STAFF REVIEW of Superman Returns (Xbox 360)

Monday, December 4, 2006.
by Chris Groves

Superman Returns Box art Well after playing the demo off Xbox Live marketplace I was surprised at how much I was wanting more. I just didnt feel like I got enough out of the superman demo as I should of. Some of the superman games in the past were not the best even if he did have super powers.

I was really surprised at how easy it was to get used to and enjoy. Some or most of the games in the past didn?t deal too much with the movie except for having Lex Luthor as a boss, which this game does the same thing.
After seeing the commercials for the movie I was not expecting to much of a good game to come out after the movie if any at all. Most will think that the game ties in with the movie, well it doesn?t.

The game starts off letting you know that everyone on earth has gotten by without you around and can fight their own battles, for now! Superman spends 5 years traveling to
Krypton to see if it really existed and was still there. On his way back he ends up getting caught by Mongrul. While in his captivity you experience first hand how to get used to the controls.

When you first get a chance to control superman, you feel like you can do anything that he can do. You cant, well not yet anyways. As you go through the game flying at super speeds and cruising between buildings, you gain experience battling the hundreds of robots that relentlessly keep appearing for a quick experience jump. As you progress through the game you gain more powerful powers, but all of it is wasted on an enemy that isn?t even in the movie. When I heard this game could be repetitive I didn?t think this much. The robots appear almost in every chapter if you can call them that. All the chapters you move through are just sections of battling the same robots and the occasional boss and/or new enemy.

You do have some mini games you can play, like being Bizarro and destroying the city in the attempt to save it. His mini games do provide some stress relief to the constant robots attacking the city that you have to deal with. The other mystery character is Mxyztplk. He has taken some of your items and hid them around the city in an attempt for you to complete his trials to get them back, including the ?Find 200 furry kittens? mission. I found 3 and quit after that.

The city of metropolis and the world environment looks amazing and will never let you down. The buildings and islands look great from above and the sun flare effects are a treat as well. Up close some of the buildings start to loose their detail along with the water. When superman is called for a fire, the buildings you see are almost engulfed in flames and don?t look half bad. The Blurring effects do occur when you fly at high speeds and the matrix effect happens when you put some hurt on bosses, which help enhance the game.

Lex Luthor?s voice is none other than Kevin Spacey and sounds great along with some helpful tips from Jor-El?s voice too. The random civilian calling out to superman is nice to hear as well. The sound effects from battle and when flying around are probably the best part of the game but don?t make it the best superman game and tend to get repetitive after a while. When you are encountering those pesky robots or any other enemy, the sound all around you in battle is great. You can hear the destruction the enemy is causing in the near distance and the pleas for help from victimized civilians.

Some of the things we could of enjoyed was flying to outer space, going underwater, and most of all flying through buildings. I was really hoping for a more destructible and interactive environment, as there is not alot of objects to pick up off the buildings. The enemies that you constantly encounter are annoying and just bring no connection to the movie.

Overall: 8.0 / 10
Gameplay: 8.6 / 10
Visuals: 8.4 / 10
Sound: 9.0 / 10


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