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Thursday 20 July 2006
Since Clark Kent's caped alter-ego is all but invincible - even Kryptonite-equipped baddies have trouble defeating Superman - Superman Returns has a different emphasis than other superhero titles. Developer Tiburon is working hard on making sure the game is as enjoyable, but as challenging and satisfying, as possible, and we've given the game a once-over to see how well it's doing.
As an invulnerable extraterrestrial, Superman has no health bar. You'll rarely worry about the Man of Steel's wellbeing, beyond keeping his stamina bar topped up to make full use of his super-strong muscle. And, as in the film and comic-books, soaring high above the city to bask in the glorious sunlight will recharge you almost all at once, or you can withdraw and give Superman a breather.
Above: Keeping your stamina high is crucial for battling Superman's many enemies
Your primary concern is the city of Metropolis. As disasters like earthquakes, super-villain invasions or marauding 60-storey monsters wreak havoc, Metropolis's health - indicated by an on-screen meter - will fall. Once it's gone, it's game over. Superman Returns is all about protecting Clark Kent's adopted home and to do so you've an array of comic-book-inspired powers.
Superman can blast enemies with heat vision, freeze them with frost breath or play big-bad-wolf with his power breath, as well as using X-ray vision to hunt out new threats. A tap of the D-pad selects each power, and a double-tap increases the range. Squeezing the triggers harder will also pump up the power, but souping-up your powers like this burns more stamina, more quickly.