Released: June 26, 2012
Platform Reviewed: Xbox 360
Platforms Available: Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PC, Nintendo 3DS, Nintendo DS, Wii, iOS, Android, Wii U
Do you like the recent Batman games? Arkham Asylum? Arkham City? Because the developers at Beenox sure do. With The Amazing Spider-Man combat style (punch-punch-counter) all the way to ‘enter this building for a stealth mission’, Spider-Man tries very hard to duplicate the success in a super hero game that Batman:AC has set as precedent. It works for this game, but it feels very clunky and repetitive at times.
The game setting takes place in the months following the movie of the same title released earlier this year. After Spider-Man defeated Curt Connors/The Lizard, a man named Alistair Smythe is now in charge of Oscorp and intends to turn the company away from Connors cross-species (Half animal/half man) research and focus on robotics. Right away at the beginning of the game, things at Oscorp go horribly wrong as all of Connors previously bread cross-species; a rhino, rat, scorpion, iguana, and even a piranha, break loose from Oscorp and begin to wreak havoc all over the city, spreading the cross-species ‘virus’ and infecting the city’s population. Thankfully Alistair has a grand plan of releasing his army of robots to “Purge the city of the infection.” (A.k.a. kill all escaped abominations AND all infected civilians) Of course, it is your job as Spider-Man to round up the monsters, stop the robots, and save the day.
Outside of the blatant attempt to copy Batman in all the basic aspects of gameplay (combat, mission selection, game progression), the open world of Manhattan, where the game takes place, can be quite fun to roam around in, web slinging from skyscraper to skyscraper. With a plethora of side missions; taking pictures for a reporter, stopping the usual mugging here and there, performing tricks for the Xtreme Reporter blimp inhabitant (voiced by Bruce Campbell), picking up infected civilians and bringing them to the nearest hospital via the most insane passenger transportation method I’ve ever seen (clinging desperately to spider-man’s back), there is plenty to do when not doing one of the story missions.
Did I say there was plenty to do? I did. If you’re an OCD completionist type gamer where you need to pick up everything and get ALL achievements/trophies possible in a game, avoid this one at ALL COSTS. One reason – Comic book pages. These comic book pages are scattered all across Manhattan much like Arkham City’s Riddler trophies, where picking them up unlocks actual readable comic books in the ‘Extras’ menu. I thought this was pretty neat until I found that there were 700 mother f—ing pages. SEVEN HUNDRED. I made it to about 275 after playing for a week and completing EVERYTHING else, if that gives you an idea about how insane that is. And I wasn’t even trying to look for them, just web slinging my ass around town and about every swing It would be ‘oh look another comic page, oh look another comic page, oh look another comic page’. F that I said…. But look! There’s another one right over there… DAMN.
When it came to the actual story missions, generally it would go; Enter Oscorp building (often time a ‘different building’ with the exact same layout as the last place you just were), sneak around and attempt to ‘stealth takedown’ as many guards as possible, because when you engage in hand to hand you have to keep in mind that your spidy is very fragile, and two or three consecutive missed counters is gonna land you dead as hell. So stealth is the key, and it’s not tough by any means. If a guard sees you snatch up his buddy right beside him and string him to the ceiling, he’ll shine a flashlight up in that general direction for about 5 seconds and then go right back to his patrol as if he never knew the guy. The mission will eventually culminate in a boss battle of some sort, whether it be a fight against one of the escaped cross-species, or against a robot hell bent on destroying all cross-species, you included (half man/half spider).
When it comes down to it, The Amazing Spider-Man is a pretty decent game if you’re just looking to dick around town for awhile, run through a few missions, follow a decent (yet generic) super hero plot, get a few achievements and be on your way. Especially entertaining though is Spidy’s one-liners delivered beautifully yet still invoke the ‘Oh gezz’ reaction. Like when a guard surprises you, misfires a taser shot that unlocks some doors and pleads with Spider-Man, “You’ve gotta help me this is your fault!” “I’ve got to help you? You tased me bro!” Or after a successful mugging thwarting – Spider-Man’s words of wisdom to the almost victim, “It’s dangerous out there, stay frosty”. Thanks Spider-Man, whatever happened to “Everybody gets one.”
Pros: Fun open world, one-liner humor, decent plot.
Cons: clunky combat system, repetitiveness, poor skill progression.