Man of Steel Should Be Called Man of Punch
Superman is just past his 50th anniversary (in the world of comic book publications that is), so we fondly remember the old days when he did not have flying powers (but he leapt pretty high), he was only as fast as a locomotive, and his favorite pastime was punching normal everyday thieves and hoodwinks into brick walls. And that is exactly what the new Man of Steel mobile app game reminds us of -which does not exactly sound like a good thing. After all, old school Superman has gone through a plethora of incarnations and updates, and undoubtedly, his Man of Steel incarnate should be able to show us so much more.
He Does More Than Punches
We are not being literal about the Man of Punch thing, but that is what he does more than 70% of the time. Of course, we will take into consideration the fact that story-wise, this is still Clark Kent still getting accustomed to the idea of being a superhero. More importantly, he has not exactly had much training in terms of proper combat. So yeah, a bar room brawl fighting style it is.
As a game however, it gets quite repetitive pretty fast. It does not matter how many walls you punch your opponents through, how much of the ground shatters at each blow, or even how awesome the crackling and cracking acoustics of each stage setting gets. The awe wears out pretty fast after a whole afternoon of playing the game -which is a shame really, because Superman is supposed to be able to do so much more.
We would have loved to see more environment interactions. What makes even a clumsily fought bar room brawl cinema-worthy is the dynamic factors that come into play -bottles, chairs, billiard sticks, other patrons, etcetera. For Superman and the Kryptonian thugs he is slugging things out with: the entire world is their bar room. Trees, telephone poles, manhole covers, cars, trucks, giant boulders, even entire houses. They were not squeamish about leveling more than half of Metropolis in the movie, so why not bring some of that destructive mayhem to the mobile experience? Continue Reading
Release Date: 13/06/2013
Better Watch the Film
There is a narrative here -one that tries to follow the film plot with a few alterations to allow for the random fights that Superman gets into. We are just happy that the game does not require you to go through a long lengthy process as a Krytonian-refugee hobo like what happened in the film.
Anyway, while the game tries to explain the general plot and events through some rather well designed panels, it simply just fails to convey the story properly. At the very least, they are good to look at. Of course, if you are interested in playing this game, then chances are, you have already seen the film.
A True Kal’El
As many complaints as we may have about the game -there is the unmistakable fact that the Man of Steel game captures the very essence of the movie. This is not about Superman flying around the world saving lives because he is simply awesome like that. No, this is about Clark Kent, who only recently discovered that he is the last Krypton and it is entirely up to him to decide what he does with his super powers.
Having General Zod as the main baddie is an outright challenge for Clark, but it also means plenty of fun for the players. After all, it would be hard to justify having to slug through random human opponents (whom Superman would instantly defeat with a single pinky). And for a game about super powered aliens punching each other, trying to keep things real and believable is tough sell that this game actually succeeds in.
For the Fans
Aside from stating the obvious, Man of Steel is made for the new age of DC comic fans. This is no longer the same Superman we know from the old comics (for those of you who were introduced to DC before the New-52). And of course, fans of the original Christopher Reeve films will find a lot of changes to the character (but the movie itself pays homage to the originals). As a movie tie-in app, this succeeds -and it makes one wonder what they would do for future DC movies. And as we mentioned, this is just Clark trying out his costume for the first time and having to deal with aliens he has only met. Taking on the name of Superman does not actually happen until later -and hopefully, the game adds an update that gives us a preview of what happens when he does.
We give Man of Steel a score of: 78/100
Man of Steel is developed by Warner Bros. International Enterprises.