Captain America: The Winter Soldier The Official Game Review

  • Publisher:  Gameloft
  • MSRP:  $2.99
  • Platforms:  iOS and Android Devices
  • Review:  7.2/10

 

With a big blockbuster such as Captain America:  The Winter Soldier releasing, of course there is going to have to be the obligatory game tie-in to launch at it’s side.  Unlike the movie though, the game is not a big budget release.  Marvel instead has opted only for a mobile game this time around.  Gameloft usually releases quality mobile games, for the most part, but did Captain America:  The Winter Soldier The Official Game hit the mark?

The game itself is an interesting hybrid.  It has a a bit of strategy, a whallop of beat-em up, and some RPG mixings as well.  You take control of Captain America in an overhead style scrolling gameplay.  You have two choices on controls.  For movement you can either just click the spot you want to move to, or use a virtual joystick in the bottom left corner.  For various actions and attacking, you can click on the enemy or ability you want to use along with some screen swiping and you also have buttons on the bottom right to control these as well.  Beyond Cap, you also have up to two S.H.I.E.L.D. agents at your side that the computer moves to follow you and auto attack.  There are four different classes of agent you can choose from, each with their own special attributes and special ability.  The agent’s special ability you do have control of however;  for example a standard trooper can throw grenades which you can select and position.

Captain America and the agents all can level up by fighting, but then you also have a few options at your discretion on improving them.  First you can equip them with different colored ISO-8 crystals, small power sources, that can give you bonuses with things such as HP, DPS, ACC, and more.  For your agents only, you can research specific aspects of their gear with gold to improve them as well.  You can’t upgrade Cap’s costume, but you do get the chance to unlock several of his costumes throughout the game which all come with their own special ability.

The game has a lot packed into it for the price.  There are 100 stages to play through, all which have three star achievements to unlock and can take around 2-6 minutes to complete on average.  Earning the stars can be for various things, such as killing all enemies, not using an agent, not using a specific ability, ect..  The game itself has specific achievements as well to earn.  With the added customization, it does help mix things up, but the gameplay does get stale after awhile and turns into simple button mashing.  The staleness doesn’t get improved as you play through the levels and quickly see there isn’t much variety in the backgrounds.

It has a slight multiplayer mode as well, but I found it to be very generic and boring.  You select three of your agents, have them attack or defend, and then just click Fight to go against another players team.  You don’t control the battle or see it; it plays out almost like a game of rock, paper, scissors, in which the results post immediately and you have the chance to battle another player.

Going through the game, you are given a story to follow through static pictures of the characters and some dialogue to read from Cap himself, the Black Widow, Nick Fury, Maria Hill, and more.  Usually it is just a couple of sentences to start you off on your mission.  You get a little voice dialogue from Captain America and your agents during the game, but they are generic phrases that repeat more times than you’ll want.  Eventually you do face off against some classic villains as well such as the Taskmaster and Sin.  You are able to call in help from Avenger teammates in game after you unlock them through the story.  This isn’t very exciting though; for instance, calling Black Widow has her rush from one end of the screen for a moment, pistols blazing, all the way to the other, only to disappear until the meter recharges and you can summon her again.

There are options to spend additional money in the game to purchase yourself more gold and tokens.  I can say luckily that this isn’t a requirement.  Just playing through the game, and occasionally replaying levels to earn the star achievements, earns you enough gold to progress without problem.

One frustrating problem I encountered with the game is that you apparently must have an online connection to play.  I downloaded it on my tablet and noticed it won’t load if you take it off of your internet connection.  Beyond the disappointing multiplayer and option to buy additional items, there isn’t a real reason you shouldn’t be able to play offline, but it always says the game needs to download additional content and won’t let you continue.  My plan to have some fun playing this while I wait for the movie itself to start has sadly been crushed.

If the movie has you in a unmanageable wave of anticipation and you are looking for some extra Captain America excitement, this isn’t a bad choice at all.  The price is right for how much they crammed into the game.  While it may not keep your interest all the way up until level 100, it is fun to be able to control Cap on the go and see some of the other characters from the movie pop up here and there.  The gameplay just would have benefited from a little more variation beyond going through the same generic looking levels and pressing punch mostly.  Captain America is a fantastic hero that deserves the best, and while this may not be that, it is a competent game for you to toss around his mighty shield while you wait for the movie to begin.

 

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