It must be frustrating to be the most iconic superhero in the known universe, yet still be a laughing stock amongst the video game world. But just like every Superman game before it, Superman Returns is a Kryptonite sandwich. How exactly is the Atari 2600 Superman game still the best one ever?
Big Blue Boy Scout is absolutely stacked with powers right from the start: Super strength, heat vision, freeze breath - the works. You have no life bar. You're indestructible - why would you need one? Instead, the life bar is cleverly attributed to Metropolis itself - you may not take damage, but your beloved city can.
Best of all, you can fly; easily Superman Returns' finest feature. Soaring through the skies of Metropolis is as breathtaking as it is fun. Flying over the gorgeous cityscape - at least on 360, as the PS2 and Xbox versions are looking long in the tooth - you'll hear your trademark cape rippling in the wake of your incredible speed. After the "Kabloom!" of the breaking sound barrier, you're bracing yourself for the greatest Superman game of all time.
Unfortunately, this is as good as it gets. Superman Returns is about as free-roaming and open as going to a grocery store that has no food. You can fly around all you want, but you can't actually interact with much. Other than rushing over to the pre-arranged, but largely redundant, main story events that appear as hot spots on the map every so often, the only activity afforded is the pointless fetch-quest of finding 100 glowing cats.