The Amazing Spider-Man is set to release in theaters and seasoned developers Beenox whom have proved their prowess with the series in Shattered Dimensions and Edge Of Time have decided it is time to think outside the linear box for an all-out web slinging adventure throughout Manhattan’s skyline in celebration of the new movie. Can this Spider-Man title live up to the hype or has it spun a different web entirely?
As mentioned earlier it felt like a celebration of the movie and the Spider-Man universe it created which is a much more realistic almost mutant-like approach to Peter’s abilities and villains you will come across. The story acts as a sequel of sorts or an epilogue to the movie. Gwen invites Peter to Oscorp to snoop around and one thing leads to another and all hell breaks loose on the city of Manhattan. It is then up to Spider-Man to save the city from a complete virus outbreak. The story is actually pretty good and gives more perspective and insight into the universe that has been created. It is good to note however, if you haven’t seen the movie but want the game, this may actually ruin certain aspects of the story for you.
Gameplay is very strong with solid controls for web slinging around the city by simply holding onto R2/RT. Combat draws similarities to the Rocksteady developed Batman franchise with attack being square/X and counter (when the spider-sense icon appears over your head) being triangle/Y. Once enemies become dazed (swirling circle) players can perform a finisher or signature move with circle/B. Those buttons also double as web shooters to tie up enemies and, once unlocked, reward you with the option to swing them around the room. Web rush (R1/RB), which is the game’s most hyped ability, is a very useful way to leap from object to object and feels like an action Spider-Man would undoubtedly have in his arsenal. Web retreat is a great way to back off enemies or when surrounded to stay away and recover lost health (more red on the screen = worse off Spidey). Spider-Man’s newly acquired Osphone or cellphone becomes an asset that guides him around the city; receiving emails as well as keeping track of collectibles and stats gives the otherwise silly gadget a useful meaning. Overall the controls are very fluid and one of the easier Spider-Man titles to pick up and play whether you’re knee-deep in combat or just flinging around the city.
Throughout the game you progress the story by going into smaller confined areas within buildings that are more detailed and are where Beenox truly show their shine. The boss battles are less over the top and more a one on one affair but they did a good job to make each enemy boss feel unique even though you are playing off a pretty simple combo style. Each area has collectibles and the greater Manhattan area has 700 comic pages to get. Each time you reach a comic milestone you unlock a new comic from the vast history of the iconic webslinger himself. Other collectibles include photos, magazines and audio tapes in individual levels.
The free roam aspect between and during chapters is a major aspect of the title; it being the first open-world Spider-Man game in quite some time. There are side-quests with sub-bosses, petty crimes and car chases to stop, police deadlocks (where a bunch of mercenaries are shooting up pinned down policemen), photos to take, infected civilians to save, races (flare pickups on top of roofs) and camera drone pursuits to win. Camera drone is where the player controls a camera drone and has to keep the camera centered on Spider-Man as he web-slings through the city or a bar will run out and they will fail. There is a great host of content that can be done at any time which leads to replay value and longevity. The “Oscorp Labs” also serve as side stories to gather info on new tech by activating control panels in small rooms clustered with quite a few enemies for you to shut down. The wide array of content on top of taking pictures of enemies for concept art, and Spider-Man logo finding for costume unlocks will keep players busy long after the movie has come and gone from theaters.
Beenox have showed their true potential and hopefully can only go up from here. This Spider-Man may not be the greatest ever as there are quite a few Spider-Man titles, however it is a wonderful open-world entry and accompaniment to the film. It is a must have or a sure-fire rent for any veteran or newfound fanof the wall crawler.
Audio/Visuals: 4/5 – Solid graphics for an open world title, but there are a few sporadic glitches here and there but again it is the par for an open-world title. The sound is great and small things like footsteps show up nicely as well as web shots.
Gameplay: 4/5 - Tight controls mixed with all of Manhattan to explore and rescue make for one great thrill ride.
Innovation: 3/5 - Feels like a Spider-Man title for sure and only brings a few new gameplay elements like Web Rush to the table.
Value: 3/5 – Story feels short for players who want to rush through the game. I personally gathered all city collectibles, beat the story and all side missions in under 10 hours. However, fun is still to be had simply swinging about the city.
Final Score: 3.5/5