If you know anything about me you’ll know that I’m a huge Spider-Man fan. In fact one could label me as a fanboy. My room is littered with Spider-Man action figures, posters and I’m proud to say his comics. As both a Spider-Man fan and a video-game enthusiast I’m no stranger to his video games- my Xbox Live Gamer-Score attests to the fact that I’ve played them all. So like everyone else I was not surprised that a new game was announced to go with the new movie. And you know what? It’s actually the best Spider-Man game ever made.
Beenox, the developer, recently released other Spider-Man titles like Shattered Dimensions and the extremely disappointing Edge of Time. Luckily for us, Beenox decided to return to Spider-Man’s roots and have a free-roaming New York to explore. This is where The Amazing Spider-Man absolutely shines. The outdoor battles are incredibly engaging and web-slinging through the Big Apple has never been more fun. I really enjoyed how they adjusted the camera. Instead of having Spider-Man barely in the frame, Beenox pulled the camera in closer so you can get a better sense of speed.
Nothing is better than free-falling off a skyscraper then launching a web right before you hit the streets, letting the momentum sling shot you off. Also, this game features a new mechanic called “Web Rush”: basically you hold down one of the shoulder buttons and it slows down time to show you different options on where to zip to. It’s a nifty feature and it more than once saved me in a scuffle. It’s certainly a welcome tool to help you find those pesky Comic Book pages hidden around the city.
Now that we’ve covered the Free-Roam gameplay, let’s talk about the combat and indoor portions. If you’ve played the recent Batman game you’ll instantly be familiar with the combat in The Amazing Spider-Man. It’s not as polished but it’s just as fun. I never got bored achieving blisteringly fast 50 hit combos with Spider-Man’s agility-based fighting style. If you’re more into stealth gameplay, Beenox has you covered in this area as well. You can hang from a ceiling and paint your target and you’ll instantly web the poor sap up. To me, this wasn’t the way I played the game. With the stealth portions it seemed too easy to just web a guy up and zip away from detection. I found it more challenging to get inside the fray and go toe-to-toe with the bad guys. Spider-Man isn’t made to take a lot of punches so if you’re not fast with your Spider-Sense you’ll find yourself in a heap of trouble.
I was really surprised that Beenox put so many unlockables in the game. There are around 700 comic book pages to find across New York. I beat the game in around 10 hours and I only found 200 or so. Also, throughout the city there are Spider-Man symbols that you can photograph to unlock new Spidey costumes. Most of them are disappointing unless your favorite color is black. No need to complain too much- we’re extremely lucky to have any at all in a movie game. I also really enjoyed how Spider-Man’s costumes would rip and tear when you suffered heaps of damage.
With movie tie-ins you really can’t expect magic when it comes to the visual and audio aspect of the games. The Amazing Spider-Man is no different; there’s constant screen tearing in the distance and you can only listen to a generic Spider-Man yell YAAA so many times before you start to go crazy. Here lies one of the faults with this game- unlike other Spider-Man movie tie-ins the movie cast doesn’t voice any of the characters in the game! It would’ve been incredible to have Rhys Ifans, Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone reprising their movie counterparts but unfortunately we’re left with sound-alikes (if you even want to call them that as Dr. Connors is particularly bad).
Chances are, you’ve already seen the movie- if not, I suggest you wait to play the game till after you’ve seen it. The story-line in The Amazing Spider-Man takes place right after the movie ends and it won’t take long before the spoilers start trickling in. About 40 minutes into the game you’ll learn about a major character’s death. So if you don’t mind spoilers then swing away.
If you’re looking for a good action game to get your summer fix, you’ll be hard pressed to find a simpler and more entertaining one then The Amazing Spider-Man. Sure, the game can seem too easy at times but with an engaging storyline, interesting combat and addicting web-slinging you can’t go wrong.