Man of Steel review
Man of Steel, fists of fury.
Superman just can't seem to catch a break. First his planet blows up, taking his parents – and his entire society and culture – along with it, and now his new game Man of Steel keeps crashing.
At least, that's what we experienced as we kept trying to load and reload the game on our iPod Touch 4, watching the Unreal logo and opening cutscenes, but never getting any further than selecting our save file. The only thing which seemed "unreal" at this point was how watching the game keep crashing was like seeing Kal-El's ship landing in Kansas on a JFK-like instant replay. After trying everything we could think of on the device, we relented and made a new attempt on an iPhone 5. And there? Well things got pretty good.
Licensed games based on the Infinity Blade style of fighting have been fairly hit-or-miss. Well, mostly miss. ButMan of Steel, based on the new, non-eponymous Superman film of the same name, actually seems to do right by the formula. It's actually kind of impressive, in some ways. You still tap to parry and swipe to lay into your enemies, but there are other things which really allow it to stand out as well.
A simple one is your dodge buttons, placed at the lower right and left of the screen (why can't they ever be together?). Rather than just sidestepping, and as is sometimes the case in other games, stepping right back into an extended arm which just threw a punch, Superman actually moves around his enemies. This changes things up a bit, as you might be able to get a few swings in from the side or behind the enemy. Moreover, it effectively changes the background: whereas a building might have been what was behind your enemy, a sidestep now places an open street behind you, or perhaps an abandoned school bus.
This may not seem like much, but then you bring Superman's famed powers into play. Wallop a foe with a flurry of punches, and you can send them flying into whatever is behind you. Certain attacks can launch the enemies into the air, either finishing them by sending them over the horizon, and allowing you to wail on them in the air before smashing them back down into the ground, or flying after them, grabbing them, and basically trying to ram them into as much of the scenery as you can to inflict damage.