The video and concept art for the now-canceled Superman game was shared by one of its lead designers on Twitter, showing the fandom how the canceled game would have looked. And while the gameplay video revealed what would have been a promising action game set in a closed-world environment, it also begs one of the gaming world’s biggest questions: will we ever be blessed with a proper Superman video game.
According to IGN, the lead designer on Factor 5’s canceled Superman game, initially codenamed Blue Steel, just shared a huge slew of details on what exactly Factor 5 was building. Judging by the gameplay video the project’s lead designer Salvatrix shared, Blue Steel seemed like a promising game. But, unfortunately, the project was shuttered due to Factor 5’s closure during the financial crisis of 2008, and while it’s improbable that anyone will continue working on it, it answers one of the gaming world’s biggest “what ifs.”
Salvatrix initially posted character concept art, depicting Parademons, Brimstone, Darkseid, and Livewire, and a video of an early build of Blue Steel, in which Superman fights common and superpowered enemies. The video includes a sequence in which Superman brawls with one of the villains, crashing through the offices in one of the buildings. She also shared a video of a more polished version of the Superman game that shows how the game would’ve looked like, in which Superman fights Doomsday, throwing him through a building and fighting him mid-air.
The last Superman game that got released was the 2006’s Superman Returns, which allowed the titular hero to fly and fight, but not both at the same time. The gameplay prototype of Blue Steel Salvatrix shared had both features combined, enabling Man of Steel to fight mid-air. But aerial combat wasn’t the only exciting aspect of the game, as it featured large urban environments and shockwaves that affected the terrain and surroundings, often leaving impact marks. Admittedly, the gameplay was based on Justice League animated series, but the world design took inspiration from Hugh Ferriss’ darker and more imposing iterations of Gotham and Metropolis.
Salvatrix pointed out that their game engine could support incredibly large spaces consisting of 100-120 city blocks; the developers opted for smaller set-pieces consisting of 20-25 city blocks. This suited the canceled Superman game’s episodic gameplay better, as the game shifted its narrative from Metropolis, Apokolips, ruins of Krypton, and several other in-universe locations. Compared to the 2006’s Superman game, which was an underwhelming experience at best, Blue Steel could’ve been a real hit. Unfortunately, though the company had a working prototype of the game ready for full production, Blue Steel was shuttered when the 2008’s economic crash hit, with very little chance of resurrection.
And though Superman is yet to appear in a modern video game, rumors suggest that there’s a Superman game in development at Warner Bros. Games Montreal, while Warner Bros. confirmed Henry Cavill’s reprisal of Superman for at least one upcoming DC movie. Eight years have passed since Man of Steel came out, and an eternity since the world witnessed a video game worthwhile Superman video game. Hopefully, that’ll change.