Superman Returns: The Videogame -- Combo Spotlight

Superman will soon mix it up in Metropolis and we've got the scoop on the game's fighting system.

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Yes, Superman is a powerful guy. The heat vision, the super breath, the ability to lift a gajillion tons, the whole flying thing. We get it, Supes. You've got abilities far beyond that of the normal human being. But, even all of that power would be useless if Metropolis' savior didn't know how to put it to good use. As we discovered in our discussions with EA producers about the upcoming Superman Returns: The Videogame, the Man of Steel knows exactly what to do with his amazing talents thanks to a fun and robust combo system that is a big part of the game.

Look, up in the sky! It's a bird! It's a plane! It's a guy in blue tights!

Granted, nobody is going to confuse Supes for Mortal Kombat's Scorpion anytime soon, but there's more to the combo system in Superman Returns than just mindless button mashing. As Superman Returns' supervising producer Jeff Peters told us, the game doesn't skimp on "canned" combos (with six and seven, and even up to 10-hit combo strings), and it also leaves room for players to create their own attacks organically. "We wanted to give the player control over what kind of combo [they] wanted to do," Peters said. This includes your standard punch attacks, and also grabs and throws, flying into the air, picking up objects, and mixing in Superman's impressive arsenal of powers such as heat vision and freezing breath.

Most combos will start with the X button, which is your standard superpunch. Pressing the button multiple times will result in a double- or triple-punch combo and, from there, it's a matter of figuring out just what you can get away with--and how many moves you can string together--before your foe manages to block your attack and get in some offense of his or her own.

What moves are available to you for use in combos will change throughout the game. After you progress through the tutorial, you have a base number of moves and combo strings available right away. As you progress in the game, defeating enemies, completing objectives, and earning experience points along the way, you'll periodically earn new moves or new combos, which can then be added to your combo arsenal. Pause the game, and you can access a list of combos that are available to you at any time, as well as combo moves that you have yet to unlock. Peters used one move, supernova, as an example. As he describes it, supernova is "a sort of clearing-out move, where Superman harnesses physical force, and he does a big clear-out move with his arms, and anything that's within a short radius will go flying away. Once supernova is unlocked, all of the combo moves that use supernova are unlocked as well." In addition, because of its nature as a clear-out move, supernova is a perfect choice to end a long string of moves, as it will put some room between you and your opponent and let you prepare for your next onslaught.

Though combos are a big portion of the combat in Superman Returns, they aren't the only way to defeat enemies. Thanks to a number of ranged attacks, it's up to you how you wish to defeat enemies in the game. Of course, sometimes the nature of your opponent will more or less make that choice for you. Some enemies, for example, are more or less immune to your superpowers, such as the Terminites. Use your heat vision on them, and they'll grow to roughly three times their original size and start wreaking even more havoc. As a result, you'll need to pick and choose when to use your powers and when to take the fight up close and personal.

There's your fair city to consider, as well. Because Superman is virtually indestructible, your main limiting factor in the game will be the health and well-being of the Metropolis citizens under your charge as Superman. Letting loose with massive slams and powerful ground moves can be detrimental to the health of the folks in your way, so part of your responsibility in fights will be getting clear of innocents and making sure you create as little danger as you can for those under your protection, which, in some cases, is easier said than done. Of course, all those rules of engagement are out the window when playing in the madcap Bizarro minigame found in Superman Returns. The idea here is to create as much devastation as possible with Superman's bizarre alter-ego, so you'll want to unload with each and every combo you can think of within city limits. Your damage multipliers will thank you for it.

When it comes to the combo system, the team at EA Tiburon has strove to make it easy and approachable while deep enough to keep fans interested, all within a game that is designed to be more than just a slugfest. As Peters puts it, Superman is really three games in one--a fighting game, a flying game, and an action game. With one controller to handle each of these aspects, the challenge for the development team has been making sure that all three aspects of the game work well, without becoming needlessly complex. "If we went to a Street Fighter, or Tekken, or Mortal Kombat-type system, not only would we run out of buttons for all of the other stuff, but we would have been working on a layer of complexity that's not that easy to pick up and play."

