How would you make a good Superman game?

Misterian

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With Superman 64 being (at least I hope) a distant memory in the gaming industry, the appeal of playing as Superman in DC Universe Online as a Legend is up for debate, and other attempts at making a Superman game ranging from becoming mediocure, Superman 64 levels of bad, cancelled, or kept quiet (assuming Rocksteady really is making a Superman game) I have a question;

How do YOU think a Superman game should be made?

Oddly enough, I think with a few tweeks, some of the gameplay mechanics from the Batman Arkham games can help set the foundation for a good Superman game, here's some examples I have in mind, as well as some unique ideas that can be exclusive to a Superman game.

Combat Rating System; Superman typically operates in Metropolis and because his powers have immense destructive capabilities, he typically tries his best to minimize done to the city. I think a good way to grade a player's performance as Superman can be to grade how you do certain missions based on how you use his powers in what situation and how well you can minimize damage done to the city.

Context-sensitive health bar: Since Superman is invulnerable to most conventional means of harm, I think the use of a health meter should be reserved for boss fights (which I'll go into more detail in a bit) where Supes would be fighting certain supervillians who can feasibly kill him (Metello and Doomsday being possible examples), oh, and combine that with him being able to restore health mid-battle being exposing himself to direct sunlight. Another moment one can bring a health meter can be moments where Superman is exposed to one of his weaknesses like Kryptonite or red sun radiation which will force the player to adjust tactics to help Superman survive the situation at hand.

Super-Hearing and x-ray vision can be Superman's 'Detective Vision': similar to Batman's detective vision in the Arkham games, Superman can 'turn on' his x-ray vision to see through objects and get the position of bad guys. and his super-hearing can be turned on alongside his x-ray vision to help him listen on on baddies or even be used to detect citizens in distress.

A HUGE variety of situations for Superman to tackle: While most of them can stay purely optional, we can have a Superman game where Supes can explore Metropolis and deal with certain randomly generated situations similar to the Spider-Man 2 game, but don't let it just be fighting crime, we can have Superman do things like rescue people from buring building, pull cats out of trees, all that good stuff. Overall, give Superman a really diverse set of things to do at the player's leisure.

That's all I can think of for now, but how do you all think a good Superman video game can be done?
 

Silentpony_v1legacy

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The thing about Superman is his stories are never about fighting, they're about the morality of his existence. He's basically God, especially in the comics when he fights God and Death and beats them both. He's unstoppable, and more than capable of imposing his will on the entire Galaxy if he wants.

So the dilemma is what he does with this power, and how he has to allow for choice and freedom even if people get hurt. I feel like a good Superman game needs to explore that idea, because without it you're just playing Arkham with No-clip and Invulnerability on.

Its dumb enough when Batman can't get into the Mansion because the old wooden door is locked, but can you imagine Superman like "Do'h well, gotta go get the blue key and unlock my laser vision before I can open the next area by shooting a lock with ma' lasers!"
And contriving a reason for him to need to do that, like a red sun or kryptonite or whatever is just lazy story telling, and defeats the purpose of having Superman.

So don't worry about the combat or really the gameplay. He's Superman, and it writes itself. Focus on the morality of his existence.
 

meiam

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Have more conflict that can possibly be fixed at the same time, force the player to make decision on what to do.
 

lechat

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How bout a game where he comes to terms with his powers?
might not be cannon but having to try to control superman while he struggles not to fry his primary school class with his laxzorz or play football without killing someone is about the only struggle he has ever had to face.
 

Saelune

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Make a game where you really are just super powerful and seemingly unstoppable. Just give an open-world Metropolis where you fly around being Superman, punching baddies and all that...but give you freedom.

Then wait.

Wait for the player to go "I can do anything" and they start being a dick and destroying things, then BAM, Justice League becomes the antagonist as Superman goes evil and you control him. Ofcourse, dont let people know this. Release the game under the pretense of being a good guy the whole time.
 

WolfThomas

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I agree with most of the sentiment here. Superman shouldn't have a health bar. Rather be scored by the amount of lives saved and perhaps secondarily property damage (like the priority is always save lives but saving an equal number of people with least property damage is preferred).

Flying. Slow motion to represent super speed. etc
 

Dirty Hipsters

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The key would be to make Superman somewhat vulnerable.

Look at the Batman Arkham games, Batman is incredibly tough, he can take on dozens of enemies in hand to hand combat like it's nothing, but there are special enemies with weapons that force you to change tactics. Do the same thing with Superman, make fighting normal mooks absolutely no challenge, but then as the game progresses add special enemies to the mix who can do more and more to injure superman.

It actually wouldn't be THAT difficult to make Superman somewhat vulnerable. Start Superman at Animated Series superman levels of strength and invulnerability. This means that he can be hurt by Kryptonite, electricity, powerful lasers, and magic. Give some enemies kryptonite based weapons (produced by Lex Luthor), have some villains like Metallo and Livewire whose active powers are Superman's weakness. Make part of the plot include fighting magic based villains, because superman is vulnerable to magic and they would actually be a threat to him. As the game progresses maybe Darkseid makes an appearance with other warriors from Apokolips to be used as set-piece boss fights.

