Friday, July 31, 2009

How To Make A Superman Game

I'm going to cover a couple games here that have been out for a while, but bear with me. I'll get to the point.

When I first heard about Justice League Heroes, I was pretty excited. When I actually played the game, I was actually a bit disappointed. I did enjoy some of the game, but I think I can sum up my thoughts with one little tidbit about the game. It seriously has an escort mission, in which you have to keep Superman alive. Yeah, you heard me right.

I haven't actually played it, but from what I've heard the Superman Returns game was pretty bad as well.

There's been a bunch of other Superman games, but you get the idea.

So why do Superman games suck? I can't seem to find the article, but I read somewhere a while back that the problem with Superman games is that in order for them to be accurate to the character, you would have a single button. It would be labeled "Win." In order to present a challenge to the player, Superman has to be dumbed down and weakened. In the case of Justice League Heroes and Mortal Kombat VS DC Universe, it also means making mortals like Batman even stronger than they would be otherwise.

So how do you get around this? Well, I see two solutions. The first would be to go ahead and give the player their God Mode. Let them feel what it would be like to actually be Superman fighting against mortals. If more game designers put fun as a priority instead of challenge, this would be a no-brainer. Obviously the whole game can't be like that, but it should be part of it.

The other solution would be to not make the game about Superman. Make a game about Lois Lane. Superman would be an NPC. It would actually create a lot of suspense in the game if the player had no idea when or even if Superman would come rescue their character. It would make a great game if the story were about Lois finding out Superman's secret identity right at the beginning of the game (so the player and the character both have the same information), and then trying to figure out what to do about that knowledge.

Come to think of it, that's a game that I may even be able to make. :-)

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