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Captain America: Super Soldier Preview

Nick_Tan By:
GENRE Action/Adventure 
DEVELOPER Next Level Games 
T Contains Mild Blood, Mild Language, Violence

What do these ratings mean?

“I’m not sure you’ve ever met anyone as relentless as Americop.”

Though comparing Batman and Captain America might not be the fairest or the typical Marvel vs. DC character battle – The Punisher is probably the better comparison in lieu of Captain America – both Bruce Wayne and Steve Rogers have strikingly similar abilities. As far as the superhuman scale goes, both characters represent the more human end of the spectrum, or at least how far the human mind and body can potentially go without going superhuman. But whereas Bruce achieved “human perfection” through a lifetime of physical training, all Steve did was drink a potion and follow the directions. Technically, all of Steve’s cells have been biologically enhanced to remove any bodily poisons and chemical wastes at an accelerated human rate, so I consider him borderline superhuman. If there was an all-out, no-weapons cage match between the both of them, I would have to side with Cap. With gadgetry allowed, though, Batman can more than even the odds.

Now, I realize I’ve probably taken this comparison into the land of nerd-dom, but the similarity between the critically successful Batman: Arkham Asylum and the upcoming Captain America: Super Soldier is uncanny. Both games take place in a localized environment where the hero makes the best of their human abilities in combat and exploration, with Captain America whisking about a castle taken over by the Hydra army. Following a story by Christos Cage, author of Marvel’s Avengers: The Initiative, Captain America must use Detective Mode Eagle Vision to proceed through the Nazi encampment and dispatch the likes of the Iron Cross and the Red Skull during World War II.

Yep, we’re talking about the classic Cap, before he was brought out of suspended animation by The Avengers in the Silver Age. Only this time, his costume includes the modern circular vibranium-steel alloy shield, a brown neck brace forming the bottom half of his mask, ribbed shoulder pads, parachuter straps, and a leather utility belt (that’s totally not like someone else’s.)

No matter his appearance, though, his still patriotic costume is meant to complement his gymnastic martial art style. Between segments where Cap sprints, sidesteps, and swings with parkour accuracy through the hallways of the opulent castle, he must engage foes with tactical prowess and precision. In one-on-one combat, Cap can easily stun and surprise his enemy by springing somersaults and cartwheels into sweeping roundhouses, but against a group of gun-toting soldiers, he’s still one guy. Getting out of these sticky situations require quick reversals, not getting caught beating one enemy down while surrounded, and maneuvers with the all-purpose shield.

Several upgraded moves allow Cap to use his unbreakable shield as a power strike, a ground pound with stunning radial force, or a battering ram that Capcom fans will describe as a Charging Star. (On that note, I have no idea where Stars & Stripes or Final Justice are, but this isn’t a Capcom game, right?) If he has built up enough bars in his ability gauge, he can go into a grayed-out slow-time, a la Dead Eye in Red Dead Redemption, and target each of his foes for a discus boomerang combo that would make Xena jealous. Otherwise, Cap can just be a menace by breaking IKEA-quality table chairs and chalkboards, collecting dossiers that happen to be scoured flimsily about the mansion, and stealing Nazi diaries, ceramic eggs, and priceless heirlooms. For experience points, of course... American experience points.

For a video game that is meant to launch about a week before the release of the upcoming Captain America: The First Avenger film, Captain America: Super Soldier hopes to catch wind of the superhero revival of the last decade. Just as Batman already has. Look for it to break through stores in mid-July of this year.
More GR previews for this game:
Captain America: Super Soldier preview posted on 03/20/11.

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