Spider-Man games have never settled very well with me. Edge of Time was alright, but I’ve just never really found anything too special in Spidey’s video game endeavors. So does a movie tie-in release actually manage to salvage the gaming glory of the web-slinger? Read on to find out!
Story: After Oscorp hires Allistaire Smythe to replace Curt Connors, Peter Parker accidentally lets loose a miniature army of cross-species that infect the citizens of Manhattan. Worse, in an attempt to find a cure, he lets loose all the patients inside a mental asylum. With goons, cross-species and the cops after his tail, Spider-Man has his work cut out for him like always.
Sound: The music is actually really good. It’s heroic, but fitting for Spider-Man (much moreso than the movie’s soundtrack which sounded like it belonged to Captain America). The voice acting is great as well, even without the actual movie actors. The writing is clever as can be and constantly had me laughing at Spidey’s smart-ass remarks or his references to other franchises (these include Batman, Ninja Turtles, etc.). Sound: 9/10
Presentation: There are a handful of moments in the game where I was unpleasantly reminded of X-Men Destiny, but otherwise The Amazing Spider-Man looks GREAT for a movie tie-in. Spidey’s suit gets torn to shreds and as you fight your many fights you see it slowly degrade, which is a cool effect, and the suit as a whole is super detailed. Something else worth mentioning is the pause screen, which has a really cool shattered glass effect which I especially liked (for no particular reason). The only real downside with the presentation is that environments, NPCs and enemies don’t really do anything to stand out from being a bland setpiece. Presentation: 8.5/10
Gameplay: First off, this game is NOT easy. Contrary to what other reviewers are saying, The Amazing Spider-Man provides ample challenge even for seasoned Batman Arkham City players, which this game’s combat system copies closely. What makes things difficult is that A.) Spidey doesn’t unlock any useful fighting upgrades until halfway through the game, and B.) Spidey can take about two hits. Early in the game, bullets cut Spider-Man up like swiss cheese and the smallest group of snipers is near impossible to take out. With that said, the game actually gets easier as missions progress, when you get powers that make you more durable and less of a punching bag. Thankfully, there are two different playstyles and one of them makes all of these complaints obsolete. There is straight up button-mashing, and my personal favorite stealth/sneaking. Certain enemies are such a hassle to take out with bare fists that it was much easier to instantly defeat them with a web-cocoon after hiding in the shadows for a minute or two. Even better, the stealth doesn’t feel tacked-on. It’s simple and yet highly effective against even the worst foes, and always presents itself as an alternative.
Level design can be sort of linear at times, as most story sequences take place in cramped Oscorp halls or stinky sewer passageways, but the real masterpiece is outside of the main story. There is a giant open-world Manhattan to explore and do side missions in, and makes this game five times better, allowing you to swing to your heart’s content while doing small tasks for citizens. It’s a blast and is definitely the time when you feel like Spider-Man most. Gameplay: 8.5/10
Length: The main story is around ten hours long, but there’s enough side content here to add on another five hours of action. Some of the side quests are repetitive (example: return the same generic asylum patient to the institute ten times over) but there is a lot of variety overall. Car chases, police deadlocks, photo-ops and racing challenges all provide fun and diverse ways to distract yourself from the main story. My score here includes the fact that this is a movie tie-in game: 9.5/10
Overall: The Amazing Spider-Man gets a spectacular 8.9/10! It greatly surpasses the previous Spidey games in every way imaginable, and it’s a movie tie-in no less. I can give it no higher praise than my Gamerrob seal of approval, which it rightly earns. So why are you still reading this? Go out and buy this game (and support the developers)!