PC PREVIEW: SUPERMAN RETURNS

The only thing more damaging to Superman than a glowing lump of kryptonite, is a glowing lump of bad video game coding. Can the Superman video game curse finally be lifted by EA? by Vaughn Smith

February 15, 2006 - No matter how you look at it, the Superman industry hasn't been exactly kind to those most closely associated to the man in the red cape. Case in point: Superman creators, Joe Shuster and Jerry Siegel, were royally screwed over by the company that purchased their unknown hero back in the late 30's having been paid only $130 for their efforts. But a deal's a deal, right? I mean, who knew? Eventually the creators names were unceremoniously removed from the bylines of the comics after attempting to sue DC Comics for a larger piece of the Big Red S pie. What transpired wasn't a windfall of cash, but rather Siegel and Shuster signed even more creative control away and were fired. Ouch. It wasn't until the success of the blockbuster movie starring Christopher Reeves and Margot Kidder that Warner Communications took pity on the two destitute creators and bestowed upon them an annual pension of $35,000 per year and health benefits for life. One has to look no further than actor George Reeves, who portrayed the Man of Steel on TV. George proved once and for all that while the son of Krypton can stop bullets with his steel-like body, a mere human cannot. Typecast as Superman and depressed over lack of roles after the Superman TV show, Reeves ended his life with a single shot to the head. How about Christopher Reeve (coincidental last name alert!) who was the silver screens most popular man in blue tights? Reeve took a fall off a horse and was paralyzed in 1994. He passed away last year due to physical complications of his injuries.

If you still don't believe in the "Superman curse" we could list every Superman video game ever created, save for the Atari 2600 game released in 1978, which is still the most outstanding Superman game released (and oddly enough, the first one ever created). Superman on the NES? Crap. Superman: The Man of Steel on Xbox? More crap. Superman 64? Mega crap. Gunshy fans are cautiously optimistic regarding the next Superman game slated for a late June release to coincide with the summer blockbuster starring Brandon Routh and directed by Bryan Singer (X-Men, X-Men 2). All we have to say is, it certainly can't be much worse than what we've seen already. Maybe if we all hold hands and pray, everything could be all right.

In the hands of Tiburon, the talented developers who have been at the helm of Madden Football games for the last X amount of years, Superman Returns looks a lot like the previous Spider-Man games. It's shaping up to be a free-roaming adventure, unlike EA's Batman Begins title which was linear and level oriented. We assume the game will be loosely following the plot of the movie, but will also embellish other aspects of being the world's greatest superhero with other activities - perhaps retrieving a child's lost balloon. Umm...yeah. Okay, sarcastic swipes at Spider-Man games aside, we're hoping Tiburon gives us a great big Metroplis to play in, jampacked with bosses and evil villains. We also hope that Supes will have all of his powers at the getgo instead of the usual super powered neutering that goes on. We've been told that Supes will have to combo his powers - heat vision, ice breath, super strength, flight, x-ray vision - to solve puzzles. That could be cool as long as we don't have to suffer through something along the lines of "Find the skull shaped key to open the door". Supes doesn't need keys, okay?

From what we've seen, the Xbox 360 screens look pretty darn sweet and tasty. Superman looks actually super for once, and is seen lifting something that looks as big as the Washington monument while in flight, during a boss battle with a huge ass robotic boss. Tiburon, you had us at huge ass robotic boss.

The game is a mere 4 months away, which is insane considering we haven't really seen or heard anything about this game since it was announced years ago. We expect the floodgates to open any moment, at which time we'll post the screens that we have. Until then, keep your eyes on the skies.

By Vaughn Smith
CCC Site Director

Rating out of 5
Superman Returns (PC)
NA
Graphics
Not Available
NA
Control
Not Available
NA
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
Not Available
NA
Play Value
Not Available
NA
Overall Rating -
Not an average. See Rating legend above for a final score breakdown.
 
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System: PS2, X, GC, PC, X360
Dev: Tiburon
Pub: EA
Release: June 2006
Players: 1
Preview by Vaughn

Review Rating Legend
1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid
2.0 - 2.4 = Poor
2.5 - 2.9 = Average
3.0 - 3.4 = Fair
3.5 - 3.9 = Good
4.0 - 4.4 = Great
4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
5.0 = The Best