WB Should Focus On A Single-Player Superman Game Instead Of Live Service

It was never unfeasible.

Story Highlights

  • Suicide Squad proves that an open-world Superman game is possible.
  • The Man of Steel isn’t too strong for a video game if things are handled the right way.
  • Older titles, indie projects, & technical advancements make a Superman game more feasible than ever.

Note: There will be some spoilers for Suicide Squad: Kill The Justice League in this article.


Superman is a name that’s known far and wide. While he may not be the first superhero, he’s undoubtedly the most iconic, going on to become a stout symbol of justice and heroism. Given the character’s popularity, it’s no surprise that various forms of media have managed to depict him well. Unfortunately, the same can’t be said when it comes to video games.

If you’re into games and love the Man of Steel, you may have heard of Superman 64. I haven’t played it and never will; going through its history has shown me how weird of an example it is. It started with strong sales and somehow got #11 on a ranking list of best Nintendo 64 games by Uproxx.

For as long as I can remember, the belief has always been that Superman is too strong to have his own game. After several recent portrayals of the Man of Steel, including Suicide Squad: Kill The Justice League & My Adventures With Superman, it’s all clear. WB and Rocksteady, it’s time to finally deliver the Kryptonian his own AAA single-player experience.

Suicide Squad Proves That An Open-World Superman Game Is Possible

The latest addition to the Arkham line of games did a lot of things wrong but it managed to show that Superman can indeed have his own game. In my previous piece, I talked about Stan Lee discussing how the writer holds the ultimate power for all these fictional characters. Such a thing is on full display in Suicide Squad as the band of misfits manages to take down the Man of Steel who’s capable of benching planets on a normal Monday.

Superman's boss fight in Suicide Squad, no matter how questionable, makes you wish he had a AAA single-player game.
Superman’s boss fight in Suicide Squad, no matter how questionable, makes you wish he had a AAA single-player game.

Before I go over some of those elements, it’s worth mentioning that there were concerns about technical limitations among various other things when it came to a Superman game. As always, there’s a solution for it but companies for some reason just don’t want to look at them. 

Moving on to Suicide Squad, it’s time to look at the facts. Rocksteady made a game that features a multiverse-level threat with Brainiac being the central instigator. As we all know, Brainiac is primarily from Superman’s rogues gallery. Furthermore, it’s a full-blown invasion of Earth, several Earths. Pop quiz, who’s fit to face such a threat? The Justice League or a band of C-Listers with contingency plans taken from Batman?

Next up, Rocksteady programmed a Superman boss encounter in Suicide Squad. An actual fight with the Man of Steel as he flies around the arena, shooting lasers from his eyes and doing his thing. The flight was supposed to be a problem, yes? Just take a look at how he makes his appearance in the video. It’s got momentum and impact dialed up to 11.

YouTube video

The overall encounter, as underwhelming as it is, showcases only some of Superman’s abilities. The phase shift as he clears the skies (or changes the planet’s position?) to empower himself via the Sun briefly displays just what this character is capable of. It’s both hilarious and hurtful for me to say this; after all this time of not making a game on the Man of Steel, WB gave us a title that features Metropolis along with the guy himself but we’re playing as some street thugs.

Why didn’t Rocksteady just make a Superman game? Are they stupid?
byu/EamoM2oo4 inBatmanArkham

There’s been talk in the community before that Rocksteady was working on a Superman project but it was scrapped midway due to WB going all in on live service. We don’t have any confirmation on that so I can’t say for sure; it doesn’t help in lowering the disappointment I feel though.

Evil Supes Is Getting Old

This one is a bit more personal. I grew up watching the DC cartoons on television. Spider-Man, Superman, and Batman are a huge part of my childhood. Stories often portray heroic characters at their lowest point, make them do heinous things, and ultimately put them on the path to redemption. Yet, doing that just for the sake of making a hero evil and ruining the entire character in that process isn’t nice.

Injustice Superman as he's about to put Shazam's lights out
Injustice Superman as he’s about to put Shazam’s lights out

Injustice Superman is one of the most weird and annoying portrayals of the character for me. I’ll admit, it was cool at the start but in my mind, that’s not what he is. His character is often misunderstood and misrepresented for some reason and after Suicide Squad, I don’t know what to say anymore. An example of this is how Kal handled the Brainiac invasion when the latter first arrived on Earth in the Arkham universe.

Purposefully dumbing down a character and justifying it with bad writing only to produce a half-baked plot & an evil superhero is shortsighted. Even if you ultimately plan to bring the League back, the way you went about it was questionable at best and downright abysmal at worst.

The Answer To All Arguments Against A Superman Game

First, an honorable mention to all the LEGO titles featuring a playable Kal-El and Superman Returns. Moving on, everything that questions the feasibility of his game has concrete answers. Ultimately, it comes down to how much WB is willing to go against its focus on live service and whether Rocksteady can produce something on the level of Arkham games after all this time.

Technology has come a long way and there is no room for excuses. If someone can publish a random demo on Steam that encapsulates the Superman vibe, sure a multi-billion conglomerate & veteran game developers can produce something that far surpasses it. Yes, I’m talking about Undefeated, and guess what? They have a sequel in the works.

YouTube video

The comprehensive post you see below is all you need to know that a AAA single-player game featuring the son of Krypton is possible. If you’re worried about flight mechanics, look at Dragon Ball games, Suicide Squad, and Undefeated. While Superman and Goku are known to be capable of circling the planet at unfathomable speeds, the latter has never had such a system incorporated in games.

Are you worried about bosses? Superman has faced iconic foes throughout the years in all forms of media. Having a good lineup for a game isn’t a problem. Fodder variety? Make him fight some of the stronger footsoldiers instead of just evil dudes with kryptonite weapons. 

Addressing the arguments that a Superman game can’t works.
byu/KensukeTanabe inCharacterRant

There are a lot of options here to make a game that doesn’t significantly undermine what Superman is capable of. But therein lies the problem, developers have no issue doing just that. After all, it’s the writer who holds the ultimate power over what a character can do. 

Takeaway

Given the constant argument of Supes being too strong for his own game, there’s one simple solution—nerf him. We see it happen all the time in comics and animated shows. The most recent example is My Adventures With Superman

my adventures with superman
My Adventures With Superman perfectly portrays a just-starting-out Man of Steel

All it takes to make something work is good writing. Suicide Squad shows what that skill is capable of, other forms of media in the past have done the same. If nothing else works, reverting to premium single-player games might help. You can’t get something like Helldivers 2 every time and forcing a live-service title is almost always going to end up as a disaster.

WB, it’s time to make it happen.

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Saad is a News writer at eXputer. With vast journalistic experience working for a multitude of websites, Saad currently reports to eXputer with the latest news and dishes out his opinions on a frequent basis. He's currently studying Game and Interactive Media Design, which has further increased his knowledge about the ins and outs of the industry.

Experience: 1+ Year || Covers News Stories on eXputer || Education: Bachelors in Media Science.

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