‘Captain America: Super Solider’ is the best kind of average

By Aidan Finn, Staff Writer

It seems like an eternity ago the Marvel Cinematic Universe was in its infancy with the titular characters of the Avengers making their theatrical debut. Iron Man, Thor and the Star-Spangled Man with a plan made waves with their solid landings back in the early 2010s blockbuster scene. What was forgotten, however, was that the Phase One films were victim to a SEGA licensing deal that led to arguably some of the worst video games of the seventh generation. 

“Iron Man” was an infamously poor 360 title that now looks like a masterpiece compared to the train wreck on “Iron Man 2.” “Thor: God of Thunder” was a cookie-cutter “God of War” clone that proved ultra-violence was vital to the experience of that formula. “The Incredible Hulk” was a far less incredible Hulk title and a shameful downgrade from the excellent 2005 comic-inspired Hulk game “Ultimate Destruction.”

The final remaining game from this doomed deal that SEGA now likely regrets more than the Sega Saturn, in face of the MCU’s money-printing success, is the Captain America game. 

There actually have been games based on the First Avenger before, good ones like the Sega Genesis classic “Captain America and The Avengers,” based on the arcade brawler. But this movie tie-in was a standalone single-player game following the movie version of Cap, voiced by Chris Evans himself. 

Despite the dire circumstances, there was a lot going for this game in comparison to the others. Given Cap’s fighting style is grounded with a super-strength spin, the better advances in hardware towards the end of the seventh generation and the wild success of another superhero game, “Batman: Arkham Asylum,” a formula for hero-combat was established going forward. 

So, after a long — yearslong — quest to get my hands on a PS3 version of this game ever since I started my PS3 binge of everything interesting (good or bad) from the seventh generation, I finally played through the game in one sitting. 

Right off the bat, the frame rate and poor lip-syncing of its introduction may be off-putting. (Worse so for me as I played it right after “Resistance: Fall of Man,” a 2006 PS3 launch title that ran smoother than this 2011 game.) Nonetheless, you’ll also notice right away that the combat is very “Arkham”-like, with counters and special moves and with the iconic shield being a satisfying ranged attack as it bounces off Nazis in physical-defying action. 

Cap can leap from poles and cliff edges with ease and crack open doors with a quick hacking minigame, and outside of collecting documents and feel reels, there is very little in terms of substance for its four-hour to five-hour campaign. 

But, the combat that is there makes up for such, as you can punch Nazis straight in the jaw and throw them across the room in a viscerally fun fashion. The Nazi grunts before entering an encounter also have hilarious side-batter.

The most unremarkable aspect would be the story at the end, with it being a simple adventure of Cap in a Nazi castle stopping another superweapon. At least it’s not a botched attempt at adapting the movie, but it still ends off being a forgettable tale better appreciated as a swashbuckling World War II adventure that made me want to play the excellent “The Saboteur” game on PS3. Till the next review. 

Overall, “Captain America: Super Soldier” is the best MCU game (and that’s not going off much) and a fun romp if you are a fan of the character and setting. With more Marvel games on the way from new publishers in the ninth generation following Square Enix’s failed Avengers game in 2020, we can only hope the First Avenger gets another stab at his own game. 

“Captain America: Super Soldier” is available on PS3, Wii, Xbox 360 and Nintendo DS. 

 

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