I’d lie and say its been a busy, hectic week of all work and no play, but that’d be still lying. In fact, I dedicated a lot of time and effort over the course of the last two days to playing The Amazing Spiderman, in hopes of being able to beat the game before the movie’s release next Tuesday, and I successfully surpassed my own expectations, completing the game in a mere six hours, spanning the course of two three-hour recording sessions…not too bad, but I’ve got a shit ton of editing to do.
In the meantime, I’m here to provide you with my review of the game, from start to finish. Sadly, I haven’t been able to complete all the side missions, and only recently did I realize I had extra side-mission boss fights with Iguana, Black Cat and Rhino to further accomplish, but I beat the main story and that’s what I’m here to review.
So the game is essentially an epilogue, taking place after the events of the Amazing Spiderman movie which has yet to be released; a strange concept for the creators of this game. The game is published by Activision, and developed by Beenox, the developers behind recent Spidey titles: Shattered Dimensions and Edge of Time. This was Beenox’s first attempt at a movie-licensed Spiderman videogame in an open-world action-adventure style, and I think they did a pretty great job.
You are Peter Parker, aka Spiderman, and you are visiting your high school crush Gwen Stacy at her job where she works as an Oscorp intern. You eventually meet Alistair Smythe, who is apparently continuing Dr. Connors’ experiments with cross-species genetics, which ultimately caused Connors to become the Lizard in the film. Connors is now apparently locked in a mental institution following the events of the film. But back to Smythe, he is also working with nanobot technology, and has created a line of Smythe robots in the hopes that they can protect the civilians. Gwen comments on how the cross-species experiments were said to have been a closed case after the incident with Connors, but specimens like the Rhino, Iguana, Vermin and Scorpion, whom you face throughout the game, are still being kept under Oscorp’s watch and experimentation. Eventually the cross-species specimens break free, reacting to Peter (who is also technically a cross-species specimen as Spiderman), and wreck havoc throughout the city, spreading the deadly cross-species virus that rapidly begins to infect Manhattan’s civilians. Spiderman breaks Connors out of the asylum and together, they must work together to end the cross-species virus, as well as stop Smythe, whom eventually turns mad, and unleashes his S-Bots to eliminate the virus, as well as Spiderman.
My initial reaction to this game was simple: I really enjoyed it, but sadly it is not a perfect game.
Let me get to what really made this game great: the combat. Now initially, I as well as everyone else who’s probably played this game could easily compare the combat system to Rocksteady’s Batman Arkham series, and its true, Amazing Spiderman does borrow a big chunk of its combat and ideas from Batman, but that’s not a bad thing. In fact, what makes this game’s combat unique is the fluidity and flawlessness in Spiderman’s movements, web-slinging, wall-crawling, and overall combat. For the first time, I felt I was really in control of all of Spiderman’s movements, and everything I did was reflective in how Spiderman played. Sadly as the game progressed, the combat started to get a little repetitive, as well as the AI enemies. Don’t get me wrong, I really enjoyed everything about Spiderman and the full control I had over him, but I felt like the game became too easy.
You’re going to find that you get thrown right into the mix of things pretty quickly, and without seeing the movie, you’ll probably be nervous to pick up some unexplained spoilers in certain aspects. I just found it odd that this was the first movie-licensed title to not only be released a week prior to the new reboot series debut, but to be an epilogue to a movie we haven’t seen yet, it just didn’t fit right. I would’ve much rather liked to have seen the game released on July 3rd with the movie, so as I can see the movie, take in the story, and then be able to understand the spoilers coming at me from the game.
The villain roster for this game consists of good choices like Scorpion, Rhino and Black Cat, as well as Smythe and Lizard, which are all memorable from the comics and I really enjoyed seeing them in the game (besides not running into Black Cat as of yet), but then you get Iguana, Vermin and a new piranha cross-species named “Nattie” which is an exclusive boss to the game, and many players might start to scratch their heads. I already knew Vermin, but Iguana? Now that’s just a Lizard wannabe. And Nattie? Why bother making a boss exclusive to the game in the first place if it’s not mentioned in the comics? That just seems a little too extra.
My final concern is that there’s no real difficulty to this game. It was fairly simple, despite a few minor setbacks. I was surprised I was able to complete the main story in a mere six hours.
It seems like I’ve been dishing out my complaints about the game. In all honesty, these complaints fair pretty minor to my overall experience I had playing the game. Despite the game’s flaws in its release and story decisions, as well as lack of difficulty, re-hashed combat system and game length, I still had a lot of fun.
What won me was its combat (even though I had issues with it), and how fast paced the game was. There wasn’t a time I can recall where I was bored at any point. My favorite moments in the game have to be during the big city fights against the S-Bots and Spider-Slayers, and that’s saying a lot because I’m really not a big fan of videogame robots and the whole nanotechnology story-arc.
I also have to commend the excellent voice-overs and characters in this game. The love story between Gwen and Peter is definitely a much stronger tale than compared to the original Raimi trilogy’s Mary-Jane/Peter romance in the movies and games, but I felt Peter acted a little clingy towards Gwen at times during the game. The characters of Dr. Connors and Alistair Smythe were probably among my favorites as well, and both served as strong secondary characters. The graphics as well were also top-notch, and the damage detail to Spidey’s costume during battles was excellent and very realistic. As well, the open-world of Manhattan was bright and lively, and was very much alive in all aspects, with the environment changing depending on the spread of infection throughout the game.
I feel before I finish my review that I also have to point out two major inconsistencies with the game that kind of bugged me personally as a Spidey-fan. The first was that you are never shown Peter Parker out of his costume, and I feel its because he is not voiced by Andrew Garfield in this version so they couldn’t get the likeness, but I still found it weird that they got Emma Stone and Rhys Ifans’ likenesses for both Gwen Stacy and Dr. Connors, so why not Parker?
The second thing was about Peter’s artificial web-shooters. In the comics as well as the 90s Spiderman Animated series cartoon I grew up with, Spiderman created artificial web-shooters with a limited amount of webbing for when he went out to fight crime, yet in the game, Spiderman appears to be utilizing the web at an infinite amount. Sadly, another two personal inconsistencies that will never be explained in the game, but I cared to notice.
All-in-all, I had a lot of fun. I highly recommend fans of the series to get this game. Whether you enjoy the comics or the films, and if you happen to be bored of the Batman Arkham series but still want a game with insane combat controls, then Amazing Spiderman is the game to try. Its epic, its got a lot of heart in it, and you won’t be disappointed.
A full playthrough of the game will be arriving on GTA Gamer’s Youtube Channel in the next few days/weeks.
Final Score: 7.5 out of 10