previews\ May 10, 2006 at 8:00 pm

Superman Returns: The Videogame - 360 - Preview

E3 2006 Hands On Preview

Let’s face it: Ever since the Atari 2600 days of yore, there has not been one single great game based on Superman. They’ve ranged from “meh” all the way down to downright appalling (*cough*Superman 64*cough). It seems that the son of Jor-El just can’t catch a break when it comes to video games. However, EA (the largest third-party powerhouse in the known universe) is hell-bent on giving Superman his just due. Plus, with blockbuster new movie on the way, it’s time to strike while the iron’s hot. 

Superman Returns is based on the upcoming Bryan Singer-directed film, and allows gamers to fully control the Man of Steel, accessing his full range of special abilities, from flight to heat vision and so on. More importantly, so far the game is doing the impossible. No, not leaping tall buildings in a single bound, something much more difficult – being a Superman game that actually doesn’t suck. 

Superman Returns goes beyond the movie’s storyline, giving you a host of missions and situations not found in the upcoming film, including some super-villains from the comics (like Metallo and Parasite). However, the game won’t stray too far from the new movie, as it will bear the official voices and likenesses of the film’s cast, including Kevin Spacey as Lex Luthor, Kate Bosworth as Lois Lane, and Brandon Routh as Supes himself. 

Superman Returns operates on a bit of a sandbox system, similar to the one used in Spider-Man 2. As Superman, you’ll progress through the huge world of Metropolis, saving innocents and performing mini-games and side quests. The game will have roughly thirty hours of gameplay, and should keep you busy should you choose to deviate from the main quest. 

You’ll have three distinct types of gameplay in Superman Returns: flying, rescuing, and combat. Each of these game modes has their own unique feel to them, and change up the pace frequently, keeping things fresh from start to finish.  

You’ll also have access to all of Superman’s abilities, like the heat vision and furious assaults with his fists. However, you’ll have to be careful when taking on enemies in the fair berg of Metropolis, as if you get too rowdy and destroy too much of the city, then that will be detrimental to your progress. 

All in all, Superman Returns is looking to actually be a good Superman game. Check it out next month.


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