The next Marvel Cinematic Universe film, ‘Captain America: The Winter Soldier,’ will be due out in theaters on Apr. 4, 2014. As is the custom for blockbuster movies like this, a video game tie-in or two has been released for different platforms. Today we’ll take a look at Gameloft’s offering for iOS devices, Captain America: The Winter Soldier - The Official Game.
Captain America: The Winter Soldier - The Official Game is a pretty big game packed into a very small package. If you’ve ever played a Marvel game developed by Gameloft on an iOS device, then you kinda know what you’ll be getting into, which is basically a third-person action game a la Diablo or a smaller scale massive online battle arena (MOBA).
There’s plenty to do in the game, giving you the option to play through the story, which was co-written by Marvel Comics writer Christos Gage, or the multiplayer A.R.E.N.A. mode. But in order to unlock the many goodies in CA:TWS, you’ll have to complete the story mode, which consists of over 100 different levels.
In these levels, you’ll take along two hand-picked S.H.I.E.L.D. agents (or you can go solo), to run through a corridor-like stage filled with enemies, objects to collect and pieces of the environment to destroy. Most of the objectives are pretty straightforward, tasking you with a fetch quest or to reach the end of the stage without falling in battle. Given that you’re Captain America, the only way you can really fail is if you half-ass your efforts at fighting evil or allow your S.H.I.E.L.D. agents to drop dead. Most of the levels only take you a minute or two to complete, so you should have no problems dispatching bad guys unless you just like to run out the clock.
The controls are decent but could use a little work. You can either use tap controls or the virtual face buttons to control Cap. Both modes are available to you automatically and you can switch between the two at your discretion. You can tap to move Cap to a designated area, tap enemies to have him auto-attack them with a flurry of combos or swipe in a certain pattern to have him throw his trusty shield, which will then follow the path you’ve drawn. This last bit is especially useful for hitting baddies or objects around the corner.
The virtual face buttons do a fine job of tracking your movements with the virtual thumbstick and registering your normal attacks with a button, but given the small areas allotted for the buttons, you’ll be likely to tap around the attack button, causing Cap to run backwards to what he thinks is a spot you’ve designed for him. It can get a little annoying, especially when you’re trying to rain down combos on mobs so that your agents don’t get overwhelmed, but it’s certainly nothing game-breaking.
Once you get into the rhythm of playing through stages and unlocking cool new agents or gear, you’ll want to upgrade your existing agents and Captain America himself by using credits, coins or trying your hand at playing the lottery. Leveling up your characters means you’ll have an easier go at subsequent challenges and can then earn even more coins and creds to unlock suits or to upgrade the buildings at S.H.I.E.L.D. HQ. I absolutely hate it when a game features in-app purchases, but at least Gameloft has made it so that you can enjoy the full game with a bit of patience and are not required to purchase anything to be successful in your endeavors.
The game costs $2.99 is actually packed with quite a lot of content. What makes it even better is that the gameplay is genuinely fun, with attractive graphics and a story that is serviceable as a framework for the shield-throwing action. Its multiplayer offerings are a welcome distraction from the main game, but it’s just a shame that you’re required to play through the story and unlock things before you’re given access to it. Still, you’re getting a hell of a deal for only $2.99, so I cannot recommend Captain America: The Winter Soldier - The Official Game enough, especially if you’re a fan of the comics or the movies
This review is based on a purchased copy of Captain America: The Winter Soldier - The Official Game for iOS.
App Store Link: Captain America: The Winter Soldier - The Official Game Review for iPhone and iPad | By Gameloft I Price: $2.99 | Version: 1.0.0 | 93.6 MB| Rating 12+