Captain America: Super Soldier Preview
For history’s sake, Captain America debuted back in 1941, when the US was in the midst of World War II. The superhero was actually created to help fight the Nazis and although he has since battled all sorts of supernatural comic book villains, Next Level Games and Sega wish to return the icon to its roots. Firstly, we should tell you that the game currently in development is not based on the film; the setting is the same – i.e., Captain America in WWII – but while the film deals with the genesis of the story, the game deals with the superhero’s mastery and acceptance of his abilities. At its core Captain America: Super Soldier is a third-person action game, and will soon pique the interest of those in attendance at the upcoming New York Comic-Con. The same demo, which IGN has already seen, shows the Captain infiltrating the castle of the infamous Arnim Zola and bashing on some baddies.
Obviously, Captain America himself will be the focal point. The guy can’t fly, but he’s still extremely fast and agile; the hero who was once Steve Rogers took an experimental serum and as a result, he has become quite the athlete. His speed and combined strength will allow him to leap over foes and nail them from behind, and we may even see some acrobatic platforming as well. In terms of combat, you might know what to expect: melee, up-close-and-personal, and just plain brutal. We’ll be able to do everything from quick jabs to full grabs and counters and of course, that shield will take center stage quite often. Not only will it block most anything – including bullets – but it can also be chucked at enemies ala boomerang style. As it’s essentially this hero’s weapon, we’re hoping it can be upgraded…who wants a sharp edge on it? Remember Kung Lao’s hat…?
The acrobatic nature of the gameplay might separate Super Soldier from the rest of the action pack. Captain America will be able to utilize his surroundings to execute fresh, powerful moves, and that could include swinging off a pole and smacking into a horde of attackers. Once you’ve wrapped your mind around the basics and accepted that your acrobatics can add a nice twist to the combat, you can turn your attention to other features. There’s the Tactical Vision mode, for instance, that will remind you of the Detective Mode in Batman: Arkham Asylum, and that’ll add some much-appreciated depth. Basically, it’ll be used to point out objectives, possible aggressors, and even hidden goodies. We’re not sure if exploration will be a big factor but right now, it seems obvious that the game will live and die by the combat mechanic.
I mean, with something called Crippling Strike, this old-fashioned superhero will be able to dominate his opponents. As you beat on enemies, a meter will fill and with each full segment, you can execute a Crippling Strike. These are insta-knockouts that will cause time to slow and give you a bad-ass look at the superhero’s skills. They’ve got quite the solid foundation for this one, don’t you think? We sort of get the feeling that the story may take a back seat in this particular production, but provided the gameplay is as entertaining as it sounds, we ought to be satisfied with the final product. If you’re wondering what Next Level Games has produced, they have the recent Punch-Out for the Nintendo Wii on their resume, as well as Spider-Man: Friend or Foe, Super Mario Strikers, and NHL Hitz Pro. For our part, we just want a capable superhero action game that delivers what it promises. That isn’t too much to ask, right?
10/7/2010 Ben Dutka