facebook rss twitter

Review: Superman Returns - Xbox 360

by Steven Williamson on 11 December 2006, 10:47

Tags: EA Game Superman Returns on Xbox 360, Electronic Arts (NASDAQ:EA), Action/Adventure

Quick Link: HEXUS.net/qahfr

Add to My Vault: x

X-ray vision can't be bad...

Anyone that grew up around the time when the first Superman film hit our screens will have fond childhood memories of the red-caped hero performing miraculous feats of strength as he lifted a school bus or flew faster than a speeding bullet to rescue Jimmy Olsen from falling off the Hoover Dam. Perhaps your mother even bought you a pair of superman pants that you used to wear over your jeans whilst jumping off the garden shed in the hope that you’d be able to fly onto your neighbour’s roof-top where you could peer into the privacy of their bedroom using your X-ray vision. No? Well…perhaps that was just me.

Just in time for the pre-Christmas rush and the DVD release of the movie on December 4th, Superman Returns hits the Xbox 360. If you’re expecting Superman to look like Brandon Routh from this summer’s movie you’ll be sorely disappointed. EA Tiburon have instead opted for the style of the original comic books, with the ‘Man of Steel’ and his enemies, such as Metallo, Mongul and Bizzaro, being represented as cel-shaded animations.

Click for larger image

The main plot loosely follows the movie’s script, but a large chunk of the game involves confronting some of the classic enemies from Superman’s illustrious 60 year history. As you travel across the fictional city of Metropolis you’ll be on the search for the various threat icons that represent flying, rescue or combat objectives. Superman Returns allows you to free-roam across the 80 square miles of game space - although you’ll still hit a invisible wall if you venture far enough - where you can parade the streets in your ‘circus strong man’s outfit’, melt cars with your heat vision for the pure of hell of it, rescue damsels in distress, or fly to the top of the tallest skyscraper in order to get an eagle-eyed view across the vast concrete jungle.

Click for larger image

Whether we were extinguishing a fire currently sweeping through one of the city's numerous skyscrapers - by using Superman’s super breath power to dampen the flames - or fighting Metallos' minions who tear through the streets burning and overturning cars whilst killing innocent pedestrians, the range of objectives quickly became repetitive, despite the different locations and a half-hearted attempt to vary the scenarios. Upon completing missions you’ll receive EXP points which are added to a metre; fill up the metre and you’ll move onto the next chapter in the game. Along the way you'll unlock some fancy combo ground manoeuvres, including the ‘tremor combo’ and the visually impressive ‘kryptonian combination’. These ground moves allow you to tackle the big bosses who are often susceptible to your major powers. This hand-to-hand combat plays a large part in Superman Returns, but even sending robots hurtling in the air with the impressive ‘Supernova’ move failed to keep us entertained for very long due to the fact that you can just as easily bash the buttons in any combination to defeat the tougher bosses.

Click for larger image

More Superman Returns...