Based on the upcoming Man of Steel movie, you know there’s going to be a Man of Steel Video Game. If you go by history – There’s never been a decent Superman game till date. The one that came really close was Superman Returns.
Superman Returns, was in all aspects still a below average game – but unlike its predecessors, it made time your biggest enemy, which in a true sense, is what Supes would always fight against. He literally cannot be everywhere at every time.
That got us thinking. Why not make a Superman RPG game? Hear me out before the flaming starts. Firstly – let’s break down the elements of an RPG game.
1. Settings and the Story
With a franchise like Superman – it’s not very hard to visualize what the setting should be like. Here the setting is not your artwork and graphics – but more in relation to the time, the era, technology, people, etc. As for the story – there are numerous story lines one could adapt to without breaking a sweat. Stories from the NEW 52 or even iconic stories like ‘Death and Return of Superman’, ‘The Red Son’, ‘For the man who has everything’ etc. – but if it’s a movie tie in, then it probably can be a mix of that with other story lines.
2. Character Building and Abilities
Everyone knows that Superman, didn’t get all his abilities in a single go. They evolved over time, his ability to control them at one point was almost nil and but he grew and so did his capacity for greater things. This is exactly why Superman would fit so well into the RPG genre. The stories can cut back to the past where he builds those powers up and then cut into the present where he gets to use those powers – that way, keeping the action flowing and the game’s RPG elements at the same time.
I can only imagine – A young Clark Kent learning that what it’s to focus his heat vision, and you go through a few quests that helps one control them. Once you’ve hit a certain level, the game cuts to a scene underwater – where he’s Superman today and is on a mission that will put heavy emphasis on making use of heat vision. Similarly for flight, super speed, etc. The realization of one’s journey from boy to man – is what this will explore.
3. Exploration and Gameplay Variety.
This is a given in any RPG, and for a man who travels the universe – exploration should have HUGE emphasis. For all the Superman man games in the past, it’s always about saving the city – diffusing some bomb, so the city is safe, etc. etc. I say up the ante! and take it across galaxies and new worlds! Worlds where elements like gravity, proximity to the yellow sun etc. will have an effect on Superman’s powers – making quests more challenging and giving users a real change of pace.
Superman is not always about the brawn, he’s also got a brain – he’s a reporter for God’s sake! Puzzles, timed quests, crafting elements, solving crimes, finding clues – etc. Get players immersed.
4. Character Progression and Consequences
This may overlap with what I’ve said earlier – but given that users will have the choice to build out Superman – the way they want. At the end, it will all be the same – but the paths that one takes to develop that, will determine how Superman as a character plays. Success at quests will allow Kal-El to be more positive, the manner in which you decide to skew his characteristics, could turn him into someone who does good, but is mean and abusive, not the direction that the man of steel would go. It’s just a thought.
Having Superman, make those choices will be a tough one. Unfortunately, consequence is one of the hardest things to get right. Too much consequence and players won’t enjoy their experience: they’ll hesitate to play because they’ll be afraid of cutting themselves off from rewarding experiences. Too little consequence and the players will wonder why they’re bothering to help anyone at all. Additionally, it is important to mention that consequence only applies when you have a choice. In a linear game where your only ‘choice’ is to pass or fail a level, there really isn’t any consequence. Whether you pass or fail doesn’t shape the world, it just brings it (and your game) to an end. (Until you reload it, anyway.) Consequence is special in RPGs because you have to live with the consequences of your actions, they will continue to affect you to one degree or another for as long as you play the game.
There you have it folks, our take on Why the Man of Steel game could be an RPG.Let us know your thoughts!!