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Scrapped Superman game from 2008

KyoZz

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Jan 21, 2018
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Thx to the lead developer:

Cancelled ‘because the economy crashed hard. It killed the publisher, the studio (Factor 5), and the game.’

‘The goal was to present super brawls as they were seen in the cartoons and comics. JLU was our main touchstone.’
The game would’ve included ‘Aerial brawling, large urban environments, crashing through buildings, fast target engagement, knocking your foe into the next block, shockwaves from hits, impact grooves in the streets or building sides… all of it.’



The developers had a ‘fully working as a prototype and were shifting to full production when the crash hit. All the main gameplay was in place and had been proven out.’
They ‘didn’t want to rely on traditional gaming crutches of the IP – kryptonite and fighting robots. There were rules about the big blue boy scout (pre-Snyder obviously), but we were to surround Supes with foes more in his power range.’

The game was ‘supposed to release alongside the sequel to the Bryan Singer Superman Returns film (which also clearly never happened).’
‘While the gameplay may have been based on JLU, the environments were based heavily on both the Superman animated series and early 20th century artist Hugh Ferriss - featuring elevated highways, railways, and airships.’



‘In addition to us just appreciating the visual aesthetic (and that is worked with the animated series style), the layers of motion at every elevation in the city created a city that felt alive no matter where you were - important in a game where much takes place in the air.’



Source: Reddit/Twitter
 

junguler

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making super hero games that are not fighting games is really hard in general, batman works because he's not a meta human. this is not say it's impossible tho and the infamous series is the proof of that, it's just really hard to get right.
 
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May 9, 2019
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After seeing the gameplay footage i can see why it was cancelled.
That isn't why it was cancelled. Brash Entertainment was a bad publisher, releasing shortly developed games, losing senior executives and going into debt until they closed down. So the developer Factor 5 were left without a publisher and thus unable to continue developing their Superman game.
 
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Ozzie666

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I honestly didn't mind the Tynesoft effort on C64 and later Amiga, was an interesting take. Also the Death and Return on SNES by Blizzard wasn't a bad brawler too.
 

kiphalfton

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That 2nd video didn't really inspire confidence. It looked worse that superman returns. Even if it was a concept video. Just very very badly done. I mean isn't the gameplay the first thing that is ironed out? And then go on from there to improve environments and characters?
 
Jun 10, 2018
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Was this the Superman game with a game informer cover story? All I remember for the GI article was the life bar was based on Metropolis and not Superman or something like that.
 

lh032

I cry about Xbox and hate PlayStation.
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Just stick with Spiderman on PS4/PS5 the superior game.
 

JerryinSoCal

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The biggest issues devs seem to have with Superman is trying to make a game about a character who's stronger than almost all other character in his "universe" and then of course getting the flying right. I don't get why they think we always have to be the underdog in every game but even if that's the case there are plenty of villains that match up well with Superman. They could easily make a game with Doomsday, Zod, Darkseid, Mongul, Black Adam, Kalibak, Lobo, Brainiac, Metallo, Lex with his power suit, they could create some new Kryptonian character etc plus you can have intergang committing crimes around the city with weapons designed to hurt Superman. You can do a game with him and still make him powerful you just have to be creative. I think we are in a better place now than we ever have been before when it comes to making the city/world feel real and make you care about how much damage is done or if civilians get hurt, the speed at which he can move will be better realized with the SSD's in the consoles now, things won't take forever to pop in, physics will be better so we can have more environmental destruction etc.
 
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Aug 11, 2019
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More than anything it shows how the games industry is a bitch and Factor 5 could not catch a break.

One of those most technically gifted studios in the industry have a stinker in Lair and some concepts that didn't get picked up and before you know it they're gone.
 
Oct 26, 2018
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The biggest issues devs seem to have with Superman is trying to make a game about a character who's stronger than almost all other character in his "universe" and then of course getting the flying right. I don't get why they think we always have to be the underdog in every game but even if that's the case there are plenty of villains that match up well with Superman. They could easily make a game with Doomsday, Zod, Darkseid, Mongul, Black Adam, Kalibak, Lobo, Brainiac, Metallo, Lex with his power suit, they could create some new Kryptonian character etc plus you can have intergang committing crimes around the city with weapons designed to hurt Superman. You can do a game with him and still make him powerful you just have to be creative. I think we are in a better place now than we ever have been before when it comes to making the city/world feel real and make you care about how much damage is done or if civilians get hurt, the speed at which he can move will be better realized with the SSD's in the consoles now, things won't take forever to pop in, physics will be better so we can have more environmental destruction etc.
I dont play Superman games, but have seen enough videos of old games and movies to know that an adult Superman (or growing up as a kid in farm country and learning his powers) that he's immediately buffed up and ready to fly and smash things.

