5 Ways to Make an Awesome Superman Game
There are strong rumors suggesting that Rocksteady, creative studio behind the Batman: Arkham franchise, are hard at work on a new Superman game. While we debate the validity of the rumor (which creative director Sefton Hill isn’t afraid to entertain), we can also speculate one other thing: how CAN you make a good, or dare I even say, great, Superman game? There have been many attempts, and several have the distinction of being named as some of the worst video games of all time. So how can Rocksteady, or any studio for that matter, do to succeed where so many others have failed? Let’s find out.
5. Make Metropolis his health bar.
I know what you’re thinking: Superman can’t be hurt, so how can you make a game around that? Say what you will about the “Superman Returns” video game, but one interesting feature was to make Metropolis itself as Superman’s health bar. Whether it’s the comics, cartoons, movies, etc, Superman’s mission has always been to help those that can’t help themselves. Therefore if you fail to save lives, or say…let Lois die in a plane crash, you lose the game. Seem simple enough? Of course it does.
4. Make sure ALL powers are available.
This is the biggest problem most 8/16 bit superhero games of the 90’s suffered, not making all of the superhero powers readily available. Even worse, some games had the audacity to either have an energy meter of even drain your health. That being said, that doesn’t mean Superman has to start the game with all of his powers. Like most games you can have a leveling system. Remember…Superman originally didn’t have the power of flight. What if you start the game with only the ability to leap tall buildings in a single bound only to upgrade later?
3. Fully fleshed out city
This is very important. Metropolis must feel like a character all its own, similar to Arkham City. One thing that MUST improve is Metropolis must have an actual population. There must also be landmarks like The Daily Planet, Lexcorp, S.T.A.R. Labs, Cadmus, etc. Of course to really engross yourself in the world of Superman you can also have levels that take place in Smallville, or the Fortress of Solitude. This has actually already been done in the MMORPG “DCU Online”, so they can definitely take notes from that game.
2. Boss Battles
I know I said earlier that you could use Metropolis as your health bar, but let’s be honest even that would get repetitive no matter how creative you get. Luckily for Superman he has one of the most powerful rogues galleries in all of comics. You can have memorable battles with Brainiac, General Zod, Bizarro, Metallo, Parasite, or even get REALLY nuts with Mister Mxyzptlk who can warp reality. Plus even when there aren’t boss battles you can establish elements in the game that could hurt Superman like magic, Red Solar Energy, plus the oldy but good… Kryptonite. Just don’t overdo it with the green rock, please.
This is a no brainer, but for some maybe the most important piece of any modern game. Honestly, how popular would games like Uncharted and The Last of Us be without an epic story? Even Injustice 2 is one of the best selling games of this generation, and while the cinematic storytelling was as epic and any movie, the actual fighting mechanics were rather mediocre. The point I’m trying to make is that video games has evolved into a medium of visual storytelling that could rival any Hollywood movie, so it’s no reason you couldn’t make an epic story with the Man of Steel better than…well…”Man of Steel.”