The Amazing Spider-Man review
Movie tie-in games are usually slated for being churned out, money grabbing, side dishes designed to promote a movie, but to fair The Amazing Spider-Man game certainly holds its own. Set as an epilogue, if you play the game before you see the movie you will find out key elements of the plot, so do be warned. The movie cast members didn’t lend their voices to the game but the voice over acting is still great with some fantastic one-liners and familiar voices. Bruce Campbell lends his voice to the Xtreme reporter and the infamous Stan Lee provides the voice of Stan.
Can he swing from a web…?
The Amazing Spider-Man is set in an open world and while you are swinging about you can fight crimes, perform race challenges, rescue infected citizens and bring escaped mental patients back to the police (no, I’m not joking!). The repetitive actions can get somewhat boring, but the novelty of swinging around as Spider-Man just doesn’t grow old. The Trophy hunter in me also kicked in, with a need to complete every mission marker to have a clean map and get those trophies.
The game provides players with a chance to fight against many of Spider-Man’s enemies from Marvel comic books. Rhino, The Iguana and Felicia Hardy all feature in the game, and through collecting individual comic book pages whole comic books can be created. Just like collecting tasks in other games, the various pages are dotted all around New York City and require you to scale the dizzy heights of The Big Apple.
Other masked collecting tasks include finding different spider symbols located in certain parts of New York and taking photos of them. There’s also opportunity to unlock alternative costumes such as “Big Time” Spider-Man, Scarlet Spider, a colour-inverted version of the Future Foundation costume, the Spider-Man 3 black suit as well as a newer version of the black suit and a party hat for Spidey’s 50th anniversary. All of these and more can be put on in Peter’s apartment. Yay for collectables!
Stealthily does it
The new stealth feature means you can attack enemies head on or lurk in the shadows. The combat system makes use of Spider-Man’s ‘Spidey Sense’ and by pressing the button you can dodge enemy attacks and perform a counter-attack. Taking out a roomful of bad guys with webs and signature moves feels pretty superhero-like, but if you like to keep to the shadows you can use stealth takedowns where you capture bad guys in web cocoons and drag them to the ceiling out of sight.
If things get a little bit hectic or Spider-Man is discovered during a more stealthily moment, he can “Web Retreat” and go back to being hidden even in a brightly lit room. Be warned though that enemies will search for you and begin the attack again if you haven’t hid well enough.
A nice feature is how the suit takes damage through combat and shows this to the player, with the suit eventually being torn to shreds. For me it makes the ‘real’ human superhero aspect of Spider-Man so much more engaging and believable, as you aren’t swinging around in a pristine suit all day like in previous games, even after a massive boss battle.
Despite the nice touches with Spider-Man’s suit, The Amazing Spider-Man isn’t graphically the greatest for a PS3 game, but web-slinging through the city at sunset can look very beautiful. There are also a few game breaking glitches, but thankfully it wasn’t as big an issue as it could have been other than an inconvenience of having to turn it off and on again as the game saves after every item you collect, side mission completed and throughout the main missions. The camera tends to freak out when you are crawling across ceilings trying to be stealthy, but it will tend to correct itself once you are upright again and shouldn’t harm your game.
Penny for your thoughts
Load times are a little long and can be tedious especially when entering your apartment. But to try and break up the boredom of looking at a loading screen, developers Beenox added a NYC Thoughts Feed which displays the thoughts of the NYC citizens. This can be quite humorous at times, but the feed does only update after every chapter so the tedium of looking at a loading screen quickly returns.
If you play on the PlayStation 3 as I did then you can play with PlayStation Move. Move puts a cursor on the screen and provides the player with a more accurate way to Web Rush or fire webbing. However playing with Move for me didn’t feel very intuitive and I didn’t feel there was an improvement to my playing experience, so I quickly opted to return to the PS3 controller to play the rest of the game with. In all honesty it feels more like a gimmick that will be used for just a few moments, which is a shame as Beenox may have missed a good opportunity.
I had most of the story and side missions completed in about 10 hours of gameplay but I am still going back in for more web-slinging fun. The storyline isn’t as in depth as a lot of games, but it is entertaining and will keep you amused for a few hours. After completing the main story the side missions will keep you occupied for another few hours.
With several hours of main storyline and also side missions, plus the various collectibles to be found around New York City, The Amazing Spider-Man is another well developed Spider-Man movie tie-in game from Beenox, and once again goes against the grain of mediocrity.