Captain America Super Solider
No one would blame you for taking one quick glance at Captain America Super Soldier and dismissing it instantly due to it being a video game based on a movie (though strangely, it doesn’t follow the movie’s plot at all). While this certainly isn’t a great game, it is in fact a rather decent comic book related game. One of the biggest reasons that Captain America plays so well however is that the entire combat system is taken directly from Batman Arkham Asylum. When you are not facing the onslaught from your fake Nazi enemies, the gameplay in Captain America can be very lacklustre.
Admittedly a lot of the time in Captain America is spent fighting off the enemy, which is exactly where the game shines. It has the exact same free flowing combat that you would have experienced in Arkham Asylum, Capt (complete with Chris Evans likeness and voice) can dodge, counter, strike and throw his shield to take down any enemy that he comes across. Double tapping the right-trigger will throw the shield and have it ricochet between 3 enemies at first, but is upgradable throughout your playthrough to 5 enemies.
Everything in combat works well and feels great and the majority of the enemies are all dealt with in the same manner. You do get the odd ‘advanced’ enemy which may be carrying a shield, have a bigger, more powerful gun or simply be armoured up but these can easily be disposed of with one of the games super-attacks. These are pretty cool looking, slow motion spin kicks or punches to the jaw which actually shatter the enemies’ armour which looks pretty sweet.
The shield has a few other uses in the game; it can be used to block attacks, deflect sniper bullets directly back at the assailant, as well as activating secret switches or knocking down environmental objects to access a collectible. Everything in combat works very well however when you get out of these combat sequences, the game starts to fall apart. The game is heavily reliant on quick time events for manoeuvring around the world. There are a lot of “launch pads” scattered around the game which activate these quick time events and one problem with these - beside the fact that quick time events suck - is that they only ever utilise the A button. If you somehow fail to press the A button there is absolutely no punishment for this, Capt just comes to stop on whatever object he is currently interacting with and you can press A to carry on with the movement. To defeat some of the enemies or bosses it is necessary to win a QTE and these are opened up to all 4 face buttons but these are no more challenging. Nevertheless, at least there are consequences with the bosses and enemies as you lose some life if you mess up one of the button presses.
Sadly another poorly executed component of Captain America Super Solider is the collectibles. I really don’t know what to make of them - there are way too many of them for a start, though they do all appear on your mini-map and are then easy to find. For example, you need to find 50 Ceramic Eggs, 13 Film Reels, 31 Zemo Diary entries and 18 Schematics... and that’s just for collectibles that net you achievements. All areas can be revisited after the game’s completion if you missed any. Aside from the achievement-related collectibles, there are secret film canisters and briefcases as well as Hydra Files to collect. All that these do is simply add to the game’s XP system which you can then use to upgrade your powers.
There is a challenge mode in Captain America Super Solider, very similar to the challenges in Batman Arkham Asylum (see where I’m going with this one?). The challenges are all essentially the same; defeat X amount of enemy waves in this time to receive a gold medal. The challenge mode is essentially pointless as the challenges are insanely easy to get a gold medal on. I personally only struggled on one challenge but as soon as I failed it once I knew exactly what I had to do to complete it. It’s nice this mode was included but it doesn’t really add anything to the game and can be finished within 2 hours.
One thing I love about comic book games is the wide variety of outfits the heroes have in the various comics and the vast array of costumes that are more often than not unlockable throughout the game. Captain America Super Soldier does have some alternate outfits for you to beat up bad guys in but it only has two unlockables. You start off with the movie costume and then through various in-game actions you can unlock the Classic Captain America outfit and the Ultimate Captain America outfit. Again, like the challenge mode, it’s nice that these extras were put into the game, but they really do not add anything to the game and you won’t be putting in any special effort to unlock them.All in all Captain America Super Solider is an average third person action adventure; it certainly shines in the combat area which is largely due to its heavy influence from Batman Arkham Asylum but outside its combat, the game feels dull. Saying that, the majority of the time you will spend with Captain America will be in combat and it’s certainly a decent movie tie-in game (if you can call it that) which is a rare thing to see.