Doomed: The Worst DC Comics Games
Previously, we discussed the best game adaptations of DC Comics, talking about classic favorites like The Adventures of Batman and Robin, Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe, and the critically acclaimed Batman: Arkham Asylum. However, for every bright, shining moment, we’ve got an equally stunning letdown, a game so awful that we can’t help but wonder what developers were thinking. Characters like Batman and Superman were not impervious to these damaging games, and soon found their heroic reputations tarnished by bad programming choices and pitiful gameplay.
So ready yourself for some pain, kids. Here are our picks for the worst video games based on DC Comics properties. And, for the record, Watchmen: The End Is Nigh almost made the list, but was saved at the last minute by some cool voice acting. But that’s really about it.
5. Batman Forever (Acclaim/SNES, Genesis)
When Batman Forever came out in 1995, Acclaim was clearly going for style over substance, creating a high-gloss beat-em-up that went nowhere fast. In the game, you play a poorly dressed Batman or Robin as they sweep through Gotham City, taking on a badly rendered Riddler and Two Face as they tear the city to pieces. To get there, though, you’ll need to navigate through horrendous level designs, and you’ll get lost on more than one occasion. Worse yet, the music is so grating you’ll find yourself reaching for the mute button. A similar disaster occurred with the Sega Saturn and PlayStation versions of the game, based on the over-the-top arcade brawler. It also didn’t have the gameplay to match its flashy graphics, and suffered as a result. It’s as if the Riddler was pulling a gigantic prank on us – a $50 priced one, at that.
4. Catwoman (Electronic Arts/Xbox, PS2, GameCube)
The Catwoman movie was absolutely horrendous. Leave it to Warner Bros. executives to dress up Halle Berry in a leather-clad outfit and still make us dread it. What’s worse is that EA actually spent development money producing a game based on it. You guide Catwoman through the streets of Gotham, using her whip and athletic expertise to overcome bad guys and needlessly prance around each stage. The game doesn’t really serve much purpose, other than acting as a stage for Ms. Berry to exert some horrific voice acting. It’s repetitive, it’s dull and it’s just plain sad. Fortunately, EA kind of made up for it with the Batman Begins game, though it was hardly a classic. At least Berry didn’t ruin that one.
3. Aquaman: Battle For Atlantis (TDK Interactive/Xbox, PS2, GameCube)
Whoever thought that Aquaman would make an ideal star for a video game should be drawn and quartered – seriously. He’s already considered one of the weakest superheroes in recent memory, and in 2003, TDK Interactive saw fit to release him in a video game. Battle For Atlantis is a huge failure on all counts, between shoddy production design (the cut scenes are nothing more than slapped-together comic book pages), overly repetitive combat (underwater punches and kicks actually hurt someone here) and the worst redesign of Aquaman than we’ve ever seen, with the kind of nightmarish beard and mustache combo that would put Santa Claus to shame. And then there’s the building scanning segments, which take far too much time and patience to put up with. Just leave this one to drown. Seriously.
2. Batman: Dark Tomorrow (Kemco/Xbox, GameCube)
The worst Batman game ever produced, Dark Tomorrow simply has no reason to exist. The storyline is a good one, as it pits Ra’s al Ghul against Batman in a head-to-head battle to save the city, while introducing several villains from the Dark Knight’s past, including the Joker. Unfortunately, the game fails beyond that, thanks to poor gameplay segments that give you little direction on what to do, terrible camera angles where you can barely see what’s happening, and repetitive missions that go nowhere fast. What’s worse, the game reportedly has several endings available, but no matter how well you do, you always end up with the bad one where Ra’s somehow wins, despite all your efforts. So not only do you drag yourself down throughout the game, but there’s little to show for it. Leave Tomorrow behind and enjoy today with Arkham Asylum (or the upcoming Arkham City) instead.
1. Superman 64 (Titus/Nintendo 64)
It’s a bird. It’s a plane. It’s a train wreck. While we could havve easily pointed out the terribly lacking Superman Returns as the Man of Steel’s ultimate failure, it was at least playable in comparison to this crapfest. Superman 64 for the Nintendo 64 has no redeeming qualities whatsoever. The voice acting? Completely lacking any enthusiasm or drive. The graphics? Beyond horrendous. This actually looks like a washed out SNES game at best. The gameplay? Beyond incomprehensible, as you’ll struggle with even the simplest things, such as flying around. And the objectives are so mind bogglingly hard, you’ll be throwing down the controller after just three tries. We pity anyone who’s had to pay any given amount of money for this game, it’s nothing short of super-trash. And it’s the worst comic book game in existence, period.