Activision and Beenox have had an interesting time with Marvel’s most popular hero. Shattered Dimensions was an awesome love letter to the fans, and Edge of Time managed to have a great story (despite a lot of people disliking it). With the history of Spider-Man titles being what it is, does The Amazing Spider-Man manage to soar, or does it plummet? This time, Beenox has done the movie tie-in game (a scary prospect), but they’ve done a lot more than that. They may have actually nailed what it takes to have the definitive Spidey game.
Set after the events of the 2012 The Amazing Spider-Man film, Gwen brings Peter back to OsCorp in order to find out if the company has continued Curt Connors’ research into cross-species mutations. Once there, they meet OsCorp’s new golden scientist, Alistaire Smythe, who has developed robots to deal with cross-species and is planning to dispose of the creatures that were already created. Peter’s presence, as a cross-species of sorts, causes the various creatures to riot and break out, and even worse, they start spreading a cross-species virus that is infecting the city, including Gwen. As Spider-Man, he’s going to have to do some insane things to save the city this time.
The Amazing Spider-Man has a good story, but it hampers the game. Due to being a film tie-in, they’re unable to use many major villains, keeping the story firmly set about the virus, Peter’s relationships with his fellow characters from the film, and Smythe’s slow descent into paranoia and madness. Also, the game spoils some major plot points of the film, so it may be a good idea to wait until after the film is out to play it. The voice acting is lacking anyone from the film, but it’s still great voice work.
Of course, this is a game, so how does it play? Pretty damn good, it turns out. Yes, we have an open-world Manhattan to swing around, and I love what they’ve done with how you can travel now. Web swinging has been revamped, with the ability to hold the button and swing continuously. That may sound like cheating, but it makes the transition to the indoor levels easier. While in the city, Spidey swings with long swings and dazzling leaps, but when the action heads indoors, he switches to a more controlled hand-over-hand style. It’s a nice touch that works, giving us control in less-open environments and speed and style in the open ones. The new choice of keeping the camera close to Spidey works with this because it makes web swinging far more thrilling.
Combat takes a cue from Batman’s recent outings, with a free-flow combat system. Seriously, I’m starting to think all games should use this more often, since it’s more a test of skill that just mashing buttons. While not as polished as the Dark Knight, Spidey basically can bounce back and forth beating on foes, with his spider sense allowing him to counter. Of course, they could have made the spider sense marks bigger so that they could be seen when things get crazy, but after a while it becomes second-nature. Also, stealth takedowns that can be performed from not just perch points but the ceiling? That’s Spidey style.
The new Web Rush mechanic is great, allowing you to basically move through the world at breakneck speed and pull of impressive stunts. Initially, you’d think you can just use it to slow down time and pick a location, but when you start chaining them together to create your own Spidey stunt show, it gives you such a giddy thrill. Manhattan hasn’t been this fun to traverse since Spider-Man 2, and you can do it in record time.
And then there’s the little things, like being able to click the left analog stick in order to stop crawling when on the wall to assume a Spidey-style wall perch, the photo missions, comic books to unlock and the appearances of Bruce Campbell and Stan Lee, that just make this a great fun experience.
So, what are the problems? Well, besides my comments about spoilers and the lack of major foes to fill it in, it’s just kinda short. It’s a fun ride, but it can be finished in a couple of days. Thankfully, you can replay all the major missions from your apartment hub, where you also can change into the costumes you’ve unlocked. So, it’s an open world game that has massive replay value. That’s always a plus.
In conclusion, The Amazing Spider-Man is definitely the best Spidey game out now, but is not yet the best possible game for Spidey. That being said, Beenox has definitely hit on the right formula. Now they just need an original story not tied to the film, and the chance to fill it with some of Spidey’s major foes in order to achieve Arkham-level greatness.
|Good story and voice acting|
Web Rush is an amazing innovation
Tons of fanservice.
|Story's too short and spoils too much of the film|
Combat needs a bit more polish
Could have used more major foes.