I won’t mince words here: Captain America: Sentinel of Liberty (a $4.99 universal iPhone and iPad game) is a mobile Mirror’s Edge with a Marvel Comics skin. Gamers are charged with guiding a sprinting, leaping, sliding, pole-swinging, and wall-running Steve Rogers through a HYDRA stronghold to bash WWII-era baddies. Packing 24 levels, a story by Marvel scribe Christos Cage (who also wrote Captain America: Super Soldier), art by Ron Lim and Christopher Sotomayor, this Disney Mobile game is a fun, lightweight diversion, but the focus on running may turn some away who were expecting a more hand-to-hand and stealth action.
Captain America: Sentinel of Liberty opens with comic book-style cinematics that explain why Peggy Carter tasks Cap with skydiving from an Allied plane into a Hydra camp without any backup. It’s all pretty standard stuff on the writing front, but the Ron Lim/Christopher Sotomayor art is quite nice, displaying the strength and bad-assery of our flag-garbbed hero.
Once Cap lands behind enemy lines he begins sprinting in the direction you point him. In the early stages, the super -solider has very basic moves — melee attacks and a shield toss. The former is done my swiping toward a HYDRA foe when in close range; the latter is performed by tapping the shield icon in the lower-left part of the screen. Rogers receives combat instruction between levels that serve as tutorials: your combat repertoire quickly expands to include blocking, wall-running, swinging, and multiple-target shield strikes. The a very accessible learning curve, presenting the appropriate situations where you can use your new-found abilities, but it also makes the game feel like it has the longest tutorial in video game history.
The graphics are serviceable, if a bit rough. At times, Captain America: Sentinel of Liberty looks like an early PS2 title, except the animations are a bit smoother. This is best seen when Cap enters melee combat: Dramatic, Matrix-like slow motion moves similar to what you’ve seen in the Captain America: First Avenger trailers accompanies his attacks. Pairing fisticuffs with wall-climbing/running, you can rack up sizable combo numbers across nicely designed levels. Still, the extremely bland backgrounds makes every one of those nicely designed levels feel very, very familiar.
Captain America: Sentinel of Liberty features a fitting patriotic, horn-heavy soundtrack, but Cap’s voice actor is pretty horrid. He’s remarkably wooden and very hands-on-hip, sounding very much like one would expect from a Captain America parody. Game Center support means that you can shoot for the high score among other players, and check out the 21 game achievements. In addition, picking up HYDRA intel files unlock extra costumes.
Overall, Captain America: Sentinel of Liberty is a decent title which excels in small spurts. If you’re expecting a mobile version of Captain America: Super Soldier you’ll be disappointed; instead you’ll experience a fast-moving action-platformer that’s worth the $5 asking price.