The new Amazing Spider-Man game does some things that might surprise you. First off it’s a licensed game based on the new movie with the same title. Any gamer worthy of the title knows that only a handful of movie licensed games are worth the sixty dollar price of admission. Many aren’t even worth the bargain bin price of twenty they’re soon found in. The Amazing Spider-Man game isn’t just a painful and boring retelling of the movie I saw in theaters. Rather, the game takes place after the events of the movie. Granted the wonderful Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone don’t lend their voices to this game’s track but their replacements are tolerable; sometimes a little better, sometimes a little worse. It does merit mentioning that you definitely should go see the movie first since there are several spoilers awaiting you if you play the game first. With that being said, let me get something else quickly out of the way. Do you like Spider-Man? Do you like superheroes/comic book based video games? Do you enjoy the Batman Arkham games? If you answered yes to any of these questions just stop reading and go buy this game.
So if you’re still reading this, you must be on the fence. Let me tell you, the Amazing Spider-Man isn’t perfect, not by a long shot. The graphics aren’t anything to shout about. There’s noticeable screen tearing as well as moments of terrible draw distances. Certain structures will, at times, pop up out of nowhere once you get close enough. Lighting effects, water effects and textures are all pretty mediocre. The engine has definite rendering issues and it can be annoying. At one time I was picking up and helping civilians, I followed the marker on my map yet no helpless person was there to save. They were invisible. I later went back to the invisible person and there she was lying in her puddle of green vomit as intended(she was a little under the weather).
Conversely the gameplay is pretty darn solid. Combat works just like the Batman Arkham games. Spider-Man builds up his combo chain to unlock more punishing attacks and signature moves to incapacitate enemies. Pulling off counter moves and timely dodges are further assisted thanks to the web head’s spider sense, which notifies you of an impending enemy’s attack. Defeating enemies and thus progressing through the game rewards Spidey with experience points which help him level up and upgrade abilities. By the time I was nearing the end of the story Spider-Man was quite a force to be reckoned with. This too probably sounds borrowed from the Batman games and you’re right, but there’s one major difference between Wayne and Parker. It’s how they move, and it may be the biggest reason to give this game a whirl.
Running, or rather swinging, around virtual Manhattan is just so much fun and this is where the gameplay and Spider-Man’s abilities come together to create a really fun experience. With the ability to wall climb and web swing, Beenox have also given Spider-Man an ability called web rush. Web rush allows Spider-Man to practically stop time for a brief period and provides valuable moments to assess a situation and escape to safety or attack. Simply aim Spidey at a viable climbing surface or enemy and watch as he launches himself towards the intended target. Depending on the location of the targeted area, Spider-Man will occasionally wall run and vault off multiple surfaces to get there. Web rushes can also be chained together to navigate through or around tricky obstacles. There are few point to point journeys in video games more fun than traveling around New York as Spider-Man. After breaking up a petty crime and saving a police officer I launched myself forward, web swinging down the street. I released my web, hurling myself towards the side of a skyscraper where I landed and quickly sprinted up it’s side. Upon reaching the top, I vaulted into the sky and towards the opposite side of the building. Mid-air I engaged web rush to slow everything to locate a helicopter. Pulling myself to it, I perched on the landing skid to hitch a ride.
When finished with the campaign there are plenty of side quests to complete. A local reporter might ask you to snap photos for special stories she is writing, or send you to a secret Oscorp lab to uncover secret experiments. There are also police car chases and muggings that have to be stopped and not to mention the occasional super-villain to stop. Cameo appearances from Rhino, Scorpion and Black Cat are in the game .
The Amazing Spider-Man could look a lot better but graphics don’t make or break a game. Spider-Man has plenty of positives that create a fun gaming experience. The dialogue can be cheesy and the voice acting isn’t the greatest; but at its core the Amazing Spider-Man is solid and I highly encourage giving the game a chance. If you’re a fan of Spider-Man you’d be silly not to play this game.