Sunday, September 7, 2014

"It's A Video Game!" - Ideas for a Superman Video Game

When it comes to video games, there is one superhero that’s drawn the short straw: Superman. Heroes like Batman, Spider-Man, and the X-Men have mostly had a lot of well-received games. For Batman, there are the Arkham games. For Spider-Man, there were the movie-based games and the one on the PS1. Unfortunately, Superman can barely even get a decent game. Now, I’m not talking about fighting games like Injustice: Gods Among Us since that was a Justice League game that featured Superman.

I’ve really only played two Superman games: The Death and Return of Superman and Superman Returns. They were the only ones that were on the consoles I had. They were… less than stellar. I know Superman Returns was. I remember renting that game and Marvel: Ultimate Alliance one weekend. I started out playing M: UA for a while and then played SR for a while. I got to the third level of that game and I was done with it. I went back to playing the M: UA which was definitely the better of the two games. It’s not that SR was crap through and through. It was just boring. I’ve seen other comments online and they more or less say the same thing.

So, what can make a good Superman game? I heard some ideas running around a few months ago and it really got me thinking about it. I’ve heard that Superman can’t work in a game because he’s so powerful. To me, that’s a pretty lazy comment. I do believe that one could do a pretty decent Superman game if they really know their stuff and understand the character. So, here are some ideas that could work.

1. Literally Start at the beginning with Superman
What I mean by this is to start out with Superman at his Golden Age power set:  Super-strength, speed, some flight, etc. Throughout the game, you can then add more powers to his set like heat-vision, super-breath, and full-on flight. I know some would say that they want to have Superman be at his fullest abilities, but some limits do have to be made. I’d rather have a playable game than something that may or may not work. Heck, if you want to do a replay, the creators could have Superman at his fullest with that.

2. Have a good story 
One of the reasons that the recent Batman games have taken off so well is because they have a story and a world that complements the character. Have the story involve Superman’s world. Use his supporting cast and villains to the best effect. You can even have side missions for certain things. Also, have it take place in locations like Metropolis (of course), Smallville, and the Fortress of Solitude. You could take it off-world, but that could be tough. Personally, I’d save more of the universal stuff for later games.

3. Involve Clark Kent 
Now, I know that people come to these games to play Superman and kick butt. Still, Clark Kent is an essential part of the Superman mythos and it would be cool to have something revolving around him and his job. It doesn’t even have to be part of the main plot. It can just be side missions. Have Lois and Clark go around Metropolis getting stories and getting into trouble. Heck, have it be akin to Batman’s detective mode in the Arkham games. Then, you could pull Superman out via shirt-rip. Hey, I want to kick some butt as Superman too, but here is an avenue that I would really like to see in a Superman game.

4. Good Villains and Bosses
You’ll need some good threats for Superman to overcome. No, Superman isn’t invulnerable, he’s just really tough. A lot of Superman’s villains can throw Superman damage without the use of Kryptonite. Throw villains like the Parasite, Mongul, Toyman, Bizzaro, the Cyborg-Superman, Doomsday, and Atomic Skull at him. You can also involve the use of Kryptonite and some magic to fight him. For the main villain, I’d want to see Lex Luthor, Darkseid, or Brainiac in the role. Instead of making them drag-out brawls, have Superman use his head and his powers in different ways.

There may be more ideas, but here’s what I can think of. As I said before, I don’t think it’s hard to make a good Superman game. If Rocksteady can make two awesome Batman games, I think the same could be done for Superman. Someone just has to use the right elements to do it. If there are any current developers out there, make it happen! At least I have Injustice where I get to knock folk into the atmosphere.

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