Make destruction to the city be as much of a priority as Superman's health, so that the player can't just go all out with Superman's powers all the time, so you limit how many buses he can throw at Metallo's face.

Perhaps have strict time-limits on certain missions, forcing you to use super speed, and making you choose which objectives are more important than others (Dead Rising style), because Superman for all his powers still can't be in two places at once.

Have some puzzles that force you to use superman's various powers together in unique ways. It doesn't all have to be about combat.
 

Bealzibob

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I think personally the best way to make an interesting Superman game would ironically be to address the criticism leveled at the Man of Steel (2013) and have the player be almost uncontrollably powerful and centre all of the design and mechanics on the player having to be careful with their input and actions. The crux of Superman's gimmick is that he is basically all powerful and much of the problem with this in regards to games especially is that games follow the Shounen formula of rising strength and "powerlevels". So instead give the player everything, create some truly fun, visceral mechanics that give that power fantasy, that hype and then force the player to learn how to control it without killing everyone and everything.

I think that would make an interesting, thematically true Superman game. It might be hard for people to adapt to the obtuse game pacing but difficulty ramping can still be added with bosses and scenario's that force your hand more and more. Making you learn the hard way how to be a hero without blowing half a building apart to knockout darksied or whatever the fuck Superman fights lol.
 

Pseudonym

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Take superman oldschool, when we was only very powerful instead of almost omnipotent. The downside of supermans omniponent version of recent years, is that the thematic focus is mostly on him as a person, with the physical challenges he has to overcome not really being the main issue. That might make for good movies (though superman movies are only moderately well received, as far as I know) but probably not for good gameplay.
 

Here Comes Tomorrow

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Depower him with some magic, kryptonite bullshit,stick him on a planet where his power gradually comes back due to the red/yellow/green/blue/pink sun or whatever and have at it.

I think the problem with Superman is that he's already at the top of the skill tree and it makes progression non-existant.
 

Neurotic Void Melody

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But infamous and prototype already exist. To be honest, superman is a dated idea, it hasn't aged well, it needs a hefty rethink to make it worth people's time. A game would not make much sense without typical contrivance added. Basically, It's been done in better ways before by not being superman. This doesn't mean it's impossible, but superman can do everything, go anywhere. How are you going to limit him to the grey graph paper of New York again and get away with (Make it interesting) ?
 

Misterian

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Remake Superman completely so that he isn't such a lame OP character, then make a game about that character.
 

Scarim Coral

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I would basically view it as a GTA/ sandbox game but with godmode? I would add like a save rating just to remind you are suppose to be saving people. Yes it is stupid to have the gameover for not saving people but that what Superman is.
 

GTMippey

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I like the idea of having some sort of morality system, so the game is less about the combat and more about how you approach the combat. Have alternate paths/endings depending on how well you're doing. If you cause destruction wherever you go, eventually during missions the army/police come after you as well, making it harder to control collateral damage.

Or, you could take the easy way out and have Supes lose most of his power in the beginning. Have him build it back up over the course of the game so by the end, once you've overcome all the challenging bits, you're back at God Mode.
 

Samtemdo8_v1legacy

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Gekidami said:
Remake Superman completely so that he isn't such a lame OP character, then make a game about that character.
Statements like that are the reason why Batman undeserveredly became the face of DC.

Go read Kingdom Come, and For The Man Who Has Everything.
 

SweetShark

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One part of me want a Sand-Like Game which Superman can do anything in a City with his Powers.
Base his actions while he fighting baddies, will be reflected thought the news papers and your discussions with other heroes accordingly.

On the other hand I want a Superman with a Legit good story which reflect the true nature of Superman as it should be: A Foreign Alien who trying to win the trust of the Earthlings by doing whatever is possible to protect them all. Also Superman shall be a charismatic lawful character ready to speak in the name of a greatest justice and incourage the new generations which will follow to learn the great importances that being Poweful doesn't mean anything. Superman can easily wipe out easily any kind of danger he face, but he won't. He is above from the idea of Power=Everything. Superman MUST be the Biggest example of how a Hero must Act.
And that is Superman for me.

.....I still want however see a Superman destroy the sh*t out of giant city because of lols.
 

SweetShark

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inu-kun said:
3) Make it a quest, Telltale style.
Yes, but ppllleeeeeeeeeeassseee, no more the artistic visuals used in nearly any of their games.
I can't look at them anymore. I want to see Superman look different from otehr Teltale games...
 

SweetShark

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Saelune said:
Make a game where you really are just super powerful and seemingly unstoppable. Just give an open-world Metropolis where you fly around being Superman, punching baddies and all that...but give you freedom.

Then wait.

Wait for the player to go "I can do anything" and they start being a dick and destroying things, then BAM, Justice League becomes the antagonist as Superman goes evil and you control him. Ofcourse, dont let people know this. Release the game under the pretense of being a good guy the whole time.
This actually a very good legit idea if the game is Sandbox-style game.
However as you said it is very unlikely we see something like this....
DC don't even let him use his legs to hit the baddies...