×
Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Our First Look At The Canceled Superman Game

It appears that concept art has just surfaced for a canceled Superman video game from WB Games. The art was spotted on the website of artist Joël Dos Reis Viegas, who has worked on titles like Batman: Arkham Knight and Batman: Arkham Origins

According to Veigas' site, "Warner Games Montreal contracted me a couple of times to integrate the dev team and flesh out original designs directly at their studio." These designs included many of the DLC suits in Batman titles, as the portfolio includes shots of the Batman Beyond and "Batman of Zur-En-Arrh" Batsuit variations from Batman: Arkham Knight. This makes a lot of sense, considering WB Montreal assisted Rocksteady in developing DLC content for Arkham Knight. It's worth noting that the portfolio also includes a creepy design referred to a "Abstract Batman" that appears to resemble the "Worst Nightmare" Batman skin that was eventually cut from the released version of the game.

Interestingly, one of the images in this collection of Batman art appears to show Superman flying over a beautifully lit cityscape, presumably his hometown of Metropolis.

There have been rumors of some kind of Superman-related project from Rocksteady for years now, but none of them have ever come to fruition. In fact, according to Geeks WorldWide's James Sigfield, this piece of concept art is probably part of the Rocksteady's last attempt at pitching a Superman title.

"Hearing from multiple sources that Rocksteady pitched a Superman game to WB as a follow up to Arkham Knight, and WB passed on the project," tweeted Sigfield. "Judging how similar this [concept art] feels to the 'New Gotham' section of Arkham Knight, this could be for that."

This would certainly make a good bit of sense, since Batman: Arkham Knight actually includes several references to Superman. These references included dialogue from some of the henchman in the game referencing Metropolis and several buildings belonging to Lex Luthor, the Man of Steel's greatest nemesis. The biggest reference of all, however, was a voicemail from Lex Luthor himself, which can be heard when checking the answering machine in Bruce Wayne's private office. 

All of these little nods show that there is a much bigger universe to the Batman: Arkham franchise, with more heroes outside of Batman and his sidekicks. These would also seem to indicate that Rocksteady was indeed considering including Superman in a future game. Maybe these Easter eggs were the developer's way of testing the waters for fan interest. It definitely caught the attention of diehard comic book nerds, so maybe Rocksteady was on the right track.

According to Sigfield, Rocksteady's take on Superman would have included destructive environments that took advantage of some of the mechanics seen in Arkham Knight when the Batmobile is blasting its way through town. Unfortunately, the game was apparently not meant to be.

There are some fans who may see this as being for the best. Superman has always had a bit of a bumpy history with video game adaptations. The Nintendo 64 release of Superman 64 is widely considered to be one of the worst games of all time. That title was a far cry from what could be made today and was a buggy, nearly unplayable mess.

At some point, WB has developed and canceled two different open-world Superman games. These would have presumably allowed Superman to patrol Metropolis and help stop smaller scale crimes in between his adventures, much like the open-world Batman: Arkham games. However, these were apparently ultimately canned because WB wanted the games to utilize Rocksteady's Batman: Arkham engine. This put considerable limitations on a game where the main character is meant to have godlike superpowers, which turned out the be the final nail in those titles' coffins. Specifically, it apparently made it impossible to program Superman in flight. Which, you know, is kind of a big deal with that character. 

As for the Dark Knight, fans are still impatiently waiting for any kind of news regarding Batman's next video game adventure. Warner Bros. Montreal has been dropping hints regarding the next Batman game for months now. The company has tweeted multiple cryptic symbols with the caption "Capture the Knight," including one that was posted on the anniversary of Batman's creation. These aren't exactly subtle hints that something is in the works. The prevailing theory is that the next Batman game will involve the villainous Court of Owls from the comics, but we still have no idea if it's a sequel, reboot, or something else entirely.

In the meantime, we can at least enjoy this glimpse at what could have been. Who knows, maybe Superman will make a surprise appearance in whatever Batman's next video game adventure turns out to be.