God of War Director Pitches Unique Superman Concept
By Joshua Duckworth 10 April 2019
This past Friday, PAX West 2018 held a panel entitled “The Quest for the Perfect Superman Game” where several members of the gaming community discussed how and why there has never truly been a great Superman game. God of War director Cory Barlog was there and made two pitches, with the first being the concept of old man Superman having a son and trying to teach him how to be a hero. Although that one was a joke and simple nod toward God of War, his second pitch was more serious and described as a cross between Smallville and Persona.
Barlog described the overall concept as “Young Clark Kent – you have to go to school but you also are also uncovering that you’re the greatest American hero with your powers and it’s a sort of awkward coming of age idea that you have to balance.” This game would deal with issues of high school while also discovering powers and what it means to be Superman, though he admitted he thought this concept was too derivative.
Backtracking somewhat, he discussed how hard it was to work with Superman because he was idealistic and perfect, but he pointed out one flaw. The idea of caring is a flaw that, Barlog stated, would allow players to explore the psychology of a man who should be able to save everyone but realistically cannot. The game would begin with players as a Clark Kent who is not yet Superman but begins to hear for pleas of help.
As more and more of these pleas come, they become harder and harder to manage. This would create a psychological thriller of sorts, as Barlog pitches this hypothetical situation:
Let’s say there are four people who need to be saved. At your best moment as Superman, you can save two. That means two were not saved and that weighs on him. It’s not the people that he saved. It’s the two people that he didn’t save, the crimes he couldn’t stop, and there is suffering that comes from that.
The idea of this is, as you get to the beginning of the third act, you realize, as Superman, that the brute force method of fisticuffs, the idea of constantly trying to chase your tail to save people individually, is not working. You have to figure out a different way because the ultimate goal, psychologically, to maintain some kind of sanity, is to actually try and save everybody. It’s a great, idealistic, fantastic concept, but fairly impossible.
The final act would be Superman becoming a President of the World-type figure where he is encouraging people to help people. He could extend his reach this way, and essentially, teach people how to fish instead of getting the fish for them. This pitch and the overall discussion of a Superman game is something that has been around for a while and something many gamers want, as a Superman game was one of the biggest rumors for E3 2018.
Barlog briefly touched on gameplay, teasing the concept of flight as something that should feel like the greatest thing ever felt in a video game, the way it would feel in real life. While many would also likely love to see Santa Monica develop a Superman game, Barlog suggested it would be handled best by Ninja Theory.
God of War is available now exclusively for the PlayStation 4.
Source: Game Informer