Captain America: Super Soldier is SEGA’s latest attempt at a solid super-hero video game. Does it fail to impress like Iron Man and Thor, or does it manage to execute a solid range of ideas?
Hit the break to view the verdict.
It’s somewhat ironic that I start my review comparing Captain America: Super Soldier to the excellent title from Rocksteady; Batman: Arkham Asylum. Essentially, developer Next Level Games thought it would be suitable to copy and paste some key gameplay mechanics from Rocksteady’s flagship title. At first glance, it wouldn’t be far-fetched to assume that this would end catastrophically, however Next Level Games does a competent job; especially with a short development cycle. Is Captain America: Super Soldier a good game? No, but with a little bit more polish and depth it could have been.
The presentation really puts a damper on the experience. The graphics have a range of issues which include screen-tearing, low-resolution textures, and dated visuals. This isn’t the case with the entire presentation and some things do look pretty good. Some of the character models are well-done, and a few of the animations actual rival those in Arkham Asylum; however they are few and far between. I was also not impressed with the sound design either. A lot of the time audio can go a long way into fixing some of the graphical shortcomings, but this isn’t the case in Captain America: Super Soldier. The sound effects and voice acting come off as somewhat generic and in no way improve the overall shoddy presentation.
As I mentioned before Captain America: Super Soldier shamelessly copies Arkham Asylum and no-where is this more evident in the combat system. In terms of structure Next Level Games does an admirable job of replicating Arkham Asylum’s combat system and in some cases opts for a more cinematic approach; however it severely lacks the polish and depth that made Arkham Asylum so compelling.
Aside from the obvious lack of polish the combat is actually fun, though it can quickly become repetitive because it doesn’t have the depth to support its adventure. There’s also issues with the enemy A.I. Even at a higher difficulties enemies don’t pose any sort of threat, and in general they aren’t exactly the smartest either. Enemies can sometimes turn around compulsively; without any regard to the current combat situation, and the rag-doll physics are also inconsistent at best. This generally describes Captain America: Super Soldier’s combat system. In brief moments it can be spectacular, but more often it’s water-downed and completely mediocre.
The platforming and puzzle sections (if you can call them that) also don’t add anything to an already inconsistent package. The platforming is essentially on rails which is a shame, because some of the animations and acrobatics actually look pretty good. Instead, though Next Level Games opted to make us watch rather than control Captain America during these sequences. The puzzle sections are also nothing more than simple eye-strains and provide absolutely no challenge. In fact, I would argue that they only function as buffers as what could only be referred to combat rooms.
From a technical standpoint Captain America: Super Soldier is below average. Technical issues needlessly hurt the package. The dips in framerate standout the most and not in a good way. For a title that relies heavily on its movie counter-part, it does a decent job and is certainly better than most of the movie tie-ins we are subjected to; however Captain America: Super Soldier is nothing more than average. Fans of Captain America will certainly find some things to like; but it just can’t match up to the titles it attempts to emulate.
For more information on how we review games check out our criteria here. A copy of this game was provided to The Paranoid Gamer by the publisher for review purposes.