Having been a fan of Spider-Man for years, the kid inside of me is always excited when a new Spider-Man game hits the shelves. The Amazing Spider-Man is more than just a game though, it’s an extension of the movie which I also thoroughly enjoyed. Following up from the movie, this title is set in the aftermath of Dr. Connors’ discovery. Needless to say, there are spoilers for the movie.
Genre: Action-Adventure//Sandbox, Fantasy
Platforms: Xbox 360 (Reviewed), PlayStation 3, Windows PC, Wii, Wii U, 3DS
Release Date: 29th June, 2012 (EU)
Rating: 16 (PEGI)
Picking up where the film left off, Dr. Connors is now in a mental facility. Series protagonist Peter Parker returns to Oscorp with girlfriend Gwen Stacy as she still believes that Connors’ research is being continued. Unfortunately, Peter’s presence at Oscorp upsets the other remaining cross-species, resulting in a mix of familiar and unfamiliar faces breaking out. Consequently, the cross-species plague has become more viral and is now spreading throughout Manhatten. To save the city, Peter must break out Connors and help the doctor engineer an antidote through whatever means that he can.
Players take control of the wall climber as he swings about the city, scales buildings, and fights off the bad guys. Unlike the most recent Spider-Man games to be released by Beenox, The Amazing Spider-Man is open world. Spider-Man, himself, feels fluid in his controls. Players get a good feel for the hero’s agility and nimbleness early in the game, all of which has been captured fairly well. Unfortunately, the title really lets down with the combat system.
There is little reward for players willing to put in effort in their fight against crime, as they can often get away with simply mashing away at the attack button. Occasionally, players will be prompted with Spider-Man’s spider sense to counter and then return to some more button mashing. Visually, this even looks good. The combat is accessible, and does offer some combos, but even on higher difficulties there is little need.
Playing Spider-Man, players expect to be able to scale buildings and web-swing through the streets of New York. While The Amazing Spider-Man offers this, the camera and controls can frequently become an obstacle. This is at its worst when the player is upside down or changing direction during a web-swing. Additionally, Spider-Man’s webs often appear to attach on to the clouds, rather than his surroundings. This is a very odd choice, and even a distracting one, when a game as old as Spider-Man 2 on the PlayStation 2 handled it better.
The Amazing Spider-Man runs out of steam quite fast too, giving the player access to everything at an early stage. The result is a game that gets stale during the second half, as there is very little new. This is a standard issue with sandbox games, though, and not specifically a problem with this game alone. It’s a shame to say, but fortunately the game isn’t entirely long. Played on short bursts, players should still finish the game within a week without it becoming too monotonous.
Visually, Spider-Man looks very clean and polished. Although, occasionally the player may hit the odd snag where Spider-Man falls through scenery into a never ending free fall in which he cannot even die from. The characters look good and many look similar to their on-screen counterparts; although, they are voiced differently. Enemies also have a habit of bouncing or flying across the room as if they were made of rubber. They should probably keep that out of their diet.
It’s a shame that the voice actors aren’t the same as the actors in the movie, but they still fit reasonably well. Admittedly, it eventually gets tiresome listening to Peter repeat, “Cover price may have gone up, but it’s still worth it”, when collecting comic book pages. Beenox could have probably gained from including more dialogue. Similarly, the soundtrack compliments the game and is relatively enjoyable.
Achievement hunters or particularly big fans of the web-slinger may find more on offer, but there is little motivation to complete the extra content or hunt the seven hundred comic book pages beyond playing in your favourite Spider-Man costumes–entirely cosmetic costumes. The title may offer a range of difficulties, but they are all available from the start and offer little additional challenge. Even players looking to fully complete the game will find little extra challenge in their pursuit; although, this may be more suitable for those who care only for the achievements.
It’s not the best of games–hell it’s not even the best Spider-Man game–but The Amazing Spider-Man is worth a shot whether you enjoyed the recent film or your a fan of previous Spider-Man games. It stays true to Spidey’s personality, the story is easily believable and fits in well with the movie.