Last night I collected a few things I had become bored with and traded them in towards this. I also...um, borrowed a digital file of the film from some friendly internet stranger as well. Wound up getting the movie and the game for less than a pack of cigarettes. Awesome!
Before watching the film, I played through an hour or two of the game and enjoyed it immensely. As the official Destructoid review points out, it borrows heavily from Arkham Asylum. It has Zemo's diaries instead of patient files, similar challenge modes, fighting mechanics, etc. This could be taken as a criticism; however, I see it as a good thing. Not only does it take what worked from AA, it manages to improve on its design in a few key areas.
First of all, the boss battles are quite a bit more fun. The "fight lots of little guys...oh look here's a big guy" formula that Batman has to deal with becomes genuinely boring, especially after several playthroughs. I've often found myself wishing that he could fight boss battles that challenge him on some other level than pure strength. Cap's game design evolves its influence nicely by matching him against enemies that challenge him with skills and techniques all their own. His battles against classic villains such as Baron Von Strucker and Madame Hydra are played out with special moves and close-up camera angles that add a sense of uniqueness to each fight.
For example, using Cap's Weaponize ability against Madame Hydra causes him to lock her arms behind his and spin her around, making her shoot her own henchmen. The contextual attacks make every encounter an experience of its own, which is a lot more fun than having to fight the same giant guy every time you turn a corner.
I also love how playing as Cap frequently provides a visceral sense of having knocked someone right the hell out. Batman has that slow motion thing he does when striking down the last enemy of a group, but it pales in the shadow of Cap's "I just broke your whole damn face" power strikes. You can use these at any time, provided you have the meter charged, and when you do it's like seeing someone get hit by a red white and blue truck. He gets the slo-mo effect from AA, along with damage effects such as seeing parts of the other guy's mask and helmet go flying across the room. It's also really loud and sounds like a car wreck. Good, good stuff.
Also noteworthy is his shield throwing. Good Guy Steve has a variety of ways to put this thing upside yo' head. There's the usual aim and throw of course, but the move that made me giggle like a child first time I saw it was the focus aiming. Remember how you could line up your shots in Red Dead Redemption? You could tag a number of targets, then press fire to hit them all at once? Cap's version is much more impressive. He does basically the same thing, only the camera follows the shield in flight as it bounces from skull to skull to skull. SQUEE!
Plus you can throw the thing without even aiming it and it'll ricochet off half the guys in the room anyway. This is a hell of a lot of fun in the timed challenge areas, because once you've upgraded it you can take out a dozen enemies in like, ten seconds. Just chuck the shield at the rank and file generic enemies and by the time you've crippled the most dangerous enemy present, everyone else will be down. Just like the comics!
To sum up - Nick Chester gave this a 6.5, but I bump it up two full points for face-smashing patriotic glory; also, because this is my blog and I can do that! Feel free to call me unprofessional if you want but I'll probably just laugh at you because I don't even work here.
Also, a few brief thoughts on the film. Chris Evans nailed it. Dude, I haven't been that moved by a guy playing a superhero since Christopher Reeve. Hugo Weaving was gloriously inhuman as the Red Skull, and I like how they adapted Bucky's role because it would've been weird to see Cap fighting Nazis alongside a preadolescent boy. Most of all, I'm really glad they changed the costume. I never realized how wrong the original would look on film until I unlocked this after finishing the game:
inb4 lol sir your cell phone camera sucks
That might have worked for the celebrity sequence where he's throwing fake punches at an actor playing Hitler, but as far as the "for real" version? Er...hell no. It's pretty cool for an unlockable though.