By Kevin Knowlton
The Raimi trilogy was great fun for its time (aside from Spider-man 3, of course) and the games that came out around that time were fun as well. Hell, I remember playing Spider-man on my Dreamcast and that didn’t even have a movie to tie in to. It was just Spider-man, swinging around and being awesome.
I say that I’m not a big Spider-man fan, yet I’ve played most of the games that’ve been released over the past decade or so. This is actually somewhat of a long list, so here we go:
So yeah, that’s 6 Spider-man games I’ve played. I guess I’m a bit more interested in this character than I’d thought.
I’ll give you the good news first.
The story begins not long after this summer’s blockbuster The Amazing Spider-man left off. I won’t say much more than that – but if you’re thinking about playing the game, you’ll want to see the movie first as there are a few minor spoilers in the game if you don’t (and really, just do yourself the favor and see The Amazing Spider-man. It’s awesome. Check out our review here.)
I’ll give the game this – the sense of speed you’ll get from swinging is fantastic. The camera begins to shake a bit at the lowest part of your swing, when Spidey is moving fastest. The controller also begins to vibrate a bit, which really adds to the sense of movement. The swinging is one of the best parts of this game.
The Spider-man character model also looks absolutely stunning. I mean, it looks really good. I think the designers must’ve spent most of their resources on the swinging and how Spider-man looks, because these two things really stand out.
The boss battles, while a bit uninspired can be spectacular set pieces. There were a few times that I was fighting a boss and was a bit surprised at the scope of the fight. When you’re in the groove of a hum-drum game, an awesome boss battle kind of jerks you out of it. That’s a good thing, though.
Sadly, these three points are about all that I could find to like about The Amazing Spider-man Video Game.
It’s bland, there’s not much color, and quite frankly it looks dead. It reminds me of the city in Prototype (no offense to anyone who liked that game.) It’s just boring to look at. Just look at this picture for an idea. And what is this haze in the background? I thought we stopped doing that back on the Dreamcast.
This is such a stupid gripe – its really STUPID to complain about, I’m admitting this freely, but I can’t omit it from the review. The first two Spider-man games on my list let you swing anywhere you wanted. It didn’t matter if you were high about the tallest skyscraper in New York, you could swing above it. Spider-man 2 changed that. You could only swing in areas that your webbing could realistically anchor to. That meant you couldn’t swing in the middle of a park, or over water, or high over skyscrapers. In The Amazing Spider-man, they’ve taken out the anchored web swinging. So now, we’re back to swinging wherever we want. I’m not sure how I feel about it – I think it’s a stupid thing to be mad about, but I can’t say that I agree with the choice to go back to this. It seems like a step backwards.
I can see what they were trying to do – the combat system has been lifted directly from the Batman Arkham games. It just doesn’t work as well here. Oh, and speaking of lifting ideas from Arkham – the upgrade system is pretty much the same as Arkham City as well.
I’m not sure why it’s considered acceptable to have a game return to a level twice with incredibly minimal changes just to have the player complete basically the same tasks over again for the second time. This is the same problem that Ghostbusters The Video Game had with the Sedgewick Hotel. Why am I going back to the Oscorp building? It wasn’t a great level to begin with, and I’m really not happy to be playing it again. And if I see another air vent that I have to climb through, I think I’m going to become claustrophobic. Spider-man even makes a comment at one point about how he looooves air vents. Really? So now we’re trying to make jokes in the game about the poor game design. Wow.
The story is basically the story of The Amazing Spider-man movie, with minor changes. I really don’t understand why they didn’t just make an adaptation of the movie to go along with the film’s release. It might’ve been more fun and they wouldn’t have ruined some classic villains in the way that they do here. I won’t even get into that, but don’t expect to see any justice done for Scorpion or Rhino. They’re just shells of themselves.
This is a nitpick, but it really annoys me. How are you going to release a game with the same title of the movie and somehow not have a contract in place to have the actor’s likenesses and voices? Really, how long would it take to record the dialogue for this game, a day? Funny, Sony was able to coordinate that for the original Spider-man movie tie-in games…
Ok, that’s enough. You get the idea, I didn’t really like the game much. Maybe my hopes were too high, but I just felt that this game was far too mediocre NOT to review. I might pick it up for 10-15 bucks in a month or two when its on sale simply because the swinging is so fun, but aside from that, save your money.
Resident Evil 6 is out in November.