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Captain America: Super Solider Review

Review; Sep. 20, 2011; Channels: Video Games; By Kyle James Hovanec
Good work soldier!

Sometimes when a game does exactly what it promises, it's not only a good thing, but a refreshing breath of air in a genre riddled with clunkers and misfires. Captain America: Super Soldier is one of those games. It doesn't pretend to be a revolution in third-person action games, nor does it claim to be a better version of existing games in its genre (in this case, Batman: Arkham Asylum). It just wants to be a competent, fun ride -- and it does that with flying colors.

Captain America: Super Soldier Screenshots
Click the image to view game screenshots

Super Soldier is a third-person action game that takes place in the same universe as Marvel's latest superhero flick, Captain America: The First Avenger. The game takes place shortly after the first half of the movie in which Steve Rogers (voiced by Chris Evans) gains his super strength and begins his fight against his nemesis, Red Skull (voiced by Hugo Weaving). You'll navigate a single environment (Baron von Strucker's castle), battle HYDRA foot soldiers, and occasionally fight famous Captain America bosses like Madam Hydra and Iron Cross. If this sounds a little familiar (think of another Caped Crusader's popular title), you wouldn't be far from the truth. Super Soldier plays very similar to Arkham Asylum down to the combat with your foes.

Combat is done with a variety of button presses for light and heavy attacks with the ability to chain your attacks together for a combo that sends foes flying. Cap can also grapple his enemies to rip away their shields, fling his trademark shield, and deflect sniper fire. After a few minutes of game play, you'll be pummeling foes only to quickly dodge a sniper's bullet and send the second shot back into his face. It's simple but very satisfying and rarely gets repetitive. Just when the game begins to get repetitive, new enemies are introduced, new combat moves are unlocked, and boss fights pop up. Boss fights are fun and often provide a variation on an established combat mechanic. Madam Hydra requires dodging her gunfire and quick reflexes to send the bullets back at her. Iron Cross requires straight up brawling and the use of pure brute force. By the time you get to the final boss, you'll have an entire arsenal of combat moves to take down foes, all fun and satisfying to pull off.

Each area is vastly different than the last and contains a slew of secret items. These items earn you points to unlock new combat abilities and other behind-the-scenes extras such as model viewers and concept art. You'll navigate the castle by participating in short mini-games in which you'll swing from beams and pillars like some star-spangled gymnast or hack doors by combining letters like some rejected mini-game from the Assassin's Creed series. If this game has definite weak points, these two would be it. They're boring, repetitive, and all too frequent.

This game isn't as good looking as Arkham Asylum in terms of detail but what is here if more than sufficient. The character models are detailed and resemble their real-life counterparts. The game also supports 3-D, but the brief time I put in on that didn't scream for me to continue playing it as such.

Super Soldier won't take a long time to finish -- an experienced gamer will finish in a day or two. There isn't any replay value or incentive to play again nor any multiplayer to give it some extra play time. It's the textbook definition of a weekend rental, not worth the full $60 price tag, but for anything less, a perfectly competent little action game that, for the time it lasts, is a hell of a lot of fun.

*Note: This game was played on the Xbox 360 for this article.

Comments

Review Score
7.4

Teen

Titles rated T (Teen) have content that may be suitable for ages 13 and older. Titles in this category may contain violence, suggestive themes, crude humor, minimal blood, simulated gambling, and/or infrequent use of strong language.

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