Mar 23, 2016
We noted it before: with regards to major motion picture movies, the somewhat simultaneous release of a companion mobile game — or two — isn’t much of a novelty anymore; in fact, it’s all but expected. It is simple, and it’s smart… leveraging handheld gaming to build and maintain mindshare that can help propel a movie from “popular” to “must-see” makes a lot of sense on many levels.
DC is definitely trying to sew together its superhero offerings like its main competitor has been, and the merging of two of its latest franchises, Batman and Superman, has been a foregone conclusion for quite some time. In Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (which opens this week), we get to see the Dark Knight take on the Man of Steel in movie form.
And we also get Batman v Superman Who Will Win.
No, not a lot of battling here; we should get that out now. It’s a simple three-laned runner set in a city environment that allows one to run as either iconic character.
Still, the game features rich graphics, even within the, uh, tried and true game paradigm, and is especially easy on the eyes. it features two gameplay sides that correspond to each hero, and each reflects an indentifiable color scheme. The visual pieces pop when they need to, complement the action at other times and even help serve as a conduit for the somewhat chaotic music.
The game plays in portrait, and one runs through the aforementioned cityscapes, looking to avoid stationary obstacles (like barriers) and the numerous moving ones (like vehicles). The vehicles move towards the running hero, so a bit of timing is needed to avoid those.
Avoiding the obstacles is performed by gestures: swiping to either side makes the hero dart to the corresponding side, while swiping up causes him to jump. There are gold pieces (fashioned to look like either hero’s crest) that line the runway and can be collected; there are also boosts. The goodies almost always create opportunity costs situations, and the efficacy of the boosts can be improved by collected gold.
One notable element is the ability to create a continue opportunity by quick tapping to beat a clock; ultimately, success is a measure of distance traveled and gold collected. Real cash can be used, but doesn’t feel necessary.
If one is able to get beyond the perceived disappointment of what the game could have been, they’d most likely find this one to be a decent running game that is easy to get into.
And it is Batman and Superman, after all.