E3 2002: Superman: The Man of Steel preshow report

Infogrames will have The Man of Steel on display at E3.

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Superman: The Man of Steel is one of two separate upcoming games from Infogrames that are based on the famous DC Comics superhero. The Man of Steel game for the Xbox is completely independent from the PS2 game Superman: Shadow of Apokolips. In the Xbox game, Superman must defend Metropolis from supervillains Lex Luther and Brainiac 13, as well as a horde of robots bent on taking over the world. Their immediate goal is to capture the advanced technology behind the futuristic city of Metropolis. The story and dialogue were cowritten by a DC Comics author, and a comic-book-like plot unfolds through the game's numerous in-game cinematics.

The game strives to give a sense of Superman's tremendous powers. Quite impressively, the game lets you fly through the skies of Metropolis. The game's 3D urban environments are huge, and civilian pedestrians and hovercars work to make the areas feel more lifelike. Over the course of the game, there'll be plenty of opportunity to use Superman's characteristic abilities, such as super strength, heat vision, ice breath, and X-ray vision. There will be plenty of hand-to-hand combat, but the game isn't just a beat-'em-up, as the mission objectives range from preventing disasters and damage to the city to rescuing citizens.

Apart from the huge 3D cityscapes, there are 15 diverse environments to fight your way through and explore. Fans of the comic will recognize the Phantom Zone and Warworld, but you'll also travel into deep space and more. Some of the game's most arcadelike levels feature battles with infamous supervillains, such as Brainiac 13, Brainiac's legion of bots, Bizzaro #1, Metallo, Mongul, and the Cyborg.

Superman is designed to make full use of the Xbox's capabilities. The game's graphics use vertex and pixel shaders for photo-realistic texture and animation effects, including environmental and bumpmapping, a realistic cloth effect on Superman's cape, and particle effects for smoke, water, and explosions. The game has full support for Dolby 5.1 3D sound and an interactive musical score.

Superman: The Man of Steel is being developed by Circus Freak Studios for release this fall. Look for more details on the game as we report from E3.

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