Captain America sports three-year development period, original narrative

Many movie games are rushed into development a year or so before a film is set to release, often at the whim of some Hollywood marketing folks who decide a video game would nicely complement the aforementioned movie. This was not the case with SEGA’s Captain America: Super Soldier, which benefited from a lengthy development period and the freedom to venture outside the confines of the Captain America: The First Avenger narrative.

"We started [Captain America: Super Soldier] long before we knew what the movie was even going to be about," said Brandon Gill, game director at Next Level Games, during a recent SEGA press event. "We knew it was going to be about Captain America, but we didn’t know the time period or any of that."

Gill and the team at Next Level Games began prototyping the core combat systems three years ago. Originally, the combat was twitchy like God of War or Devil May Cry, but the team later settled on a flowing, reaction-based system more in line with the recent Batman: Arkham Asylum.

Check out our full video interview with Brandon Gill, game designer at Next Level Games

Meanwhile, after convincing both Marvel and SEGA that ignoring the narrative of The First Avenger was for the best, Next Level Games crafted a completely original Captain America story. Next Level brought on Christos Gage, a prominent Marvel writer, to weave an engaging narrative into the game flow the studio had already created.

"We’ve got Cap going into this castle in Bavaria, where all these weapons of mass destruction have been coming [from] to the front lines in World War II," explains Gill. "When he gets there, he finds out that it used to be the ancestral home of Baron Zemo, and HYDRA has come in and entrenched themselves inside this castle. He’s got to figure out what they’re up to and stop them."

Captain America: Super Soldier is set to launch on July 19, 2011 in North America.