Since the release of Spider-man 2 on PS2 and Xbox, fans have hoped to get their hands on a, true, spiritual sequel to the 2004 hit, only to be disappointed whenever a new Spider-man is announced and with no free roam ability. With tomorrow’s release of the Amazing Spider-man on Ps3 and Xbox 360, it seems like the wait is finally over, and fans of the most successful Comic book character might finally get what they have been waiting for.
Our review will be divided into different sections: Story, Visuals, Gameplay, sound, and conclusion. So with that out of the way, let’s get started.
The game picks up where the upcoming movie will, supposedly, end. After the Lizard incident, Alyster Smythe, a new face of Oscorp and an expert of nano technology, orders to shut down the Cross-species research division, the same division responsible for creating the lizard, and to permanently destroy all the specimens created by the, said, division.
Gwen Stacey, the movie heroine and Spider-man’s love interest, is an intern at Oscorp. The Blond beauty invited Peter Parker to the Oscorp facilities to help her check if the remaining Cross sepices subjects are been eliminated as Slythe ordered. As you can expect things did not go well, since the other cross species subject s(rhino, iguana, vermin, and scorpion, who all had a movie-like makeover, and a very good one that is) went berserk as soon as they detected a special breed of cross-species individual, in the form of Peter Parker. The monsters set themselves free and escape the lab, infecting some of New York’s population with a deadly virus, including Miss Stacey.
To find, and neutralize the cross species subjects, Alyster Smythe unleashes a hord of Robots, able to detect and destroy these creatures. The problem for our friendly neighborhood Spider, is that he is also considered a Cross Species being.
The story gets more complicated and interesting as you go along, but unfortunately, i cannot go into more details without spoiling both the game story and the movie for you guys. So i will stop with the above premise and just say that the story is well thought of, and works as a follow up to the, highly anticipated, movie.
Setting the game after the movie, story wise, is an interesting idea from Beenox. Doing so, allows the, Quebec based, developer to not retell the movie story and to no be limited by the characters from the movie. There is one problematic though; telling a story that is set after a, yet to be released movie can spoil the outcome of the film, and to tell you the truth it actually of does. Just 20 min in the game, there is a huge spoiler that definitely ruins what was going to be a dramatic/tragic scene from the movie, and even as a spider-man fan, i did not expect that particular event to happen in the movie.
So if you want to be completely in the dark about the Amazing Spider-man movie until its release on July 4th, then i suggest to buy the game but not play it until you watch the movie.
The previous Beenox Spider-man games, had all good visuals, but compare them to the Amazing Spider-man and they feel like last generation’s graphics. The Spider-man model in this game is superb! Extremely detailed. In fact, Spidey never looked as good in any game before. And get this: the more Spidey gets beaten the more his suit deteriorates and gets torn! (You will have to go back at Peter Parker’s Apartment to get the suit repaired or switched) The city is also huge, detailed, and feels like the real Manhattan. The indoors graphics are as good as the city which is definitely a huge plus.
The game also marks the first time a Spider-man game uses what we call shoulder camera. Much like the, successful, Batman games from Rocksteady, the camera is very close to the character and almost puts you in his shoes.
Character’s animation is quite amazing (pun intended), Spider-man moves like a spider-man should. Whether he is swinging, or kicking butt, the webhead moves are very fluid and convinces the player they are controlling the real Spidey.
Visuals are not without issues though. While swinging in the City there is quite a lot of Screen Tearing. It could be because of the high quality graphics, but the tearing can get very noticeable some times, especially in crowded and detailed areas.
The camera can also get confusing when Spider-man is wall crawling, especially in doors and upside down. Sometimes web-rushing or swinging indoors can create some Camera issues, but nothing too bad though.
The Amazing Spider-man marks Beenox’s first attempt at an open world Spidey game. While some missions will force you to go indoors, you can choose to swing freely around the city, stopping petty crimes and taking infected New Yorkers to the hospital.
