Superman Returns: The Videogame
What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this isn't an overly violent game, but it does contain fighting sequences against villains with wrestling-like moves -- you can grab an opponent and smack him down on the ground (which cracks the cement!).
What's it about?
SUPERMAN RETURNS: THE VIDEOGAME tells of Superman returning to Earth after confirming that his home world has been destroyed. Superman is kidnapped and must fight robots and other enemies on another planet in a kind of televised gladiator match. Then, back on Earth, our caped crusader must take on other villains from DC Comics history (including Metallo, Bizarro, and Parasite), as well as dragons and other enemies.
Superman's powers include flight, super strength, speed, heat vision, super breath, and super hearing to detect trouble that requires his attention. Superman can't be damaged, but he must protect Metropolis -- an on-screen health meter shows the state of the city, which determines whether you win or lose a mission. New fighting moves are unlocked by completing objectives, such as grabbing a flying robot and then smacking it down onto the ground to inflict damage.
Is it any good?
While Electronic Arts' latest certainly grabs your attention right from the get-go, the excitement of flying and fighting as the Man of Steel slowly fizzles out. Fans will love the open-ended Metropolis -- you can fly anywhere within 80 square miles by weaving in and out of thousands of buildings and over small lakes and islands. The view from above is breathtakingly gorgeous, especially on the Microsoft Xbox 360 version. The orchestrated music and surround-sound effects are also top-notch.
A storyline not tied to the movie isn't a crime, but repetitive and redundant game play is. Fighting enemies, putting out fires, saving kittens, and protecting the city from tornadoes can get mighty boring after a while. It's too bad the game makers focused more on Superman's flight mechanics and the city scenery over a compelling story and interesting missions. This one's definitely a renter.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about the over-the-top nature of this game based on a superhero with superhuman powers. Why would the wrestling moves Superman uses be more dangerous for those of us without super powers? Families might want to discuss what makes a good video game. While this one has great graphics and cool things to do, is that enough? How important are engaging storylines and interesting missions?