Captain America must hate America
Captain America Super Soldier is the video game counterpart to the feature film being released in theaters. This game follows the trend of recent Marvel movie based games in that the story doesn’t follow the film but is written by actual writers from the comics to be its own stand alone story. Movie based games (especially the ones based on comics) have had little to offer in the past but Captain America is unique in that it actually can be fun to play and have something to offer to fans of the film.
Captain America Super Soldier is given its own story that has Steve Rogers saving some soldiers from an invading force which turns out to be the Red Skulls own private army Hydra. They discover advanced weapon technology on the Hydra troops so the Cap’ takes it upon himself to seek out the Hydra base and destroy it after they discover that Hydra scientists are trying to recreate the super soldier serum that made Captain America and use it for their own purposes. So Cap’ goes in first to clear the way for his allies and what follows is a lot of fist punching shield throwing action.
The first thing that you notice when playing Captain America is that the creators defiantly played a lot of Batman Arkham Asylum and thought long and hard about what made that game so great and tried to do the same with their own. It is built around the same premise as Batman and places Rogers all alone in a giant Hydra castle and is, in the bare sense of the word a free roaming game. The game follows a pretty linear path but you have the option to go anywhere at any time after you have unlocked the sewers which lead to different points in the castle. One big difference between the environments of Captain America versus Batman is that the Castle in Captain America seems like a much more cramped location which doesn’t bode well for a game that involves a lot of throwing your shield around a room. There are a lot of cramped hallways that lead to the next square room where you will fight random soldiers and that is pretty consistent throughout the game.
While it is a decently put together game there are many issues that stand out with Captain America Super Soldier. The levels seem uninspired and pretty generic if you’ve played any other game that takes place in World War II. On a technical level the graphics on the character model for Cap’ look good enough but most of the other parts of the game lack in the visuals department. The cut scenes are poorly constructed and are shown in a shaky cam style that seems like it tries to imitate the camera work of a war film but just doesn’t pull it off with any sort of grace and can make them hard to watch. Quite a few actors from the movie voice their game counterpart but the voice acting seems completely phoned in and comes off super cheesy and uninspired.
The combat system is simply the best aspect of Captain America. The combat again shows that the developers played a lot of Batman as it is almost completely ripped out of Arkham Asylum. There is a lot of group combat that often involves five or six regular soldiers that can be taken down simple enough with basic punch and kicks and one advanced soldier that takes a little more thought to defeat. Captain America uses the same one button combat system from Batman where you can chain attacks to multiple enemies or leap over the heads to avoid a strike, but the most Batman like attack in this game is the ability to knock out enemies on the ground. Captain America copies Batman again by adding a super soldier sense that is very much like the detective vision in Arkham Asylum. Using the shield keeps the combat fresh and entertaining as there is nothing like throwing your shield into a group of soldiers and watching it bounce back and forth between them before flying back to you. The shield can also be used to deflect bullets back at riflemen or just for simple defense. The developers added variety to the game play by adding some plat forming elements but these sequences are just swinging from poles or jumping on wood beams in a quick time event.
Captain America ’s combat system can be pretty fun and enough to keep you entertained through the entire game as it’s always satisfying to be knocking out Hydra troops but there are other faults however. The game is pretty short running eighteen chapters but some of those chapters take no more than five minutes to complete. There is also a ridiculous amount of collectibles laid throughout the entire game. Some of the collectibles count towards achievements while most are just for experience points. The collectibles can actually be distracting if you’re one who likes to go for achievements because they are so frequent you can constantly find yourself searching every inch of a room to find all of the hidden items and this can really take away from the action as no one really wants to play a Captain America game where you are just picking up documents and film reels.
Weak enemies and bosses are another constant in Captain America. There aren’t that many bosses in the game but the few you do confront are not that difficult and most boil down to just quick time events or just ricocheting bullets back at the shooter until the health bar drops to zero. There aren’t that many enemy types in the game and you most often encounter regular soldiers with batons in groups that sometimes include a heavy soldier carrying a big gun that fires at you while the soldier try to attack you. As long as you are quick on your feet and remember to use your shield none of the combat gets too stressful and won’t lead to many deaths.
Challenges and secret costumes are some of the extras you will find on the main menu. As you play through the campaign of the game and find more collectibles you unlock the challenges which can give you a little more to do than the main game. The challenges boil down to combat, acrobatic, and collection missions that have gold, silver, and bronze ratings but you can probably play every mission just once or twice to get the gold for each one. There are three costumes in the game and some even offer special abilities but other than getting the chance to play as the classic Captain America they offer little interest.
Captain America Super Soldier borrows many elements from Batman Arkham Asylum in hopes of making a successful game but barely manages to scrape by as playable. After checking out everything the game has to offer the combat is still the best aspect that the game has to offer but it isn’t enough to make this game worth a purchase. The game is still fun for a rental and will earn you some easy achievement points as you can earn almost all of them just by completing the game once but Captain America Super Soldier is still a game that could have benefited from a lot more work and a little more depth.