Genre: Open-World Sandbox Gane | Developer: Beenox | Publisher: Activision
Platform: 360, PS3,*PC | Players: 1 | Rating: ESRB: T / PEGI: 16
The Amazing Spider-Man
‘s latest attempt to cash in on the popularity of a Marvel
flagship character, swinging off the back of a serviceable superhero movie. It attempts to be Batman: Arkham City
with webs, but it lacks everything that makes the Dark Knight’s titles such a great experience – a love for the lore, an eye for detail, and a sense of character.
Activision has been milking the Spider-Man formula to death for over a decade now, peaking early on with Spider-Man 2
in 2004, but hobbling along in mediocrity ever since. After a few missteps, the franchise has finally returned to the free roaming sandbox genre where it belongs. Unfortunately, it is adequate at best – par for the course with Activision at the publishing helm, then.
New York sure is boring after the Avengers cleaned up…
As a character, Spider-Man’s acrobatic flair is at the forefront of his costumed identity. The game’s inability to understand this is its first of many offenses. It should unquestionably be the most enjoyable part of the whole game, but web swinging is an atrocious, empty process. It requires little to no input on the player’s behalf, completely removing the player from any real sense of control, and the so-close-it-hurt swing-cam only serves to try and hide the invisible hooks in the sky that you are swinging from…when it isn’t making you nauseous.
Combat is even worse, a shameless rip of Batman: Arkham City
‘s fighting system, lacking any of its subtlety and depth. Combat is a repetitive attack-and-counter process against consistently generic enemies with consistently generic attack patterns. It even steals the cape crusader’s stealth mechanics, with Spider-Man’s being able to web out of sight; necessary when taking on armed adversaries, but ripped straight from the Bat’s evasive arsenal. With the AI being as inept and basic as it is, this quickly becomes dull.
Generic enemies are as generic as generic enemies usually are, but it’s Spider-Man’s rogue gallery of villains that receive the worst treatment. Instead of giving them an identity of their own, a lazy plot element from the movie is used as an excuse to give these character no personality, and in most cases, not even a voice. Rhino is a man genetically spliced with a rhino, Scorpion is a man genetically spliced with… well, you get the idea. It’s lazy, and rather insulting to the fans.
Spider-Man is bad? NNNNNOOOOOOOO!!!
The game is uninspired in almost every aspect, from the gameplay, to the leveling system, to the world you inhabit. New York has already been done a dozen times over, but that’s not the problem – the problem is that there is very little to do in it beyond admiring the view, and what little there is do is just as uninspired and repetitive as the rest of the game.
It’s a by-the-numbers movie tie-in, even as an epilogue to the actual film. The same old tired, rehashed cash-in crap*we’ve all come to expect with every game piggyback release, tainted and made all the worse by its inexplicable desire to transparently rip off a far superior game.*The Amazing Spider-Man is many things, but amazing is definitely not one of them.
An Xbox 360 copy of this game was independently purchased by the reviewer.