Superman Returns, the Video Game: Rent, Don’t Buy!

There is something to be said for all of these comic book stories that have become such big hits in the theatre, on DVD and in video game format. Superman Returns was a highly anticipated movie, and Superman Returns: The Videogame was a title that many people were excited to see as well.

However, as time progressed I read a handful of reports that the developers would not let people test play the game, the screenshots looked rough and never really cleaned up and the overall impression was that this game would not live up to its promise. Having finally had a chance to play Superman Returns: The Videogame (I hate this title, by the way, but this is how so many people officially list it), I was disheartened to see that the widespread skepticism was well-founded.

We should begin with the positives. The game play itself actually handles quite well. The sense of speed when you guide superman through the city while in flight is an amazing one at times. The powers are all appropriate and respond quite well. At first glance, I rather liked the graphics and sound. That being said, both wore on me rather quickly, and I began to feel that they lacked depth or enough variance to keep me interested.

The actual game felt rather shallow as well. Superman is a classic character who has fought so many amazing villains in the cartoons and the comics over the years, and somehow all of that felt missing in this game. In the most recent movie lacked an epic showdown feeling as well. While it might have worked for the movie’s script, it seemed weak in a video game.

That is not to say there was no good to be had here. It is however, painfully repetitive after awhile, and the many missions do very to distinguish themselves from one another. Now consider this review to be for the Playstation 2 version of the game. I have read that the graphics look a bit better on the Xbox 360, but that is not hard to believe as these ones failed to impress for any length of time.

All in all, comics have been far better represented in the movie and video game industry in recent years, but this game hardly proves to be an example of progress. In fact, it took several steps back from peers like the X-Men Legends games. I guess I cannot put a finger on it any better than to say that being a superhero has seldom been any less fun than this.