Captain America: Super Soldier - PS3 Review
|21/4/2011||Sega||Sega||Next Level Games||1||None|
2011 is shaping up as a pretty good year for movies, with plenty of hit sequels already at the box office, but also some big, new, comic book franchises including Thor, The Green Lantern, Green Hornet and Captain America. It's that latter movie which Sega will be hoping does big business at the box office (and the opening weekend in America was impressive) as they have the required video game release to coincide with the big screen adaptation of the Marvel Comic character.
|Captain America smacks down some Nazi's.|
Captain America: Super Soldier ties into the feature film in many ways but actually has a separate storyline. This game sees Captain America, the ultimate super-solder, in the darkest days of World War II, taking on Hydra who have taken control of a large castle complex. He must infiltrate this castle and uncover why there is so much happening and so much security around.
Captain America really is a game made up of two key components - the platforming gameplay and the combat gameplay. Beyond these elements there's a heavy emphasis on item collecting, but we'll get onto that later.
Looking at the platforming elements it's clear that the development team has taken much inspiration from Ubisoft's Prince of Persia franchise. At certain point the games hero will come across ledges to hang on to, jumps to traverse, poles and bars to leap and swing off. It's all pretty fluid and fast although it's somewhat annoying that Captain America, when sitting on a beam, for instance, can't fire his shield at enemies or items in the distance.
|Preparing to lay a fist into the enemy!|
The second component of the gameplay is certainly the bulk of this title and that's the combat sequences. Captain America is able to punch and kick his enemies, block their attacks, throw his shield to hit multiple targets or use special moves when he has enough power available to him. The combat is generally pretty good although the cameras are occasionally a little annoying, some items are breakable while others are not, and at times the shield won't go past an invisible wall.
With a runtime of only 6-7 hours this isn't an overly long game and it's clear that in order to pad out the game the developers have littered the levels with collectable items which give you points which go towards purchasing upgrades and as you progress through the game you will unlock plenty of unlockable content such as artwork. Furthermore besides the main campaign this game includes a series of "Challenges" to enter from the main menu where you are graded according to your performance. It has to be said these challenges, and there are around a dozen or so of them, are pretty good, although it's not too hard to recieve a Gold Medal in many of them.
Other issues with the game? Well the final boss encounter is a bit "meh" and a bit of a letdown in the grand scheme of things. Also, despite being set up as an "open world" game around the castle the game follows a fairly linear path so you'll rarely need to go back to other areas. The hiddem items around the levels, well they're marked on the map so not really hidden and are only there to increase the game length. Finally there's no multiplayer modes at all which, these days, has to be a disappointment - especially from a game priced at $99.95 - this game should have been released at half that price (especially with the Australian Dollar now so strong - essentially if you're an American you'd be paying about $US110 on the current exchange rate!).
|Captain America has plenty of acrobatic moves.|
Sadly from a visual standpoint Captain America: Super Soldier is a letdown - not only from a technical side where the frame rate does suffer a times - but more so from an artistic viewpoint. With the entire game taking place within a castle during World War II there is a very heavy emphasis on a grey and brown palette which gives the game a very drab, dreary look.
There are a couple of highlights though. Those with 3DTV's will be impressed to hear this game supports the extra dimension although we haven't managed to check out this feature ourselves. Other than that Captain America has been well modeled and animated.
|Taking on one of the larger enemies.|
Sonically this game isn't fantastic with largely forgettable music and effects, although the surround sound channels do give some directionality to the action. The biggest selling point is that besides providing his likeness Chris Evans has provided the voiceover for the games hero. Sadly the lines of dialogue, for he and the enemies, aren't the most riveting ever heard.
Perhaps the worst thing about Captain America: Super Soldier is that it has the foundations for a good game, but despite having a different story as the movie releasing to cinemas this month, it has been rushed to hit the shelves at the same time. It's a missed opportunity and probably a rental at best.
Review By: Dave Warner
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|GRAPHICS||While the hero looks good the grapics are, for the most part, drab.||68%|
|SOUND||Average music, sound effects, and speech. It gets the job done.||60%|
|GAMEPLAY||What's here is functional, but it could have done with some more polish.||67%|
|VALUE||It's not overly long, collectables are somewhat pointless, nice challenges, no multiplayer.||60%|
|OVERALL||Ultimately Captain America: Super Soldier is an average game that will appeal to fans of the upcoming movie, but few others. A rental will suffice for most.||65%|