figured out an angle on." But then he said that it feels like to him that this was something like a directive: a multiplayer service shooter, which involves a necessary flattening of possibility.
Live Service Games are really just a permutation of the MMO era, with a modern monetization schema swapped in for subscriptions. Even though it's in living memory, it may be hard to remember: that space became a bloodbath. It was like a Kumite for software and the teams that made it. We've seen a bunch of that happen already in Live Service. It's a scary place to be, even if you have recognizable IP as a substrate.
When a game at this scale is oriented toward a trend like that, it might end up getting released into a world it doesn't recognize, or vice versa. Scary. Co-founders left before release? I dunno. It makes you feel a way.
I would say I've watched a lot of the game. I feel like the writing hits, and it looks fun. Mike doesn't feel like these characters are the sort of aspirational creatures one might invest themselves in over time, obviously they're villains, but having bought the fancy version to play early he just finds them kind of annoying. The tone is incredibly gonzo, I'll give him that. Literally just beyond silly. I'm watching this from the vantage of Like A Dragon: Infinite Wealth, where if I pay my pet crawdad Nancy fifty bucks, she'll show up with her hermit crab girlfriend and fuck people up. I might be kinda primed for goofy right now. And it's very goofy.
Getting into a game like this always feels sorta like deciding whether to get a puppy. That's probably why they have a different approach to the typical Season Pass stuff they're trying out, which seems quite humane by industry standards. I'm trying to figure out if its primary sin isn't just that it's not what they had already perfected - another game in the style of Arkham. But I don't think I'm gonna pay a hundred dollars to find out.