Posted on June 30, 2012 AT 07:32pm
Movie tie-in games have a track record for being pretty bad. Tie-ins based off comic book movies are usually even worse. So when The Amazing Spider-Man, the video game for the movie of same name hit shelves, there was a deserved amount of skepticism. There have been very few times that any of the Spider-Man games have been any good, and with Beenox, developers of the last two Spider-Man games, Shattered Dimensions and Edge Of Time (both of which were pretty mediocre) developing the game, the doubts are still very apparent.
The Amazing Spider-Man is a tale of two games. On one hand, the open world experience of swinging around New York is a lot of fun. There are a lot of collectibles to grab and things to do around the city, when not pursuing the main plot. The Web Rush ability, which was one of the biggest draws of the game, is good, when it wants to be. It’s best used when being applied to dramatically slow time, showing Spidey’s ability to use his enhanced reflexes to make quick decisions. When focusing this ability, moving from place to place is very easy, being able to look around and find enemies, collectibles, and the correct path through the mission. When using it in real time, it can be a bit touchy, not always following the path that was selected. On the other, it’s frustrating occasionally uninspired, and rather generic.
The graphics for the environments and on Spider-Man’s suit are up to standard, but they fall far short with the character models. Faces are a bit sharp and block-like from a distance or not in cut-scenes. The progressive damage on Spider-Man’s suit is a good touch, though this has been seen before, in games like Batman: Arkham City.
The game borrows quite a bit from Arkham City, in fact. The open-world, mission based environment, the fighting system (which turns the pressing of the punch button a bunch of times into an acrobatic and dynamic fighting system that the player has no control of, but that looks very cool), and the aforementioned progressive suit damaged were all used in Arkham City, and to a better extent. It plays well, but has been done before, and much better. The camera, on the other hand, is not very good, and has trouble following the wall-crawler at many points, especially while on walls and ceilings. When webbing yourself onto a wall, the camera will get awkward and not cooperate until after a bit of movement, making some combat aspects frustrating.
The plot of the story, which is an epilogue of sorts to the film, is easily the most irritating thing about the game. The timing, especially. The game follows the aftermath of the film, which is a good idea, except for the fact that the film has yet to be released (as of this writing). This fails in such spectacular fashion, revealing several plot points (and letting players know the overall endgame of the film) before they can see the movie. Fans will know what happened to several of the characters before they can see it on the screen. This is a terrible idea, is very confusing, and for fans of the series, a potential deal-breaker, at least until after the release of the film. This would have gone over a lot better if the game had been released after the film.
It takes players on a path of disaster, when in the aftermath of the Lizard Incident, Oscorp’s new top scientist, Alister Smythe, starts developing robots to destroy the cross-species threat, which, despite claims to the contrary, is still being continued. Of course, everything goes wrong, and several of the cross-species escape (including familiar faces, such as Scorpion and Rhino), infecting the entire city with the cross-species virus. Being a cross-species himself, Spider-Man is hunted by these robots, while also trying to save the infected citizens of New York, which includes Gwen Stacy.
SUMMARY: The trend of average (or worse) movie-tie in games continues with The Amazing Spider-Man, a game that shows flashes of potential, but ultimately falls short of being good. It has an original plot, which was not released in a time-appropriate manner, and many of the good traits it has were borrowed from a much better game. The games puts in an effort to be a good game, but there’s just not enough there. Even while obtaining most of the collectable, and doing nearly all the side-missions, the game only took roughly twelve hours. The Amazing Spider-Man does its best, but is anything but amazing.
- THE GOOD: Fun, open world environment, interesting web rush ability
- THE BAD: Awkward Camera, far too short, uses borrowed game mechanics
- THE UGLY: Poorly Timed Plot Takes Place After The Film, Ruining Continuity
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