As you make your way through the game, you'll unlock new moves and new combos.

Asked about his favorite combo in the game, Peters mentioned several. The first starts with a standard five-punch sequence finishing with an uppercut that knocks the foe into the air. From there, you follow with a one-two combo in the air and then slam the enemy into the ground. The second, known as Foe's Hammer, has Superman pick up then smash to the ground his opponent with each press of the X button. And then there are the Decrep-bot enemies, which you can soften up with a few punches, toss into the air, and then incinerate at long range with your heat vision, creating a massive explosion in the process. Then there's the...well, you get the picture.

The goal in Superman Returns has seemingly been to make you feel like Superman from the moment you start the game. With its mixture of high-speed flight and high-powered fight, the game looks to show off all aspects of the Man of Steel's heroic abilities. The big-screen video game adaptation is due for release in just about a month, and we'll bring you our final verdict as soon as it hits store shelves.

Discussion

57 comments
thesethcohen
thesethcohen

i read half and got bored but can you fly around a huge area like in spiderman 2 but without web ..if you get me and like go in buildings that would be cool

An9eluS
An9eluS

Actually the control system is pretty intuative, the d-pad selects which power of the three you have. Super breath, freeze breath and heat vision, and then they are activated using the right trigger, this makes it very simple as you know pulling the right trigger is going to give you an instant ranged attack, pull it a little bit and you get a wide weak burst pull it all the way and you get a tight focused attack, it's pretty cool.

jellybellykempo
jellybellykempo

i am a little worried about this game for obvious reasons (its a superman game), but i do think that with these genres an open world design is a winning concept however, i do question how intuitive the controlswill be with regards to super powers being selected on the d-pad!

An9eluS
An9eluS

Played this this afternoon and have to say its damn good fun! Cant wait for release, really wanna buy it. Have to make use of the demo booth in the EA lobby for now, can see myself getting addicted....

stoz22
stoz22

This looks like it could be better than I thought..But still Gunna get Gears Of War Instead

_Sam_
_Sam_

I was expecting better when I first heard about this game

Gingtin
Gingtin

cant wait.....cant wait........cant wait

Ravi_1900
Ravi_1900

As told here combos look to be good which were always the weakness of superman games. Really it was hard to combos superman and even basic attack were also hard. They are releasing this on x360 so the game engine should be advanced enough to compete other games its gerne???? Really like superman. May this one not be a crap like previous ones.

marcusray316
marcusray316

How can anybody say that Xmen is more popular than Superman? This just isn't the case....Look on google to find polls on the most popular comicbook characters of all time. Supes is at the top.

jojoforpres
jojoforpres

People seem to do it all the time with more popular heroes like the X-Men. ;)

TJchief
TJchief

sapen namen how can you talk about the character when you dont know about the comics that spawned him?

PCgamer154
PCgamer154

This game actually looks good maybe very good i hate superman but this game looks pretty awesome.:)

EdibleKeybaord
EdibleKeybaord

the robot in image 7 looks like Dog from HL2. no creativity here

Brian_Burton
Brian_Burton

Here we go again....anothner Superman game. *sigh* And i agree with SuperNamen completely.

crithon
crithon

this looks like one horrific train wreck of a video game. I'm a big superman fan...... and well, this isn't something I would want to play.

Gamepro2421
Gamepro2421

why does the Gamespot caption says release date Nov. 20th but at the end of the video it says Nov. 22nd? can n e one clear that up?

refugee0116
refugee0116

To Jrod012889: Maybe it's in the training.

TheThreeSeat
TheThreeSeat

I dunno, given the previous *cough*successes, I'm not sure if the game will pull it together.

SapenNamen
SapenNamen

The big problem with Superman is that he's a boring hero. Super strong, super fast, heat vision, freezing breath, possibly some other powers I'm unfamiliar with and to top it all off he's nigh indestructable. Where's the challenge with this boy wonder? He's like any attempt to make a "perfect" character. He frequently comes across as shallow and two dimensional, and his "flaws" tend to make my eyes roll. I prefer a hero with a bit more depth, or even a reason for being a superhero. What's that, Superman? You're a hero because you have near ultimate power? That makes perfect sense! Note: I am entirely unfamiliar with the comic book Superman, and some of my complaints may be inapplicable to that incarnation.

ruffemup
ruffemup

I don't care for superman that much , but it looks cool especially with the free range capabilities.

