The lead designer of a canceled Superman game opens up about the project, and describes how the match was affected by Justice League Unlimited.
Information about a canceled Superman game inspired by the action in Justice League Unlimited recently appeared online.
The lead designer of the canceled Superman project, known on Twitter as Salvatrix, opened up on Twitter about the game. The game was designed to recreate the intense fights that have been seen through Justice League Unlimited. Like Superman, players would be able to explore large urban areas, participate in both ground-based and air combat, and even knock out enemies throughout entire buildings.
In 2007/2008, I was the lead designer on a Superman game that was never released ̵1; because the economy crashed hard. It killed our publisher, our studio (factor 5) and the game.
I have several unreleased games throughout my career, but THIS is the only one I make sure of today …
– Salvatrix (@DevSalvatrix) July 13, 2021
Salvatrix describes the game as including: “Air battles, large urban environments, crashes through buildings, rapid measurement engagement, knocking your enemy into the next block, shock waves from hits, bumps in the streets or the building side … everything.” The game would also have shifted from “traditional game jars in IP.” This meant that the development team was moving away from robot enemies and kryptonite weaknesses. Superman would have fought against enemies within his area of power; concept art shared by Salvatrix highlights potential villains, including Parademon, Brimstone, Darkseid and Livewire.
While gameplay and combat were inspired by Justice League Unlimited, Salvatrix states that the game world was largely inspired by Superman: The Animated Series and the art of Hugh Ferriss.
A short video shared by Salvatrix shows a very early construction of the game, but the core design pillars are recognizable. The prototype contains Superman flying through the city, fighting enemies on the streets and crashing through buildings as he fights his enemies. Beyond just hitting, it seems that Superman’s warmth and super breathing were also mechanics to help the player in battle.
More concept art – grades:
(Note, I am not an artist for any of the concept arts. I was a game designer focusing on the game’s vision and elements.) Pic.twitter.com/EX1joWFyr4
– Salvatrix (@DevSalvatrix) July 14, 2021
Factor 5, the development studio behind the game, had developed a working prototype and went into full-scale production when the global economy crashed in 2008. The studio and publisher were forced to close, which resulted in the game being canceled. “I have several unreleased games throughout my career, but THIS is the only thing I make sure of today …” said Salvatrix.
Superman has appeared in several video games, with varying degrees of success. The last game dedicated to the character was the 2006s Superman Returns: The Game Game which was met by bad reviews from fans and critics. More recently, Superman has played a key role in Injustice fighting game series, developed by NetherRealm Studios.
The closest Superman fans have come to a new game is a recent technical demo built in Unreal Engine 5 that shows the character briefly slipping through a city skyline. Recent rumors suggest that Warner Bros. Montreal is currently developing a brand new Superman game, but less patient fans can check out Big Blue Boyscout in Rocksteady’s upcoming Suicide Squad: Kill The Justice League where he seems to behave quite unusually …
Continue reading: Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League Could Set Up a Superman Game
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