There are no traditional superhero games in the Rough Guide to Videogames canon. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t any games with the superhuman powers of a hero. So if you’re feeling the urge to exercise some inhuman strength and agility (plus some cool weapons), here’s a few alternatives.
Kratos in God of War
This tale of violence, revenge and insanity is nothing less than you’d expect from an epic tragedy set in classical Greece. Spartan warrior Kratos is a puppet played by the gods, a tormented antihero – desperate, amoral and filled with rage. He brings destruction at the press of a few buttons thanks to his twin Blades of Chaos, and that’s not even taking into account his god-given powers.
Master Chief in Halo 3
Last of the genetically enhanced SPARTAN warriors (what is it with Sparta?), Master Chief’s third outing begins with him crashlanding on Earth in a bid to prevent the destruction of the universe. Masked by a helmet and rarely speaking, the saviour of 26th century humanity defines a new vision of the superhero, tougher than any natural human could ever be.
Ryu Hayabusa in Ninja Gaiden
Super ninja of the Dragon Ninja Clan, Ryu is the protagonist in a mythic tale of vengeance. Armed with the Dragon Blade, he is charged with recovering its counterpart, the evil Dark Dragon Blade, which was stolen from the protection of his clan. Unnaturally graceful acrobatic talents mean he can run up walls and across water with little effort, while taking on dozens of often demonic opponents in heroic style.
Ratchet in Ratchet & Clank Future: Tools of Destruction
OK, he’s a hero, but there’s not that much inherently special about the lombax other than being the last of his race. He does gain access to an impressive arsenal of superpowerful gadgets and weaponry, though, including the Groovitron, which chucks a disco mirrorball at enemies causing all within range to dance in sync, while you slaughter them like some kind of cartoon Scarface.
The Prince in Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time
Like Ruy, the Prince has a knack for acrobatics such as wall running and jumping, a technique that also helps him dodge attacks. But if all else fails, there’s the handy ability to negate disaster, even death: by manipulating the sands of time, you can rewind to before the fatal event and replay the scenario a different way. In the world of videogames, there’s not much that’s more powerful than that.