Obviously for an open world Spider-man game the swinging mechanic is quite important. Many fans have hoped for a Spider-man 2 swinging system, and while the swinging here works, it might not be what some people have hoped
To get into more details, Spider-man can swing anywhere in the city. His webs do not have to be attached to a building or an object in order to swing. After swinging around the city for, literally, hours, i could feel that the developer have tried to limit the swinging on top of open spaces, like central park, however, while sometimes you cannot swing above them most of the time you will be able to. Spidey can also swing above the tallest buildings, which might irk some fans
The Swinging was also made VERY SIMPLE. All you have to do is keep pressing the Right shoulder button (RT for xbox 360 and R2 for PS3) to continually swing around the city. You can still jump from the swing, but you really don’t have to, since Spidey will do that for you if you just keep pressing the RT button. There is no way to speed up the swinging like Spider-man 2 and 3. You can swing higher if you press RT + LT, but there no way to upgrade the swinging skills, like some older Spider-man games offered.
Wall crawling is also an issue. Unlike previous open world Spider-man games, you can crawl walls by pressing a button, which gives you the option to crawl when you want to and not accidentally crawl why walking close to building. In the Amazing Spider-man game, you can wall crawl just by going against a wall, which can be problematic as you find yourself wall crawling in instances where you do not want to stick to walls.
With all that said, swinging around the city still is fun. while, at first, i was quite disappointed in the swinging system simplicity, i found myself really enjoying touring the city by webs, and stopping random crimes here and there. We should remember that this is the first open World Spider-man from Beenox, and the ground has been set by this game. We definitely hope that the Quebec-based studio will build on the Amazing Spider-man’s system and improve the swining mechanic for the inevitable sequel.
The game also introduces a new mechanic to the genre: The web-rush. This feature allows spidey to slow down time and choose between different available actions and destinations to reach in style. When you are swinging, the webrush will allow you to jump to certain objects and platform in a very stylish and cool looking animation. All you have to do is press and hold the RB(or R1), which takes you into a first person view, and then choose your destination. Using Webrush against enemies lets you web-strike them, or use background objects against them. While quite difficult to explain, Web-rush is an excellent addition to the series and one that will probably be used in future games.
Combat mechanic is also great. You strike enemies with the x (Square for ps3) button, web shoot with B (o for ps3) and evade attacks with Y (Triangle for PS3). Combining these attacks gives you the most fluid fighting Spidey you have ever seen in a video game. Some fighting abilities can be upgraded as you gain more experience, although i found the upgrade options a bit lacking compared to previous installments of the franchise, but definitely not by much.
Another cool gameplay aspect available when you are indoor, is the stealth mode. Much like the Spider-man Noir chapter of Beenox’s Spider-man Shattered Dimensions, you can choose to wall crawl discretely and take enemies one at a time without attracting too much attention. If you just want to kick butt, you can just jump at your enemies and fight them all at once, which can get a bit challenging as you progress through the game.
Being a Movie tie-in game, many expected that Andrew Garfield and Emma stone will reprise their roles in the game as well. However this is not the case. Spider-man is voiced by Sam Riegel (known for his role in Naruto and the excellent TMNT 2k3 where he portrayed Donatello). While Riegle never voiced Spider-man before, he easily convinces that he should voice every Spider-man incarnation that will come in the future. Sam does an amazing job here, his spider-man is witty, funny, and sounds like Spider-man should. Definitely a Job well done by Mr Riegel.
Alyster Smythe is voiced by voice acting veteran, Nolan North, who does a great job as usual. The rest of the voice cast are also great, i have yet to hear an out of place,lacking voice from any of the characters i encountered in the game, which is a welcome change from the last open wold Spider-game (i am looking at you Web of Shadows)
Music in the game is also quite great. Changing with different situations, the tunes are all fitting, and quite enjoyable and memorable.
Despite having some flaws (mainly the over simplistic swinging mechanic) that could have been easily avoided, the Amazing Spider-man game is a great, fun, and enjoyable game. With a good story, great visuals and good combat mechanics this is definitely the best Spider-man game we have been waiting for.
- Good Story
- Awesome voice cast and Sam Riegel is definitely the best Spider-man to date.
- Great visuals
- Open world gameplay
- Indoor stealth gameplay
- Some massive boss battles
- Unlockable costumes
- Swinging around the city, helping New York citizens sure makes you feel like Spider-man
- Unlockable full readable HD comics
- Good Replay Value
- The swinging mechanics are way to simple.
- Spidey should not swing above buildings and above open areas.
- Wall crawling can happen unintentionally. Would have been better if there was a wall crawling button.
- Indoor Wall crawling camera can be problematic.
- Once you complete the game with a 100% completion rate, random crimes stop popping up and you can only swing thought the city or replay completed story missions.