Bored1ed
Bored1ed

Yea game looks cool, but you know that they'll stick something in there that wrecks the whole experience. Noone can do Superman justice...its a shame :(. BUT....we could be wrong and this could be the best superman gamer ever!??? Right?????

Jrod012889
Jrod012889

Why is Superman All white in some of the screenshots for the game?

freek33
freek33

I think this game will be Average at best. The film was dull as well in my opinion. i think the game has a good chance of being better than the movie. Thats not happened many times hey!?

jeszac
jeszac

Moi je trouve que ça l'air prometteur, si je me fie à Hulk et que j'ajoute le coté aérien et les graphiques évolués, ça peut être très intéressant. Pardon my french! =-)

Truf89
Truf89

This is how most mediocre games begin....only time will tell.

weffer
weffer

Evil star..well said Jaefrmbk2k...he means there is alot of attacks that you can do. Im surprised people doubt this game, its looking better and better as it gets closer to releasing.

GigaKaiser
GigaKaiser

"Not enough angst with this character " ...No, just, no.

BigDaveyDogz
BigDaveyDogz

I'm not a huge superman fan...but a fan nonetheless, I will definitely be checking this game out....it looks promising compared to the past games (even though this isn't saying a lot)

evil-star
evil-star

Superman Returns The Video Game? Well my question is, did Superman use the drop box or did he walk inside and put them on the counter? Does superman have any late fees on this video game he is returning? Or did he use GameFly and he simply returned it to the red envelope and then to the mailbox?

jaefrmbk2k
jaefrmbk2k

ey! why didn't he finish his sentence? "And then there are the Decrep-bot enemies, which you can soften up with a few punches, toss into the air, and then incinerate at long range with your heat vision, creating a massive explosion in the process. Then there's the...well, you get the picture." noo...no i DON't get the picture! What is the PICTURE?!?

mrtweed2
mrtweed2

Not enough angst with this character (see "Heroes" and "Batman Begins")to make him interesting in a post WWII world...pretty dated stuff.

nicyar
nicyar

"... the best was the N64 superman." Dude, are you insane?

Quacy
Quacy

This game is shaping up nicely.

TintedChimes
TintedChimes

Hate superman, he's too super, no weaknesses or anything, stupid krytonite can be wrapped around lead and he's fine, STUPID! I hope this game is fun though, hope its like the Hulk where you get to smash stuff, but no, your life is the city so you can't destroy and beat things up, LAME!

godlessvilan
godlessvilan

it does not look that good the best was the N64 superman. This Xbox 306 one does not look that good and there trying to get a new costume in. not to mention that graphics wont be that good unless you have an HD TV. and seeing as how i dont have a grand to spend on an HD TV or a TV with S video. I have to give this a two thumbs down. and my rating wont change till i play the demo.

Greydawg
Greydawg

No demo yet, makes me a little skeptical. And also, I REALLY want to like this game, but just watching the interviews with the devlopers makes me feel....less than hopeful?

Spider-Jim
Spider-Jim

It's really hard to make a game with a charector as bad as superman. I know hes the archetypal super hero but come on!

getlynched
getlynched

hmmm... at least it look sbetter the Superman 64... oh, I'm getting sick just thinking of it...

waynekautz
waynekautz

It's so hard to make a game with an invincible main character.... I hope they can make it fun without doing anything that makes it gimmicky or boring.

jwmakoto
jwmakoto

This game keeps looking better and better... finally looking like someone took the time to do it right (the delay from the movie's release to the DVD release was a good idea)

wenbin09
wenbin09

hopefully it live up to all the hypes!!! will be keeping a lookout!!

majindustin
majindustin

I'm buying it the day it is released.

wenbin09
wenbin09

hopefully it life up to all the hypes!!! will be keeping a lookout!!