Poor old Spidey, turns out it is not the Kingpin, Venom or even The Sinister Six that are his greatest enemies, that accolade has been awarded to the group known as The Game Developers. It has been a long time since web head had a certified hit with gaming fans, but with a new lease of life with Andrew Garfield’s silver screen outing and the recent shocking happenings in the Ultimate comics universe it should be Spider-Man’s year; but considering its a movie tie-in my spidey senses are already tingling.
Even though Peter Parker’s history has been tinkered with once again with yet another origin movie (seriously! the story is over 50 years old now, we know it); sensibly, rather than going for the exact plot of the film we are given a little more space to fling our webs; however The Amazing Spider-Man is awkwardly set just after the movie so do be wary of huge plot spoilers at the beginning of the game as Parker is already set as Spider-Man, patrolling the streets of Manhattan, dealing not only with A class baddies but the more run if the mill muggers and bank robbers.
With pretty much any movie based game you go in with expectations low and with a rather long winded intro the game does nothing to dispel those feelings; but what I was not expecting was once out and away from the confines of the story, the excitement of swinging through the city of Manhattan is extremely thrilling, with an amazing feeling with the city and wind rushing by as Spider-Man shoots his webs out and even though it is a simple matter of holding the right trigger button to swing, it will still take your breath away.
An extra element to Spider-Man’s aerial talents is the Web Rush, which grants the ability to slow down time, with the screen rushing to first person view allowing you to plot moves by focusing on little golden glowing spider-men, acting essentially as a short cut which makes it a little easier to negotiate the high-rises that populate the city.
Though hanging around the city is fun, it is not all swinging action as Spider-Man has his fair share of fisticuffs, which, just like most recent comic to game interpretations is remarkably similar to Batman’s current escapades; taking on a simple two button approach that relies on well-timed combinations to pull off the more brutal moves and then counter when his spider-sense flashes above his head. Whilst on the comparisons of the Batman games, there are a few more similarities, especially when taking part in the majority of the main story missions, with Spidey relying on his Web Retreat to stick to the walls and then rush attack enemies from a safe distance. As in the comics and movies, Spider-Man is quite lithe and limby, so face to face action is not the best approach; with darting in, webbing up baddies and even using certain parts of the environment to swing around and use as devastating weapons being the name of the game here as getting caught in a large group of enemies will often end in a quick death.
The harsh difference from the free and open Manhattan world to the awkward confines of the indoor areas make you almost dread doing the main missions as the fighting just is not as refined as Batman and all of the wall jumping causes the camera to struggles to keep up. It is a shame about the restrictive corridor action but with every mission completed you then break for the outdoors again, moving onto the next mission, tackling a petty crime on the streets or enjoying the freedom of Manhattan, where you can begin grabbing the huge amount of collectables like 700 comic book pages from some of Spider-Man’s greatest stories (which look great on a big digital TV) or even a batch of challenges from a character voiced by the only other person you expect to cameo on a Spider-Man movie other than Stan lee, Bruce Campbell. Spider-Man’s apartment also plays a large part in the game, with you able to change clothes unlocked from the many photo opportunities dotted around the city to replaying previous levels, allowing you to find all of the hidden collectables which unlock even more artwork. With all of the fighting and collecting, Peter earns plenty of experience points which can then be spent on upgradable elements of Spider-Man’s powers like more powerful webbing to ensnare foes.
Spidey fans have been waiting a long time for a rival to the now classic Spiderman 2 and we will still have to wait as though The Amazing Spider-Man looks the part, it is far too easy and does a little too much hand holding, plus the internal areas are quite boring so you just want to get out quick; but when all is done and taken into account, it is still a decent Spider-Man game and also an adequate movie tie-in.
Rating: Good Review Policy (version tested: Xbox 360)
You can order your copy of The Amazing Spider-Man here (PS3|360|Wii|DS|3DS).