The Average Gamer

The Amazing Spider-Man Review (360)

With most videogame tie-ins, expectations tend to be low. History dictates the game is often a rushed cash-in to capitalise on the movie’s popularity. The Amazing Spider-Man is different: it has ambition; it’s developed by a company that has worked on the past two Spider-Man games; it’s had a long development cycle; and finally, Spidey is let loose on the streets of Manhattan once again.

The Amazing Spider-Man isn’t a regurgitation of the movie’s plot. It’s an epilogue that centres on the virus which leads to Curt Connors becoming the Lizard, which begins to rapidly spread across New York. Naturally, the game is riddled with spoilers. I thoroughly recommend you see the flick before playing the game, which isn’t a bad thing, as the movie’s ace. The cast of the movie did not lend their voices to the game, which is a shame, but the acting is top-notch, and you won’t miss Garfield or Stone for long.

Once the game sets you free on Manhattan, it feels great. Swinging around feels fluid, and the new camera angle creates a real feel of speed and momentum. The camera can become troublesome indoors, which is where the vast majority of missions take place. Crawling along walls or ceilings is a particular issue, there were more than a few times where I lost my bearings and quickly came unstuck (excuse the pun).

The Web Rush movement mode works really well, allowing you to zip across buildings faster than regular web-swinging, though it can struggle to keep up at times. This isn’t a major issue, as you quickly learn to use the first-person view to select where to go instead of just tapping the Web-Rush button and hoping for the best. It still looks really cool, and Spider-Man can pull off some amazing (again, apologies) acrobatics as he flies across the terrain.

Aside from the twelve main chapters of the game, there are tons of side missions littered throughout the city. While there are a large volume of side quests available, there isn’t much variety. From basic fetch quests taking injured people to the nearest medical centre, or stopping a car chase, these can quickly become repetitive. The car chase missions are by far the worst, mainly because you always chase the same car, and the mission can last as little as thirty seconds.

The combat is a blatant steal of very similar to the work of Rocksteady’s Arkham games. By hammering the attack button, Spidey can wale on foes until they are dazed before pulling off a finisher. If his trademark “Spider-Sense” goes off, Spider-Man can dodge or counter with another button, or simply web-escape, and attempt to takedown enemies from the shadows.

While fun, it doesn’t come close to pulling off the grace and excellence of Rocksteady’s Batman outings. The camera is too close to the action to fully understand what’s going on, so there are times where you won’t know who is attacking you and where from. Attacks don’t transition smoothly. A small pause between each move leaves you both vulnerable and frustrated. Stealth takedowns aren’t exactly stealthy, as you’ll frequently be caught in the act and have to flee the scene.

For completionists, this game offers great value for money. Scattered across New York are 600 (yes, hundred) comic book pages to collect, and the only way to find them is to swing around New York and hope to stumble across them.

Once you collect enough, you’ll unlock classic comics from Spider-Man series, including the first ever appearance of the web-slinger. There are also character bios, concept art, and more to unlock. The main campaign can take around seven hours, but with all the side missions and collectibles, you can comfortably double that playtime.

The Amazing Spider-Man is a good game. Swinging around New York feels brilliant, but there isn’t enough to do considering who we are playing as. When games such as inFamous exist, and get the idea of variety of side-missions perfectly, it’s a shame that this game really doesn’t. Combat is ok, but a poor copy of a far better series. If you’re going to take from the best in the genre, at least have the decency to go all-out, use everything AND do it right. Fighting in Amazing Spider-Man just made me want to go back and complete a few more Arkham Challenges, and actually feel like I’m in control.

Fans of the movie or of Spider-Man in general should definitely pick up this game. If you’re looking for a fantastic sandbox superhero game, check out inFamous 2.

The Amazing Spider-Man is out now on Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and Wii.

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