Hands-On: Superman Returns
Look up in the sky! It's Superman GTA style, and that's a good thing!
Superman is every superhero combined. He is the embodiment of man's greatest desires and a savior of mankind. So naturally we all grew up imagining how kick-ass it would be to have his abilities. Heat rays to melt all your sister's toys, super-human strength to make the chores easier, freeze-breath for ice-skating in the summertime, super-speed to outrun teachers, X-ray vision for the obvious reasons, and of course -- the ability to fly. Because flying just plain kicks ass.
Developer Tinuron Studios has been hard at work creating the Superman experience we've all dreamt of since our graduation from diapers. Superman Returns for the Xbox 360 is loosely based on the big summer blockbuster of the same name. But instead of trying to cram a motion picture into a videogame, Tinuron has opted to let Superman fly in glorious freedom. Explore the streets and skies of Metropolis as the man himself, and take your sweet time doing it. Want to take on some bad guys? Go for it! You have the power in Superman Returns.
What struck me first was the enormity of the game's single level, Metropolis. The vastness of the city is astounding. The ability to soar far up into the sky and look down upon a beautiful realized HD city, knowing that you can explore every last crack and crevice, every last alleyway and avenue -- is just plain cool. High in the sky looking down on the island with its thousands of buildings is enough to send the heights-weary into a seizer. At any time superman can hover in mid-air, giving the player a chance to soak up the sights. Truly appreciated in a game such as this.
Heights and massive city aside, Superman's many desirable abilities make their way into the game and truly take things to the next level. The man in tights can freeze things, burn things, throw things, and best of all, blow things. That's right, our sexy superhero can take a breath a blow an entire street's worth of cars and civilians screaming and crashing on the sides of building high in the air. Think Grand Theft Auto with extreme superpowers.
But its not all fun and games in Metropolis. The challenge comes in the form of missions that take place in the city, again similar to GTA with the exception that you can do truly good things here. Save the city from flying creatures and various other super-threats -- or not. The choice is yours. The missions were still being worked as of our test run with the game, but looked promising. We can only hope that the challenges are large enough, and abundant enough to keep players interested.
The build that we tested was 40% complete and running smoothly, but lacked impressive textures and had a limited color palate. The producer assured us that the core game is essentially complete with most of the additional 60% to go into improving the game's visuals. The producer also let us into his thought process, telling us that one of his favorite game experiences was the area outside the castle in Super Mario 64, an area that let you play with the world around you in complete freedom. If the game includes as many activities and hidden items we would like, we might be in for a real treat when Superman Returns flies to store shelves this fall.
Staff Writer, Kikizo.com
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Superman Returns: The Videogame
Teaser trailer (normal quality)