Despite all the rumbling and groans that surround movie tie-in titles, there exist some that don’t turn out like mummified dog shit. In fact, I would go as far as say a couple turn out to be a solid experience; and I do stress a couple. Captain America: Super Soldier has one leg through the door to greatness, but the other leg is lagging behind it with movie tie-in garbage dragging it down.
The game takes place during the same time frame as the Captain America movie. Steve Rogers has already become a hero and formed his special squad of walking stereotypes. The Red Skull is causing all sorts of trouble for the Avengers during the war and it is up to Captain America to protect the good old Red, White, and Blue. The Captain will face more than just the typical HYDRA soldiers. After coming face to face with a Scorcher, he learns that Arnim Zola is forming his own army of super soldiers to dominate the world. Steve Rogers must stop him before Zola releases a weapon unlike anything the world has seen.
The game mechanics are quite simple, but offer a bit of depth as well. Combat in the game resembles what Rock Steady created for Batman: Arkham Asylum. Consistently attacking enemies successfully will allow you to perform powerful combo attacks. The shield can be used to deflect most enemy attacks and counter-attacks may allow you to knock out enemies with a single blow. The Captain is as agile as a Cirque du Soliel performer and can jump over soldiers and around the levels with relative ease. Timing a block perfectly against a soldier with a sniper rifle will deflect the bullet back to the one that fired the shot. Defeating soldiers will gain the player experience that can be used to power up 3 different skills. It adds to a touch of RPG elements to a game which is chalk full of action.
Bosses and some of the tougher enemies can be taken down with Quick Time Events. Yes, I know the majority of gamers hate them; so including it in a movie game is never a good idea. They aren’t as punishing as they are in same games, but they can bring out the worst in any gamer, even the more placid ones. If you miss a prompt, you shouldn’t be required to start all over again, but instead receive another try. This should be a staple for games that insist on ultizing QTE.
Chris Evans returns to do the voice for Steve Rogers, but sadly Hugo Weaving does not reprise his role as The Red Skull. Instead it is done by Keith Ferguson, who uses a more generic German soldider voice. Surprisingly Ferguson also did the voice for Bloo in Fosters Home for Imaginary Friends. Not really relevant, but a neat piece of trivia nonetheless.
The game was over almost as soon as it began — clocking in at 4.5 hours while not trying to rush through the levels. The map shows the location of each of the collectible items, but I rarely paused the game to check if I missed anything in an area. The game also contains a Challenge mode, but it pails in comparison to playing through the main campaign.
If you are a sticker for unlockables and want to collect all of the artwork and costumes, you may playthrough the story mode a 2nd time. The most wanted unlockable, the Classic Outfit, takes the longest to unlock and by the time you are able to use it, you may already have gone through story mode twice.
For those who have been dying to play as Captain America, the game is an overall decent experience while it lasts. The combat system, including tossing around that bad-ass shield of his is fun, and carries the game through it’s overlooked simplicity. While I wouldn’t recommend it at it’s launch price of $60, but it can be found for under $30 which is a much better price point in my eyes.
Note: The Captain America: Super Soldier review was written based on the PS3 version of the game.