Canceled Factor 5 Superman game detailed by former developer

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Factor 5’s canceled Superman game, codenamed Blue Steel, is one of the biggest “What If?” While it looks like a promising action game, like an early version of Marvel’s Spider-Man but not open-world, the game was shut down following Factor 5’s unfortunate shutdown at the onset of the financial crisis. from 2008.

We’ve had a few glimpses of what could have been over the years, but now lead designer Salvatrix has shared a huge amount of detail about what Factor 5 is building, opening a window to a game that hasn’t quite come to fruition yet. .

Most notably, Salvatrix shared a video of an early version of Blue Steel’s gameplay, showing Superman battling common and overpowered enemies, including a footage where he rams a villain inside an office building. Superman can also be seen punching a villain into a building, leaving a huge trail of cracked bricks and concrete in its wake.

Salvatrix also shared a CG target rendering video showing what Factor 5 was hoping the final game might look like. In the video, Superman is seen fighting Doomsday, similarly throwing him through the interior of a building and struggling with him in the air. Notably, Superman also manages to blow up a pair of city buses with his laser vision.

“We hadn’t seen a game really keep that promise. [of aerial Superman gameplay] before, and to be honest I haven’t seen it fully delivered since, ”Salvatrix said. “We had it fully functional as a prototype and we were moving into full production when the crash happened. All of the main gameplay was in place and had been proven successful.

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Factor 5’s game of Superman aimed to recreate the visual flair of DC’s animated fight scenes, including aerial brawls between Superman and his enemies, large urban environments, and even the ability to crash through buildings, scattering the office equipment in pieces. Other effects included shockwaves from individual hits, impact marks on streets and buildings, and hitting an enemy within a block.

While the gameplay was largely based on animated fight scenes from Justice League, Salvatrix said Blue Steel’s world design was inspired more by the animated series Superman and architect Hugh Ferriss, whose work influenced the darker and imposing views of Gotham and Metropolis,

In the screenshots, Salvatrix noted that the town of Blue Steel had elevated highways, railroad tracks, and even airships.

“As well as simply appreciating the visual aesthetic (and which is worked into the style of the animated series), the layers of movement at each elevation of the city created a city that felt alive wherever you are – important in a game where a lot takes place in the air, ”said Salvatrix, citing that the blocky art style has helped the team focus on gameplay in the early stages.

Salvatrix also shared some concept art from Blue Steel, showing Superman grappling with archivillains Doomsday, Darkseid, and even Livewire. But despite the flashy landscapes, Blue Steel wasn’t intended as an open-world game a la Arkham City or Marvel’s Spider-Man.

“While our engine could (and did) handle REALLY large spaces (100-120 city blocks was not a problem), we decided that smaller sets (20-25 blocks +/- ) worked better for gameplay, ”Salvatrix said. “So each episode arc would take place on a series of these smaller maps, with notable landmarks in each. We also had no plans to limit the game to Metropolis. We had major arcs planned in Metropolis (of course), but also in Apokolips. And we were predicting on some maps at least the Ruins of Krypton, the Fortress of Solitude, and Smallville.

While Superman does not yet have his own modern video game vehicle, he will appear in Rocksteady’s next Suicide Squad game as a potentially mind-controlled villain.

What do you think of Factor 5’s work on Blue Steel? Does the world deserve such a Superman game? Let us know in the comments below.

Joseph Knoop is a backup writer / producer / Lex Luthor for IGN (get it, I’m bald).



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