Superhero video games do not exactly have a reputation for excellence. For every X-Men Arcade, there are two Superman 64s. When you get into superhero video games that are released as tie-ins to superhero movies, it gets even worse. For every Spider-Man 2, there are five games like…well…Spider-Man 3. So while I await the release of any superhero game with great anticipation, due to the success and quality of titles like Spider-Man 2 or X-Men Origins: Wolverine, there’s always an underlying sense of incredible dread, due to the quality of titles like Iron Man or Thor. My current superhero video game anticipation? Captain America: Super Soldier. Having had a chance to play it both at E3 and at a SEGA event prior to E3, I have to say that the only dread I feel about this title is the month+ I still have to wait to get my hands on it for real.
Captain America: Super Soldier coincides with the events of the upcoming film, Captain America: The First Avenger. While you are following a story that occurs within the timeline of the feature film, you are not playing out the story of the movie. Rather, playing the game will help fill in some of the gaps in the timeline for the movie, as well as potentially giving you a better understanding of the movie’s events. While some games have succeeded in directly relating to their movie tie-in by having you play a story that matches the movie’s events, I absolutely prefer a game that provides you a separate story within the boundaries of the movie’s continuity.
The game successfully combines similar gameplay elements from a few great sources to give you a great gameplay experience. The combat is fluid and powerful, similar to the combat in Batman: Arkham Asylum. On top of direct physical combat, Captain America’s shield throwing mechanic is very well implemented, with a good targeting system and easy use. The platforming elements, while not as acrobatic or free-flowing as an Assassin’s Creed game, share a similar visual style in the fluidity of Captain America’s movement.
The PlayStation 3 version of the game is 3D enabled with 3D glasses, and looks very good. Captain America: Super Soldier in 3D is not exclusive to the PlayStation 3, however. Captain America can come to stunning 3D life using your Nintendo Wii console, also!
Just kidding about the Wii. I was not, however, kidding about the 3D non-exclusivity of the PlayStation 3. I’m not talking about the 3DS, though I would certainly expect a port of the game to appear on that platform. The Xbox 360 supports 3D using good old fashioned red/blue lens glasses like we used back in the day for the 3D pages of MAD Magazine.
Overall, Captain America: Super Soldier looks like a good, solid action/platformer with some puzzle elements to keep the mind working. On top of that, it looks like a good adaptation of the Captain America character within the movie universe continuity, which is definitely an added bonus. Captain America comes to 360, PS3, Wii, and DS on July 19th. The anticipation is killing me.