In our first hands-on with Captain America: Super Soldier, we found the game to be a pleasant surprise, offering gameplay that combined elements of vaunted series like Uncharted and Batman: Arkham Asylum. At E3 2011, Sega brought the second half of that same level, culminating in not one but two major fights with Baron Von Strucker, and the game continues to prove itself a success in gameplay, presentation, writing, and fun.
The demo picked up literal seconds after the first one. Cap has destroyed some anti-aircraft guns and is now off to take out Strucker himself. Moving quickly through this section of the level, there is less of the exploration and hopping around (only two little sections in this half), and more of the gritty freeflow-style combat. Picking it up for a second time made it much easier to pull off combos and jump between enemies while Cap delivered the heavy hits. That's what's most important here: everything is just natural. It feels like you should spin around and smack another enemy, so you do, and the game rewards you for it. It feels like you should throw your shield in the middle of a combo, and the game rewards you for it. Playing on instincts first and then experience is key, and both playstyles work. That's a big accomplishment for a any game.
The first boss battle with Baron Von Strucker was pretty difficult. The combat focus here is dfinitely in counters, building up your stronger attacks and unleashing those in turn. Throughout the fight, waves of henchmen come attack you as well. This was actually helpful and fun for a couple of reasons. One, the combat in the game is actually designed much more around bouncing from enemy to enemy than for just wailing on one character. Two, it just feels more natural. A guy like Baron Von Strucker isn't just going to take on a superhero one-on-one, he is going to call in all the help he can get.
After the first time you take Strucker down, you continue through the level, trying to sabotage and blow up one last piece of the puzzle. Just before you complete your mission, Von Strucker returns angrier than ever, and this time with more henchmen and a timer ticking away to boot! This was a great, fast-paced, and exciting battle. After learning the proper tactics to take him down the first time, this fight went much smoother. We even had an unexpected "holy crap" moment. Just as we took down the Baron, there were two henchmen left: one with a melee weapon, one with a gun. In one fluid motion, thanks to some fortuitous timing, we took down the boss, knocked out the melee guy with one punch, then did a backhand deflection with the shield, bouncing a bullet the last enemy fired right back into his throat, sending him to the ground. It was a very fun and cinematic moment to cap it all off. After sabotage, we called in the Howling Commandos, who it was confirmed for the first time will be appearing in the game to help Captain America along his mission.
This game isn't doing much to revolutionize video games as a whole, or even comic book games. But it has the most important elements down: the voice acting is engaging, the script is funny and exciting, the boss bttles are tough and force you to use actual tactics, the combat is fluid and easy to pick up but difficult to master, and it is just plain fun to play. Captain America: Super Soldier is already looking like Sega's best superhero game to date, and is a must-play during the traditionally light video game month of July.
Captain America Super Soldier comes to all major consoles on July 19, 2011. Check out the latest trailer below!