After the video game Spider-Man: Web of Shadows, Activision has kept our webslinging hero away from the open-world format. It’s easy to understand why: Open world games can be fun, but if you don’t do enough innovation between entries, it can come across as less fresh and more formulaic. However, to tie in with the next feature film, the rebooted Amazing Spider-Man, Beenox (who I’ve already raved about with their handling of Spidey in games in the past) are returning the wallcrawler to a massive open-world.
For the sake of making things easier, I’m going to just list what I like and don’t like about the details we have so far.
– Original story: Rather than try and shoe-horn the film’s plot into the game, Beenox has opted to set it after the event of next summer’s film. This allows them to take the game in interesting directions, allowing them a good amount of freedom to make a unique mark.
– Beenox is developing it: Previous entries in the Spider-Man games, particularly the open-world titles, may have been fun to swing around, but often when it come to combat or the simpler things like just crawling walls, it didn’t feel… right. Web of Shadows at least tried to revitalize the combat, but it wasn’t until Beenox took the reins that I felt like Spider-Man had some weight to him, instead of just being a swingable ragdoll. And they’ve created a new mechanic called Web Rush that will apparently allow you to “pull off a vast array of moves never before possible”, and given how they improved the Web Zip feature from previous games, I’m curious how that will play out.
– Seamus Kevin Fahey: the writer of episodes of Sparticus: Gods of the Arena and Battlestar Galactica is writing the new story, and that leaves me with high hopes for an interesting narrative.
– Spider-Slayers?: Looking at the concept art and recent trailer, it looks like there will be Spider-Slayers. I’ve always loved the appearance of the Spider-Slayers in the comics and games, so I hope that it is their time to appear in a new game.
– Return of the open-world: I like open-world games as much as the next guy, but one thing I’ve always disliked is how when you’ve completed the game, you’d have to start a new game in order to replay your favorite moments from the storyline. This has always been a gripe with me about previous Spidey games that were open-world, because I’d always have to start from scratch if I wanted to replay one mission. Hopefully Beenox learns from recent games in the open-world genre and allows players to replay missions as often as they want.
The Amazing Spider-Man (both the game and the film) have high expectations, and already plenty of detractors in the fan community. And you can bet I’ll be keeping an eye on both to let you know if they both live up to their potential.