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PS2 Reviews: Superman Shadow of Apokolips


Superman Shadow of Apokolips Screenshots

The Final Say!

Superman Shadow of Apokolips``
 - reviewed by Andrew B
Review Date: 25th November 2002
Review Score 8.9/10
Distributed By: GameNation

Originallycreated in 1938, Superman still continues to be one of the world's mostrecognisable comic book icons. Originally from the planet Krypton, Kal-El wasrocketed to Earth by his doomed parents to escape the destruction of his homeplanet. Crash landing in a country town called Smallville, the young baby wasdiscovered and then adopted by the Kents and was brought up as their son. 

The baby wasnamed Clark Kent and was taught American values by his parents. Little did Clarkknow that his body was like a powerful solar battery under the Earth's sun andsoon developed powers that would make him faster than a speeding bullet and ableto leap buildings in a single bound, he became Superman.  

SupermanShadow of Apokolips is the latest and greatest Superman game to hit the PS2 andfeatures some extraordinary graphics and gameplay that go hand in hand with thecurrent cartoon series. Based on the current animated Supermanseries, gamers have the chance to play the mild mannered reporter Clark Kentbut more specifically Superman himself.

Thestory revolves around a hideous plot that has the master of Apokolips, Darkseidjoining with his earthly counterpart Lex Luthor in order to steal the world'sscientists in order to take over the world. Darkseid has given Lex Luthor thetechnology to build super-powered Inter-Bots to help them succeed in their plan,unfortunately for them, Superman is only a step behind them and will soondiscover this dastardly plot.

SupermanShadow of Apokolips lets gamers virtually become Superman and experience all thepowers that make him the man of steel. In its essence, this game is an arcadegame and lets you use a variety of different super powers such as flight, superspeed, super breath, smash, punch, lift and a plethora of other godly powers. The first level in the game is a tutorial level that slowly takes youthrough each of Superman's powers. You must fly across Metropolis to rescue abus that is about to fall from an overpass, then use your super breath to disarma dangerous tanker fire. The  beauty of this game is that once the tutoriallevel is over you can use virtually any of Superman's powers and the game has anextremely low learning curve, so you will be flying like Superman in notime. 

The controlsystem of the game is quite simply perfect and you will have no trouble inmastering the powers of Superman. Although just about every button isused on the DualShock controller, it will soon become second nature to gamers. 

Superman Shadow of Apokolips generally uses the best camera angles available butevery now and then, the camera will glitch but that's because of how large thegaming environments are and does not take anything away from the gameplay.

The game is generally a third person view and you will always see Superman from this angle that really helps add to the atmosphere of the game. The levels in Superman contain a variety of different objectives that must be completed before you are able to access the next level of the game. The combat in the game is sometimes a little excess because you will soon find yourself having fight after fight after fight and when you are fighting the same enemies, it does become a little repetitive. Fortunately the game contains a variety of cameos from the Superman mythos that include Lois Lane, Perry White, Jimmy Olsen and villains such as Lex Luthor, Darkseid, Livewire, Metallo and the deadly assassin Kanto. With a variety of different level objectives such as time attacks, stealth and rescue missions, the game nicely comes together with some impressive cut scenes that are almost taken out of the cartoon series. Although as with most console games, you cannot just save whenever and where ever, the game will always save at the end of a level or cutscene and if you die during a level, you are returned to the last previous cutscene and there are plenty of these per level.

Graphically, Superman Shadow of Apokolips is almost identical to the cartoon show and features some very impressive cel shading graphics that gives everything a clean and colourful look to it. The characters in the game are extremely well animated and you can't go past some of the animations that Superman himself performs such as lifting a bus or flying through Metropolis at super speeds. Another impressive feature of the game is the extremely large draw distance that really puts across a feel of distance in the game. The only downside to the graphics is that sometimes the game does stagger on certain levels because there is so much happening on screen at once but generally the gameplay is usually quite smooth and the designers have done a perfect job at recreating the cartoon show to perfection. 

To compliment the extremely smooth graphics, the developers have managed to snare the original actors from the cartoon show. Tim Daly has reprised his role as Superman and Malcolm McDowell is back as the villain Metallo. These are just some of the well known actors that grace this game and all the voice acting in the game has been professionally done. Apart from the great voice acting, there are a variety of sound effects in the game that include the punches and smashes of super fights and even the graceful sounds of Superman flying through the streets of Metropolis. The soundtrack of Superman Shadow of Apokolips features over forty-five minutes of orchestral music that is based on the cartoon show and really helps put the finishing touches on the game. 

With so many different superhero games on the market at the moment, its quite refreshing to see one that is so faithful to its original creation that actually lets you use just about all of Superman's powers. Superman Shadow of Apokolips is an extremely good game and I would highly recommend this game to all gamers, especially those who are stuck in a gaming rut at the moment or parents who are looking for that perfect game for Christmas! Check it out!

- Andrew B

Copyright 2001 www.impulsegamer.com