I don't know. Do gamers want that in a Superman game? Start the game and right away you are basically Mr. Invincible kicking the shit out of things and the dev makes super powered soldiers (like in the Avengers game) that can take 10 punches before dying to slow down the game when really one punch should make it fly into orbit?

Or would gamers want a game where maybe Superman is one part adventure and one part action where you start out weakened or imprisoned by villains, strengthen as you progress and the back half then you kick ass?
 

Darklor01

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Jan 28, 2012
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I dunno this solo Indie dev did pretty great back in 2019



The Undefeated demo does what many of the games do alright or well. The issue is usually not the flying around or the demo of powers. The issue usually stems from how OP Superman is. The best experience in recent gaming I’ve had playing as Superman might have been within Lego titles that include him.
 
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Lupin25

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Remedy or Insomniac seems like they could pull off a decent Superman game.

Clark Kent would need to be a focus at times, a deep combat system is necessary (with Superman being overpowered) and lots of destructible objects, as well. Supercharged SSD’s like the PS5’s could also allow his blazing speed to come to life.

We’ll definitely see one at some point.
 
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intbal

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Even though I found their Batman games to be somewhat frustrating, I bet TellTale could have made a very enjoyable Superman game.
 

Black_Stride

do not tempt fate do not contrain Wonder Woman's thighs do not do not
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I might be in the minority....but I actually want this.

Maybe give the project to Remedy, their engine is also pretty good at destructible environments.
 

SafeOrAlone

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I think they had some cool ideas. Impressive if they could actually pull off the smashing through buildings and such. The action looked epic in scope, as it should be. I don't know, I think they could have been onto something.
 

SafeOrAlone

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May 22, 2018
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Remedy or Insomniac seems like they could pull off a decent Superman game.

Clark Kent would need to be a focus at times, a deep combat system is necessary (with Superman being overpowered) and lots of destructible objects, as well. Supercharged SSD’s like the PS5’s could also allow his blazing speed to come to life.

We’ll definitely see one at some point.
I don't think Clark would need to be a focus, but I don't hate the idea.

When I think of Spider-Man, I think, yeah, Insomniac really should implement Peter into the gameplay. His alter-ego is in constant balance with his life as Spider-Man.
But with Superman, I find that to be true to a lesser extent. Not to say Clark Kent isn't an important part of the Superman character, but what's really at stake there from a gameplay standpoint? The relationships just don't seem as dire as Peter. I'd sort of say the same for Bruce.

I agree to an extent though. These characters mean a lot to me, and there is something odd about not seeing their secret identity come into play, when the rest of the experience is so fleshed out. Again, I feel stronger about this with someone like Peter Parker, but I get where you're coming from.
 

Md Ray

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Now might be a good time to make a Superman game since we have blazing-fast NVMe SSDs across PC/current-gen consoles.
 
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kunonabi

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I dont play Superman games, but have seen enough videos of old games and movies to know that an adult Superman (or growing up as a kid in farm country and learning his powers) that he's immediately buffed up and ready to fly and smash things.

I don't know. Do gamers want that in a Superman game? Start the game and right away you are basically Mr. Invincible kicking the shit out of things and the dev makes super powered soldiers (like in the Avengers game) that can take 10 punches before dying to slow down the game when really one punch should make it fly into orbit?

Or would gamers want a game where maybe Superman is one part adventure and one part action where you start out weakened or imprisoned by villains, strengthen as you progress and the back half then you kick ass?

I'd want a game more like Blast Corp that's all about using your powers to stop various disasters as quickly and with as little collateral damage as possible with occasional boss battles. Beating on random mooks in a 3d brawler is not interesting any way you slice it.
 

Hypereides

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Look alright honestly. Shame it never saw the light of day.

I legit wouldn't mind seeing the industry rollback to budgets and graphical fidelity of the 7th generation.

More than anything it shows how the games industry is a bitch and Factor 5 could not catch a break.

One of those most technically gifted studios in the industry have a stinker in Lair and some concepts that didn't get picked up and before you know it they're gone.

FWIW Lair didn't get a great launch due to its controversial sixaxis controls. The updated controller scheme improved it by a fair margin. Its sort of gaining a cult following in some circles over the years. Then again, we don't get many games about dragon riders these days.
 

Soodanim

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Feb 24, 2012
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I got a Saints Row 4 vibe from the video.

For a prototype from 2008 it wasn't that bad, obviously it would have been worked up into a finished product and not released in that state.