Electronic Theatre In-depth Review: Captain America: Super Soldier

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Rating: 5.0/5 (5 votes cast)

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            Since SEGA acquired the rights to develop and publish videogames based on Marvel’s motion-picture releases a few years ago, Electronic Theatre has had the questionable privilege of reviewing many of the titles that have made their way to store shelves. Each time hopes have been high that the studio SEGA has chosen to develop the title can do our favourite superheroes justice, and each time there’s been a deep sense of regret. The latest offering, High Voltage Software’s interactive interpretation of Captain America: Super Soldier has received a lukewarm reaction throughout its development because of this very fact, and while it may not be a masterpiece of videogame design, it could be considered the start of better things.

            Based on the recently released Captain America: The First Avenger motion-picture, and featuring both the likeness and vocal talents of Chris Evans as Captain America, Captain America: Super Soldier is most Electronic Theatre Imagecertainly a game for fans of the franchise. Omitting the origins of Captain America in the same fashion as the recently released Green Lantern: Rise of the Manhunters videogame, Captain America: Super Soldier allows players to jump straight into the action. And that ‘action’ consists of two main aspects: combat and Platform gameplay.

            The fighting in Captain America: Super Soldier feels entirely familiar, but that’s not to say it isn’t enjoyable. It’s a case of function ahead of form: despite only using two buttons, the combat system has an impressive amount of depth. Clearly influenced by Batman: Arkham Asylum’s robust mechanics, Captain America: Super Soldier is more concerned with positioning than timing, with the available manoeuvres dictated by your previous action and distance from the enemy. The swift and powerful counterattacks make the transition from Gotham City to 1940’s Germany wholesale, which is certainly not a bad thing.

            Ranged combat is available via Captain America’s famous shield, which can be aimed and thrown using a combination of the Wii Remote’s point and C button. Exactly why High Voltage Software opted not to Electronic Theatre Imageuse gesture controls for the throw remains a mystery, but Captain America: Super Soldier doesn’t suffer as a direct result.

The Platform gameplay has been refined to within an inch of its life: the challenge here does not involve being accurate, but simply pathfinding. As the player stands on a ledge an arrow will appear designating where they will land if they choose to jump. There’s no wavering from this point, it’s an automated lock-on system of sorts that will always see you hit the exact point suggested. It may sound similar to the infamous automated jumped featured in The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, but in play performs considerably differently.

Captain America: Super Soldier features some of the best visual design Wii has delivered, but still far from the level of fidelity offered by its high-definition counterparts. The linear level structure allows for a great amount of detail in the narrow environments and the obviouslyElectronic Theatre Image comic book influenced colour palette and facial expressions create a more welcoming gameplay experience for younger fans of the franchise.

The Wii version of Captain America: Super Soldier is undoubtedly designed with a younger audience in mind, and has been built to accommodate shorter attention spans and a lesser knowledge of videogame conventions. For that, it’s a game that is actually quite well versed in its target market; a game that provides the right balance between challenge, interaction and story. While Captain America: Super Soldier may not rewrite the movie adaptation rulebook, it’s certainly a step forward for SEGA after the likes of Iron Man 2: The Videogame and Thor: God of Thunder.

 

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