Superman Returns, we admit, sounds alright on paper... which is where it should have stayed, as you'd have more fun guiding Superman through a primitive maze using the blood from your severed finger than you would with this diabolically inept excuse for a game. Whichever yardstick you care to measure it by, Superman Returns is inferior to everything in the world. Ever. Well, except for Bomberman: Act Zero, and at least that didn't wobble like a jelly riding an ATV every time you decided to change direction.
Superman Returns, for the most part, is a freeroamer taking place in an approximation of what Metropolis might look like if it were surprise-attacked by an army of sentient texture-removing industrial sanders. There's certainly no shortage of things to do in the Big City: once you've finished flying left you can start flying right. Eventually, after much drifting around aimlessly, an objective will flash on-screen to put you out of your misery, only to plunge you deeper into despair. It sets its stall out as to how utterly brainless these missions will be during the very first mission, offering up two different types of meteor shower - ice and fire. If you can work out which ones to blast with your ice breath and which with your heat vision, then you're too intelligent to play this game any further.
RETURNS TO SENDER
Worse still, it's an absolute doddle. Tapping l automatically locks on to your object, allowing you to just hold the button down until whatever you're aiming at finally curls up and dies from acute embarrassment.
Perhaps we're not getting across how brain-meltingly lobotomised it all is; it's actually more challenging to watch a tennis match while opening a can of coke, because there your eyes have more than one thing to lock on to. And even if you can't manage that without slicing your arm off and your eyes falling out, you're probably still too intelligent to play this game. Melée combat tries to shake things up with ludicrous combos (like x, x, x, x, hold down y, press select and do the twist) that you'll never need because just walking up to everyone in the game - every-one - and pressing x seems to do the trick.
Still, it would probably be at least partially redeemable if flying around this world was fun in its own right. But it isn't - it's so uncontrollable it feels like you're a fly trapped in a hand-dryer. This is rotten on every level, and the best thing we can say is that it's at least better than EA's Catwoman title. And that's praise so faint that you don't need x-ray vision to see through it for what it really means.
Words, gestures, violence against anyone responsible - none of these convey the hatred we feel for this.
- WE'RE LAUGHING, BUT WE'RE NOT HAPPY