'Captain America: Super Soldier' Is Basically 'Batman: Arkham Asylum'

Captain America: Super Solider

Sega's last two attempts to make a Marvel super hero game were two mediocre "Iron Man" releases which failed to crack 50% on Metacritic. Clearly something wasn't working with the formula, so Sega's decided to try something new for 2011's "Captain America: Super Soldier." They've brought in a new developer, Next Level Games, whose previous successes include "Punch-out!!" for Wii and the "Mario Strikers" series. They've also decided to examine how other super hero video games have succeed and follow that formula as closely as possible. For example, the similarities between "Batman: Arkham Asylum" and "Captain America: Super Soldier" could fill a book.

Similarity 1: Open World, Emphasis On Exploration

"Arkham Asylum" was set in and around a large, explorable island.

"Captain America: Super Soldier" is set in and around a large, explorable castle.

Although the architecture is a bit different, both games have you earning abilities which allow you to access new parts of the map, similar to "Castlevania" or "Metroid."

Similarity 2: 360-Degree Combat

Combat in "Batman" had you often surrounded by a half-dozen enemies, but by using a careful mix of strikes and grabs, you were able to take control of the situation.

Combat in "Captain America: Super Soldier" has you often surrounded by a half-dozen enemies, but by using a careful mix of strikes and grabs, you're able to take control of the situation.

Similarity 3: Ranged Attacks and Tiered Enemies

"Batman" allows you to stun ranged enemies with a batarang. Certain enemies had shields, requiring you to disable them with a grab before striking them.

"Captain America" also allows you to stun ranged enemies with a shield. Certain enemies have shields, requiring you to disable them with a grab before striking them.

Similarity 4: Rhythm-Based Controls

In "Batman," players were discouraged from button mashing during combat, as they would see more success when using carefully timed strikes and grabs.

In "Captain America," players are discouraged from button mashing during platforming sections, as they would see more success when using carefully timed taps of the jump button.

Similarity 5: Exploring The History

In "Batman," players could discover collectibles which would reveal the history behind Arkham Asylum and its mysterious owner.

In "Captain America," players can discover collectibles which reveal history behind the castle and its mysterious owner.

Similarity 6: Tactical Vison

In "Batman," players can activate vision modes which will cause important objects in the environment to become highlighted.

In "Captain America," player can activate vision modes which will cause important objects in the environment to become highlighted.

Is This A Bad Thing?

It's pretty clear that there was a meeting at where someone basically said, "Hey, everyone loved 'Batman: Arkham Asylum,' so let's just do what they did." There are too many similarities to ignore, and this was just in my first brief, 20-minute look at the game. But, to be honest, "Captain America: Super Soldier" made the game seem way more promising than any of Sega's previous super hero efforts, so maybe being a copycat isn't always a bad thing.

That said, I am hoping that "Super Soldier" sets out on its own a bit instead of just riding on the coattails of others. Clearly Cap fans will be excited, but in order to get the broad appeal of a game like "Arkham Asylum," there's got to be some new in there, as well.