Amazing … or Not?

I always liked Spider-Man. Since when I was a kid, it is by far my favourite comic. Sure, other sagas had intersting characters, but spinning a web from building to building was supposed to be the ultimate fun for me. I remember swinging (half a meter) high from a rope tied to my mother’s bedroom balcony, after having stolen from the kitchen the rubber gloves she used for dishwashing.

That’s why I always tried to buy a Spider-Man game whenever I had the chance even though, like for many other paper heroes, most Spidey games where a true letdown. As usual, I really had high hopes for this release; as usual ….. they got betrayed.

I put my hands on this title when it first came out, in June 2012, when the reboot was published in movie theatres aroung the globe. Actually, it was a present for my son’s birthday, so my first impact was on a Nintendo Wii. At that time I hoped that the bad impression I had was due to the console constraints, particularly the Wii-mote, absolutely not up to the task. That copy of the game soon reached its place back to a Gamestop shelf, but the fact that “part 2” is about to hit the cinemas again, coupled with the very low price of used copies in stores, drove The Amazing Spider-Man back home (PS3 version, this time).

If you read the reviews on various internet sites they will all tell you how cool this game is. I’m sorry to say that this is, for the most part, FALSE! But there also something good in this games, so here is my review.

The game is set shortly after the events depicted in the reboot. In this tie-in, Peter Parker is visiting the Oscorp together with Gwen Stacy, after Professor Connor as been locked up in a sanitarioum for what happened in the movie. The “fun” part is that, at the time, Activision decided to release what is basically a sequel to the movie a week before it came out in theatres everywhere. WTF? Do Activision guys know the meaning of “spoiler” ?

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Anyway, while you are following Gwen around the buildings, some of the old Connor’s experiments break loose and start to attack people. Gwen gets captured and bitten too, and starts to mutate due to a virus contained in the hibrids fluid. With the world at rampage again, Professor Connor becomes the last hope, since he is the only one that can sinthetize an antidote. Peter dons his webspinning gears again and heads out to Beloit Asylum to set Connor free. Of course no one understands why, and so starts your impossible mission to save (again!) the Big Apple, against all odds.

All considered, the story is not that bad and allows you to travel back and forth inside Manhattan. The web slinging mechanic works well, and the “web rush” control (hold R1 to “slow” the time down and quickly detect grappling points) adds something new to the game. Unfortunatly, the all city is one of the less detailed rendition I ever seen in a Spider-Man game since, unlike Spider-Man 3 (PS2), landmarks are either unpresent or unrecognizable. As a matter of fact, the PS2 version of the old Spider-Man 2 game looks much better to me. Some of the texture are well done, but most of then really lets you down. Did Beenox code this game directly on a Wii and than ported it to a PS3, or was it an Activision decision?

Animations and combat system feel pretty good, resembling the “free flow combat system” of the Batman Arkhams series. Too bad that most of the time you don’t even need to fight, since you can exploit a dumb stealth system in which you can quickly escape with no consequences to being spotted.

You can upgrade abilities, collect … collectibles, explore bland Oscorp labs or infected sewers, fight simple enemies or big bosses with the simple button mashing technique and perform a series of side quest which don’t add much to the game. One of those, for example, will put you on pursue of Doc. Michael Morbius (the one known for becoming a vampire in the original comic), but you won’t have anthing else to do than shooting a couple of pictures to some bland “evidence”.

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Things change only during giant spider-slayer battles (a huge robot), when you will require the web rush abilities, but those battles won’t last long.

To conclude this review, Amazing Spider-Man was a partial disappointment to me. It looks bad at times and, as far as button mashing and fights strategy is concerned, it appears to be written for a 7 year old. Yet it is always fun to fly high above New York City. If you want to give it a try, make sure you find a low-priced used copy. Otherwise, just rent it (or skip it for something else).

 

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