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Why 2011 will be the year of the superhero

Part 1 - Marvel at all the superheroes

Page 2 of 3

Despite supposedly being less than a year away (unlikely, given SK's previous) details on the title remain scarce, but the obtuse teaser trailer - "The struggle that is to come will define us all. Each of us possesses a unique strength. This is our destiny..." - makes it clear that this is an RPG in which choice will be your number one weapon.

What also seems likely is that you'll be controlling a brand new mutant, learning the ropes at Professor X's academy, while the old guard - Wolverine, Pyro, Nightcrawler, Cyclops, etc - guide you as NPCs.

With X-Men: Legacy supremo Mike Carey heading things up on the writing side and promising an experience which is "something like a nightmare", we're a bit confident about this. Finding your feet in the Academy in a deep RPG sounds fantastic; the only question mark is over how long Silicon Knights will need to turn it around.

TAKE IT TO THE NAZIS IN...
Captain America Super Soldier: Ask most people what they know about Captain America and they're likely to suggest he's a great big jingoistic meathead flag-waver, who hates Darwinism and probably works for the Klan.

But Marvel's iconic 'patriot' was never the plain old tool of the US government that he seemed to be - and especially in the hands of a development team from Vancouver.

The Captain was created by Joe Simon and Jack Kirby for Marvel's forerunner Timeless Comics a full year before Pearl Harbor, to show the importance of fighting the Nazis back in the day when half of the US were hoping that WWII would just go away, and over the years he's been just as fervently against negative US policy as he was against the Nazis.

Next year's movie version goes right back to the origin story, being set in WWII. And though the idea of a 360 title set in WWII hardly screams originality, with every war FPS shying away from the 40s these days, some superhero Nazi-bashing - with brute strength taking the place of firearms - could be a breath of fresh air.

The narrative of Super Soldier - written by Marvel scribe Christos Gage - expands upon and runs alongside the movie, detailing the creation of the Captain. Basic gist: weedy conscript Steve Rogers is given an experimental serum to turn him into the perfect soldier, and uses his new powers to thwart the despicable antics of Hitler and his mates - especially head of terrorism, the Red Skull.

Zoom

Some people may be breaking out into a cold sweat at the thought of not having a gun (especially when gangs of goose-steppers have you in their sights), but you will have that famous shield, which acts as an offensive weapon as well as protection - you can ricochet bullets right back at their original owner.

Still, the emphasis is on melée combat, with lots of agile scaling of Bavarian castle walls, PoP-style platforming and uncovering of nasty Nazi plots. There'll also be a fair few references to the likes of Iron Man and Nick Fury, just like in the movie.

Considering the dismal adventures Iron Man's had on the console, let's hope this isn't a bad omen. Further worries could come from the fact that Sega have brought in developers Next Level, whose last superhero offering was Spider-Man: Friend or Foe - definitely the webslinger's nadir on consoles.

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