God of War Director Has a Superman Game Idea That Is Smallville Meets Persona 5 | Gaming News

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What if Superman couldn't save everybody?

During “The Quest For the Perfect Superman Game” panel held at PAX West on August 31, God of War Cory Barlog shared some interesting ideas for what kind of Superman game he'd create. Originally reported by GameInformer, the panel can still be viewed on Twitch.

Barlog gave a series of ideas about a theoretical Superman game, meaning none of them are for any real project he is currently working on. After joking about delivering an old-man Superman game where he has a kid and is trying to teach him how to be a superhero (a clear reference to the most recent God of War), Barlog suggested a game that has a young Clark Kent going to school while also coming to grips with being a superhero.

“I really, really love the Smallville television show and I really love the idea of playing with this concept of .” said Barlog. “You have to go to school but you 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. Literally you're taking tests and dealing with the social construct of high school while also figuring out ‘what does it mean to have these powers?'”

His next set of ideas involve branching paths, where it would be impossible for Superman to save everyone, no matter what the player did. Superman could even hear the pleas of help from characters all over, and would be torn between trying to save everyone, but still coming up short.

“I think the best thing you can do with a Superman game is to kind of explore the psychology of what it would be like to be a person who slowly begins to realize that he can't save everybody. As the game progresses, as you do these sort of good deeds… everyone starts asking for help and this is where it really starts to unravel.

“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 actually saved. It's the two people that he didn't save, it's the two crimes he didn't stop, and the suffering that comes from that.

“You realize, as Superman, that the brute force method of fisticuffs, the idea of just flying around and 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 to save everybody. Which is a great, idealistic, fantastic concept… but fairly not possible.”

Ultimately, Barlog would have Superman run for a sort of president of the world, so he could try to bring everybody together, saving them indirectly. “The idea would be that he needs to reach out further, save more people, but really it's the ‘teach a person to fish' [mentality] instead of constantly bringing them fish individually. Helping us all by helping us help ourselves.”

Though he touched very little on gameplay, Barlog did give up a few details on how things might play out, and shared other ideas on how to keep gameplay interesting over a longer-span of time.

“You're still doing a lot of active things. You're still saving people, you're still having great battles with bad guys, but there's fallout after that… You have to think about what happens after a giant fight. I would not allow you to fly for like seven hours, so that when you got to fly, it would be the greatest thing you'd ever felt in a video game. I would never tell anybody that we were gonna let him fly, so that everyone would think we were making a Superman game without flying.”

For more on Barlog's most recent game, God of War, check out a deep-dive into the game's first intense boss fight and all the crazy little details about Kratos' boat. If you can't wait for the next installment of the epic series, read about where God of War could go next.

Disclosure: Tech's own Sydnee Goodman was also a part of this PAX panel.

Colin Stevens is a freelance writer for Tech, and he's already panicking about not being able to save everyone. Follow him on Twitter.

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