In the end, Superman: Shadow of Apokolips is just an average action game.
He's faster than a speeding bullet, able to leap tall buildings in a single bound, and can be trapped in walls because of poor collision detection: He's Superman! And yes, he doesn't seem all that super at times in his new action adventure game for the GameCube, Shadow of Apokolips. These sorts of technical problems not only inhibit Superman's inherent abilities, but they also make the game much more difficult than it already is, and you'll soon notice that every enemy, from the robot foot soldiers to the boss characters, can inflict surprising amounts of damage upon the man of steel.
In truth, there's some justification for why most of the enemies in the game are so tough. The notorious villain Lex Luthor has concocted a plan with another one of Superman's adversaries, Darkseid, who supplies Luthor and an army of robots with weapons that pack a little more punch than Superman may be used to. The storyline in the game is worthy of the cartoon series that it's directly based on, and as the plot unfolds, Superman will have to face even stronger foes, most of which require a little thinking to defeat. But in some cases Superman's brute strength and heat vision alone will get the job done.
In fact, you'll be using Superman's laser eyes as your primary weapon throughout most of the game. Though he can blow great gusts of wind, throw enemies across great distances, and plow into objects at high speed from any distance or elevation, these abilities become less and less useful as the game goes on and as the enemies become more difficult. The great burst of energy from Superman's eyes can take out most robots with just one or two shots, and if there are other enemies in the vicinity of the blast, they'll sustain some damage as well. The lock-on system that Superman uses to target specific enemies works relatively well, except when there's an abundance of objects, such as boxes or pipes, in the environment. In these cases, Superman has trouble telling his foes apart from inanimate objects. For example, when you want to fire at an enemy, the lock-on system may automatically target a box or another similar bit of scenery instead--it can take a few slight movements to get into a position where you'll actually lock on to an enemy.
For what it's worth, the developers more than likely recognized how overwhelmingly effective the heat blast is, so they tried to limit it by giving Superman a special ability meter that drains every time you use one of his superhuman powers and then gradually recharges. Some missions require you to act quickly, so you can't simply wait for it to recharge and might have to resort to other types of attacks. But in most cases there's usually time to wait several seconds in between battles so you can launch another heat-vision barrage at the next set of enemies.
Ultimately, the game gets pretty stale after a while, as you get caught in the pattern of shooting, waiting, and then shooting some more, then waiting some more. It can even become so frustratingly boring that you'll want to quit flying and run right up close and start using Superman's fists instead of waiting for the special meter to recharge. But even then, you'll soon be forced to flee so Superman's health can recharge. This is especially the case with the game's various boss battles. Interestingly, some of the bosses can be defeated through alternative means, which you can discover by exploring the environment. These alternatives can be incredibly difficult to pull off, but rightfully so, since they can rob boss characters of all their health rather quickly. You'll notice that the AI tends to cheat a little once it sees that you're in a position to instantly defeat it.
- Player Reviews: 3
- Game Universe:
- Superman: Shadow of Apokolips (PS2, GC),
- Superman: The Man of Steel (XBOX),
- Superman Returns (X360, XBOX, PC, PS2, GC, DS, PSP),
- Superman (N64, PS, GB, ARC, NES),
- The Death and Return of Superman (GEN, SNES),
- Superman: The Man of Steel (SMS, GG, ST),
- Superman: Countdown To Apokolips (GBA),
- Superman Activity Center (PC, MAC),
- Superman (GEN),
- Superman: Man Of Steel (C64, BBC)
- Number of Players: