The movie Captain America: The First Avenger opens July 22 and we all know what that means! Yes, it's another conveniently timed release of the video game in an effort to trick us out of all our money! For the most devoted fans of the movie, the concept of releasing the game at the same time of the movie is gold: it gives you the opportunity to interact with the storyline and characters. However, more often than not, the games prove to be sloppy, hurried, and poorly executed. And since Hollywood has a long history of disrespecting the gamers, we tend to view these "video games based on the hit movie" with a lot of cynicism. So, when Bayer asked me to do a review of Xbox 360's Captain America: Super Soldier, I went into it certain I was going to hate it, which would give me ample room to rant and bitch and complain about those soulless, mercenary Hollywood buttheads and their ongoing attempts at world domination via shoddy merchandising.
Except, I liked it. Whoops! All that sanctimony and nowhere to use it.
The game is fun, fast-paced, and friendly, which are, of course, three out of the four of my very favorite eff-words. The graphics are solid, the character's movement is smooth like melted buttah, and the game itself is a respectable length: it gives you 18, fairly involved chapters to work your way through, which is more than enough for your average gamer. Obviously, you genius gamers are a whole other breed and I know the only way you could feel remotely challenged is if the game was actually, literally tied to your own life; but for those of us who aren't unemployed, semi-cyborgs, Captain America: Super Soldier falls into the category of "good times."
The game's strongest attribute is the acrobatic, seamless fighting. Great combat can make up for smaller shortcomings, such as the fact that the game tends to be visually repetitive and the decrypting and/or hotwiring you have to do is so easy it's insulting. Most of us have opposable thumbs, you know. But again, when the combat is this fun, it's hardly noticeable. More varied, intricate games have been thoroughly sunk by rotten, clunky combat: Captain America: Super Soldier gets it right.
And the game is available in 3D, which, gimmick though it tends to be sometimes, would frankly be bitchin' with this particular game. I don't have the hardware to experience it in 3D, but for those of you who do: go kick some robot Nazi ass in all three dimensions, baby.
The story is available to the player via optional film reels, for those of us not as familiar with the comic; but if you already know the history and the characters, you can just move right along in the interest of pacing.
It does have its glitchy moments, like most games, but it's minor: e.g., you hurl your shield and it flies through supposedly solid walls. It's a few seconds of extremely mild irritation, and nothing a little combat can't cure.
The controls are easy enough to pick up with a bit of mellow practice, and the levels are big enough in actual scope to present a fun challenge. Again, if you're the type of lunatic who loves to be challenged to the point of frustrating impossibility, you'll go breezing through Captain America: Super Soldier. This game is designed with the casual gamers in mind so it can entertain a wider demographic of people (you know, those of us who are sane).
As much as this sounds like a cop-out, the game's replayability is going to depend on the individual. I can get an enormous amount of fun out of quality games: I beat the game, I put it down for a few months until I've forgotten about it, and then I beat the game again. With certain games I can do this for years, thus justifying the $60 retail price. Personally, I could replay the game a couple of times over a span of months; I have other gamer friends who I know for a fact would happily play it once and never pick it up again. But let's be honest, you already know what category you fall into and can make an informed decision about owning versus renting.
Final Score: 7/10