Article by: Boyd
Captain America: Super Soldier is the latest “Marvel movie” licensed game published by Sega. In the past, games like Iron Man 1 and 2, and Thor, have been utter train wrecks with wonky camera angles, sub-par graphics and horrendous gameplay, hence the cost being $49.99 retail for these games. Captain America, while not at all perfect, is a bit better than all those aforementioned.
The game attempts to ape the style of Batman: Arkham Asylum and really has nothing to do plot-wise with the Captain America movie. In fact, it’s hard to tell where this game takes place in terms of movie continuity, before or after. Players are thrust into the enclosed castle of Baron Zemo (which is the headquarters of Arnim Zola, Red Skull’s researcher and master of cosmic cube infused weapons. Strangely, Zemo is nowhere to be found in the game.) The plot, penned by current Avengers Academy scribe Christos Gage, finds Cap attempting to stop Zola’s experiments while running around rescuing various members of the Howling Commandos, sabotaging gun emplacements, collecting Hydra intel, and other various “added content” collectibles throughout the 6 hour campaign. The collectibles come in the form of film reels detailing enemies, diaries detailing the history of castle Zemo, artifacts of the Zemo family which allow you to listen to said diary entries, and ceramic eggs… yes you heard right. (Apparently they came from the fabled ceramic chicken I found as I was exploring the castle). Concept art is unlocked thorugh collecting and progressing throughout the game.
Gameplay revolves around a poor man’s “free flow” combat system. However, poor man’s does not mean uninspired, just simple. Cap has a basic strike command, a grab, a counter, and a defensive roll maneuver. Energy is built up through attacks and counters, allowing for slow motion “smash” strikes, crippling enemies in one hit. All this is cool and easy, and one of the high points of the game. It just feels at times you are overpowered for the enemies you are facing, especially with the 9 upgrades that you can fully purchase in one play through (most of which I never used). Platforming, probably the lowest point of the game, looks like a cross between a bad Prince of Persia and Assassins Creed. Swinging from poles, vaulting around corners… I never felt like I was doing the moves when inputting them on the control pad. The game suffers in this aspect, because I hate playing something I am not in full control of. Bosses (of which there are about 4) are all from Cap’s rogues gallery, and are really not that difficult to defeat. I died more from explosions than boss fights, truth be told.
Graphically, the game is mediocre at best. Enemies and textures look the same, typical for a movie tie-in game. The only bright side of the graphics is Cap’s Shield, which is detailed when the camera is behind him… not so much when you hurl the shield. The model of Cap himself is decent, but still a little muddled in my opinion when he is fighting.
Overall, Captain America: Super Soldier is not a horrible game. It is definitely not the rushed garbage that was the first Iron Man game. By no means, however, is it a stellar game like Batman was. I think Marvel needs to yank the license from Sega for these “movie” characters stat, because the potential this game had was lost in development and “cash in on a movie tie-in”, in my opinion. The positive aspects of combat are marred simply by navigation issues (navigating the castle is a pain in the ass, especially when trying to backtrack). The 5-6 hour campaign and a few challenge levels do not warrant a $49.99 purchase, but as a rental or a value rack buy is definitely worth it to kill time. Amazon currently has it for $37, which I didn’t think was a bad deal for a brand new game. The only replay incentive is if you missed anything in the castle the first time around (not worth it in my opinion).
+ Good combat system
+ The iconic vibranium shield
+ Chris Evans’ voice
– Awful platforming
– Easy AI
– Fairly simplistic bosses
– short length
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