Love them or hate them, what you cannot deny is the fact that videogames have the ability to transport you into another world, where you are the boss. And if you happen to be the type that has superhero ambitions (or has acquired them, after a goodish dose of Tony Stark in Iron Man 3), then there are a number of games that will let you live your superheroic dream without causing any real damage, apart from that caused to game controllers and maybe the odd console (depending on what you throw at it in frustration). While most superhero-based games tend to be a bit predictable and action-oriented, there are some that rise above the ordinary rubble and actually end up making you feel really heroic. So if you are in the mood for some superhero action, suit up and get stuck into these titles:
Iron Man 3: The Official Game
The fact that the official game of the latest Iron Man film was released on tablets and phones rather than consoles, tells you just how popular mobile gaming has got. That’s not all — unlike other games that basically involve a fair amount of fighting and jumping around, the Iron Man 3 game is a bit like Temple Run in the air. It is a non-stop flyer in which you step into a suit and then take to the skies to defeat dastardly foes hell-bent on destroying the earth. You can customise the armour, add and remove weapons, unleash blasts from the palms of your hands, and do a whole lot more. Just remember to keep dodging all the obstacles that come along your path. The game is totally free but its constant attempts to make you unburden your purse for a few features and facilities might annoy you. Ah, that’s the price you pay for being Iron Man. Literally.
Available for: iOS and Android devices
Batman: Arkham Asylum
Fancy the Dark Knight? Well, if you want to step into his rather ample boots and swing through the night, battling crime in Gotham City, then this game is your best option. Written by one of the best Batman writers around, Paul Dini, the game pits Batman (well, you!) against the Joker, who is out to gain control of Arkham Asylum, where the cream of crime is incarcerated. You get to use a lot of the Batman’s gadgets, including a variety of Batarangs, line launcher, the Batclaw and some explosive gel besides. The game is full of detection (figure out riddles by the Riddler), fisticuffs and even a fair bit of exploration across the vast Arkham campus. All presented with stunning graphics and very good sound effects. In our humble opinion, the best superhero game ever, ven though it was made in 2009!
Available for: PS3, Xbox 360, PC
Price: R 299 onwards (depends on platform)
Hulk: Ultimate Destruction
For those who like to be the mild-mannered Dr Banner who transforms into a great and green monster when angry, Hulk: Destruction is pretty much the game to play. You start off as the good doctor who has cut himself off from the rest of the world as he tries to cure himself — hey, he does not like morphing into the Hulk. Of course, it does not work. His cabin is destroyed and before he knows it, he has to fight for his life. Which annoys him. And brings the Hulk into play. Designed for what the developers called “Unstoppable Movement”, the game lets you run, jump and climb across a vast world, as well as use some devastating attacks including the spectacular Atomic Thunder Clap. You are going to be needing all those abilities as some really tough baddies, including a darker version of yourself, the Devil Hulk, are pitted against you. Yes, it is an old game (2005) but if you have a PS2 and love superheroes, this is one of THE titles to grab.
Available for: PS2, Xbox, Gamecube
Price: R 799
The Amazing Spider-Man
Making games about a person who swings across a city, shooting webs from his hands all the time, while battling enemies can be a tough proposition. But Beenox (the developers) showed that they were up to the task by delivering a game that looks nothing short of stunning — the sight of the city zipping past you as you swing through the air is breath-taking. Yes, there is a plot of some sort, picking up after the events of the film bearing the same name, with Curt Connors cross-species experiments continuing. There are extravagant, mutant enemies to defeat and special effects galore, but for us, the main attraction of the game remains swinging across Manhattan — and the game is open enough to let you do a lot of it.
Available for: PS3, Xbox 360
Price: R 2799
Injustice: Gods Among Us
Batman and Superman fighting each other? With different heroes allied on either side? Well, that is just what Injustice: Gods Among Us delivers, with the Joker managing to drive Superman well nigh crazy in an alternative world, leading to the Man of Steel establishing a new ruling order. The Batman liketh it not and leads an insurgency against it, with the help of some others…forget the plot, really, for this is nothing but an out and out slugfest between some of the greatest superheroes you have ever seen. There are one on one matches galore in amazing locations, including some in the Batcave and the Fortress of Solitude, with the likes of the Flash, Nightwing, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, Green Arrow, Aquaman and of course, Batman and Superman going hammer and tongs at each other. Those looking for detection and intricate story lines are going to be disappointed, but those who want nothing more than a punch fest with their favourite spandex-clad super heroes will love it.
Available for: PS3, Xbox 360
Price: R 2499
Marvel Ultimate Alliance
In terms of in-depth coverage of a number of superheroes, this has got to be the best game of them all. You have the chance to play as more than twenty superheroes, including Blade, Daredevil, Captain America, Ghost Rider, Iron Man, Spider-Man and Thor, as S.H.I.E.L.D is attacked by the nefarious Dr Doom. You play in teams of four and attempt to save S.H.I.E.L.D, and then the world (best gaming tradition). The accent, however, is not always on action here — there is a lot of exploring and clue solving to be done as well. The fact that you could choose different teams gives the game phenomenal replay value and well, it looks plain awesome with some spectacular locales. Just be ready to spend
some time coming to grips with the gameplay!
Available for: PC, PS3, PS2, Xbox 360, Xbox
Price: R 999 onwards (varies as per platform)