Another Blockbuster, another tie-in game. We've seen it all before, but once in a blue moon, a decent movie game will arrive. The Amazing Spider-Man is one of those games, and whilst it might not be amazing, it sure is close.
The last two Spidey games from developer Beenox have been a mixed bag. There was the impressive Shattered Dimensions, offering players the chance to take control of four different Spider-Man characters. Then there was Edge of Time, which didn't get well received, although it did have an interesting time travel concept. Both versions offered something new to the franchise, but it's The Amazing Spider that really comes out swinging.
Instead of doing what most tie-ins do, The Amazing Spiderman take place after events from the film. The game opens with Peter Parker taking a personal tour of the Oscorp research facility, courtesy of Gwen Stacey. Alistair Smyth is a nano-technology expert who is currently undergoing cross-species experiments. He is using the research from Dr. Curt Connors, (aka the Lizard). But not everything goes according to plan. The species escape the lab, and a viral outbreak sweeps the city. It's up to Spidey to save Manhattan and defeat the species that roam within it.
It's an entertaining story that's well written, far better than the previous two instalments. The voice acting is also solid, with some great lines. Spidey always has something witty to say throughout the game. Beenox have nailed the character, and it's the most authentic Spidey yet.
Beenox never took full advantage of the swinging mechanic in their past two titles. You felt boxed in, restricting the thing that Spider-Man does best. But now, Spidey has the whole of Manhattan to explore. He can finally breath the fresh air, admire the view, and show of his fancy acrobatic skills. When you first leap into the open playground, it's a very thrilling and mesmerizing experience. By simply holding a single button, you can constantly swing in any direction. It might be very simplistic, but it doesn't stop the enjoyment. You can spice things up. For example, free-fall to the ground, then pull up at the last minute. It gives off a real sense of vertigo, and you can experience what it must be like to step into the famous costume.
The story mode takes place mainly indoors, but there are things to do outside Manhattan aswell. As you progress, a variety of side missions will unlock. These can be from Infiltrating Secret Labs, rescuing civilians from thugs, taking people to the hospital, taking photos of crime scenes, and so on. It's a nice little distraction from the main story, but they do become very repetitive. Apart from the side-missions, the only thing left are collectibles. There's around 600 comic book pages scattered around the city. Collecting them will unlock real comic books that you can read. It's a neat addition, and one that gives you reason to explore.
The newly introduced Web-rush mechanic gives Spidey the option to move around more efficiently. Triggering Web-Rush will slow down time, allowing you to choose your next tactical approach. You can swiftly move from object to object. From street lamps, flag poles, building antenna and so fourth. If timed correctly, you can run along the side of buildings and even on top of a moving buss. This stylish behaviour never grows old, and it holds it's fluidity throughout.
The combat system is heavily borrowed from games such as Batman: Arkham City. You will switch between enemies, mashing buttons and performing counter-attacks. The combat does become more challenging further in, but the Web-Rush mechanics makes it far too easy. For example, If your surrounded by enemies, you can slow-down time, select an object, then send it crashing into them. This leaves them temporary stunned, allowing you to tie them up with your web string. Basically, the game is just to easy, and you never feel that challenged. Even on hard dificulty, the web-rush mechanic can always get you out of a sticky situation. With that said, that game is an enjoyable ride. The web-rush mechanic is a neat feature, and it makes you feel like Spidey more than ever before.
Visually, the game looks decent for a movie based game. It might be a bit jagged around the edges, but this is the best looking Manhattan yet. But it's Spider-Man that's visually the most impressive. His animations might be stiff at times, but his costume looks, well, amazing.
The Amazing Spider-Man is a very good movie game. It's not amazing, but it's enough to satisfy Spidey fans. It holds a decent story, fun exploration and free-roam Manhattern is a welcoming return.