The Amazing Spider-Man hits theaters on July 4th and releasing a week earlier is the game of the same name. After a butt-load of Spider-Man games is The Amazing Spider-man truly amazing?
The events in The Amazing Spider-Man actually takes place after the movie, so although this is a movie tie-in, Beenox went the X-Men Origins: Wolverine route and pretty much did their own thing. It does contain spoilers for the film which was a big disappointment for me, but it doesn’t necessary follow the movie’s storyline. You of course play Peter Parker as the amazing Spider-Man and you’re working with Doc. Connors (The Lizard) in trying to find a cure for the cross-species created by Alistar Smithe. Obviously this goes horribly wrong and now all of Manhattan is under attack, Smithe does the logical thing of releasing robots to stop this but of course that also backfires. Thus you must save the day and save the people of New York.
Beenox have created two Spider-Man tiles in the past but they’re usually confined to small corridors (Spider-Man: Shattered Dimension and Spider-Man: Edge of Time) . This time the gameplay goes back to what everyone wanted. Free-roam, open-world extravaganza . And yes swinging around the city as Spider-Man is still as exhilarating as it’s always been. There are some new tactics that Spider-Man can use one especially is the web-rush. This pretty much slows everything down and you see behind the mask and aim at something to directly zip to. This can be used to travel and attack enemies with a quick kick to the back of the head.This also makes any battle ridiculously easy as well since all you have to do when it gets too heated is zip your way out of there.
There are moments in the game that try to make Spidey stealthy and although it is fun to sneak behind and enemy (or above) and wrap that sucker up in a web-cocoon it’s slow and usually not worth it. You’ll most likely just jump in, mash the attack buttons, and then dodge on occasion. It’s pretty repetitive but it is a best em’ up so it’s forgivable. There are different methods of attacking like using surrounding environments to attack a group load of bad guys and the occasional signature move (which looks great).
Although you’re free to swing around in the city, some of the actual missions take place in confined areas again. Sewers, factories, warehouses anything confined it’s most likely here. Usually your obstacles involve with steam coming out of pipes and toxic on the floor for you to maneuver around. It’s not as bad as previous Beenox titles where you’re only confined to those spaces but they do add a sense of claustrophobia and when you finally are out of a level and back in the open world you feel free. I actually didn’t mind this at all. The story is linear but how you get there and when is completely up to you.
One of the biggest disappointments in The Amazing Spider-Man is lack of villains, I understand that since the movie has been rebooted you’ll want to save the best for last (Venom?) but there are a lot of villains to choose from that shouldn’t make it on the big screen. Rhino makes his appearance and so does Vermin and Scorpion but that’s pretty much it. You could have easily thrown in Vulture, Doc Ock, and Electro and so on, just to kind of give the game another big threat. But, I do also understand that this isn’t off a comic-book where anything can happen, but it is based off a movie that might want to keep some surprises up its sleeve. It’s just disappointing because you’d want to encounter those villains in a title like this. That’s when movie-tie in games show its restraints on the products name.
That’s not to say there’s not enough to do. There are a ton of sidequests and in-level quests to accomplish which earns you experience points to upgrades Spider-Man’s web attacks and combat. These come in the form of photographing special objects or people, stopping a crime in progress, showing off to a blimp, saving civilians from thieves, bringing infected civilians to the hospital and much more. There are also comic book covers to collect that are randomly scattered throughout the city. These are the equivalent of Riddler trophies from Batman: Arkham City; meaning if you see one you’ll stop whatever you’re doing to grab it just because you can’t help it. The best part? No saving a balloon or delivering pizza to speak of and collecting Comic covers actually allow you to read the comics themselves. That really pushed it for me to collect it.
At first I was reluctant to accept Spider-Man’s new costume but while playing it I’ve come to love it. It looks great and a lot of detail went into the textures which pop out. Very bright in the day and ambient at night this title looks really good. Some enemy types look OK and there are some odd “enemies going through walls” moments but it never slowed down (unless it meant to) and yes the enemies are repetitive ,but this is a beat em’ up and it’s expected. For those wondering. Yes. There are different Spider-Man costumes to unlock. You have Scarlet Spiderman, Negative Spiderman, and of course the Symbiote Spider-Man costume and a lot more which I will not ruin here. What surprised me was the Black Spider-Man costume from Spider-Man 3 made a surprise visit; since this is a new series I was pleasantly surprised to see it was there since I thought they would scrap the other movie’s existence out, but no, they acknowledge it and throw in an easter egg. One of the best things about the costumes is that the more damage you take the more the costume rips revealing skin and blood. This is a cosmetic feature but a nice touch overall, it’s not even just patches on top of the costume either, if Spidey has a rip in the back of his mask, you’ll see his hair, not a piece of flesh. Sometimes little things like that and the web-head’s chin moving while he talks shows attention to detail.
Speaking of talking. Thankfully the voice acting is done well. Andrew Garfield does not provide the voice (and after hearing Tobey Maguire on Spider-Man 3 this is a good thing). Spider-Man sounds young but not annoyingly young. He’s still got his sense of humor, is cheesy and aware of it. The other voice actor that plays Smite is of course Nolan North. Who also brings character and personality to the character portrayed.
The Amazing Spider-Man is a game that truly makes you feel like Spider-Man. The story isn’t all that interesting and they could have avoided the whole movie spoiler thing but at least it’s not tied to the same story as the movie, you’re not repeating the same thing. Swinging around the city is a joy and combat is repetitive but fluent. The graphics look great with some pop-in issues at times but is still impressive. Replay value is through the roof with a lot of costumes to unlock and a lot of content to progress in, a lot of sidequests will keep you occupied and you can always go back to play a certain section whenever you please. If it wasn’t for the lackluster villains I’d say this is the best Spider-Man experience yet, that’s one of the major things that held it back. Still for a movie-game tie-in it’s a lot of fun to play and yes even amazing.
Swinging Always a Joy
Voice Work Cons
Not Enough Villains Some Pop-In Issues