It’s time again to don your spandex, wield your sticky hands and attach yourself to the side of a building. Yes, that’s right, it’s time for a new Spider-Man game. Paired with the release of the film of the same name, The Amazing Spider-Man is Beenox’s first foray into the open world. It features city swinging, thug punching and some rather large film spoilers.
The game is set after The Amazing Spider-Man film and leading on from Dr. Connor’s research, Oscorp have created a whole bunch of cross-species. These cross-species are part human, part animal and as you’d expect, they escape and cause havoc across Manhattan. As these monsters attack humans they get infected, eventually turning into cross-species themselves. The story itself is all a bit bland, with little to get excited or interested about. That’s all I’m going to mention about the story to avoid any film spoilers.
Combat is handled by a system similar to that seen in the recent Batman titles, one button for attack and one for dodge. When Spider-Man’s Spidey Sense triggers then it’s time to press the dodge button, once you’ve built up a decent combo you can use Spidey’s special move which will stick enemies to walls and ceilings with a dose of webbing. The combat is fairly decent, it’s not quite as smooth as it’s Batman counterpart but it’s not the worst system out there. The highlight of the combat is the animations, Spider-Man will spin and flick enemies around like they’re nothing. He also has an array of sneak attacks up his web-shooter, you can crawl across the ceiling, pounce on an enemy and tie him to the ceiling.
Quite a lot of your time will be spent indoors, which is a shame. You’ll fight thugs in random, forgettable surroundings such as offices and sewers. These areas usually revolve around you clearing out thugs and crawling through air ducts. There’s a number of bosses throughout, these range from copies of the Rhino and Scorpion to big, generic robots. The boss fights are just as generic, they’re fairly simple to work out and just require you to rinse and repeat until it’s over.
As I mentioned before, Amazing Spider-Man is Beenox’s first foray into the open world, you can swing all around Manhattan should you so wish. Swinging is handled by the trigger, simply hold it down and the game will handle the rest for you, you just have to steer. The newest – and probably best – feature is the Web Rush, hold the right bumper (Xbox 360) and you’ll switch to first person and slow down time – this allows you to pick a point you want to travel to. Release the bumper and Spider-Man will fly off in that direction and attach himself to the platform you chose. You can also use this ability to attack enemies, interact with objects and collect comics, of which there are 700. Collecting the comics will unlock full comics in the Extras menu – these include the first issue of Spider-Man and so on. A nice little touch for Spidey fans.
Outside of the main story you have a few side missions to do. These include taking photos of random things, rescuing civilians from thugs and chasing down bad people in cars. There’s also a few race style missions and one where you’re in control of a camera and your aim is to keep it pointing at Spider-Man. These missions offer nice variety at the start but they soon fall into the pit of repetitiveness, they try to mix it up by pitting you against more thugs or more cars but this does little to help keep attention.
The main enjoyment of the open world is just swinging around, the new Web Rush helps alleviate the problems of past Spider-Man games and it’s pretty much frustration free for the most part. Although I’m sure some Spider-Man fans will have differing opinions on whether they want Spider-Man to web swing from thin air or buildings only.
The Amazing Spider-Man could work without the film, none of the actors from the film do the voice work, you don’t even see Peter Parker’s face. I can’t help but feel that it would be better with an extra six months of development and removal of the film tie-in but Beenox have to work within the time restraints they’re given. What they’ve made is a playable Spider-Man game, the open world, web swinging works – the indoor corridor sections feel a little bland. It’s a decent Spider-Man game and a decent film adaptation, there’s nothing overly wrong with it but at the same time there’s nothing outstanding.
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