Beenox has done a pretty good job with the last two Spider-Man games, including the time-skipping romp Edge of Time and the multi-character action game Shattered Dimensions, but a few of you out there have been clamoring for a return to the “classic” style of Spider-Man. Good news, true believers, as that feeling returns with The Amazing Spider-Man, loosely based on the upcoming film of the same name.
Rather than running around limited environments, Amazing Spider-Man will give you free reign of wherever you go through New York City as you zip line across skyscrapers and dive towards the city streets, looking for crime and doing more research into the mysterious Oscorp Corporation. With the game following events from the film, you find yourself figuring out who’s following up on his research and creating more bio-freaks, including the romping, stomping Rhino, who has no hesitation turning the web slinger into roadkill.
In addition to tackling the massive monster, you’ll also run into other enemies throughout the game, including the returning Lizard, as well as the nasty Iguana. (Fortunately, Black Cat is also set to turn up, and she’s much easier on the eyes.) You’ll also tangle with regular crooks and complete secondary missions throughout New York, which will help you unlock story missions to move ahead.
If you were a fan of Spider-Man’s free roaming in previous games, you’ll love what Amazing has to offer. You pretty much have free reign to go wherever you want in the city, and you can see where objectives are at – and pinpoint them – using a helpful city map. From there, you can make your choice of where you go next – a first for a Beenox Spider-Man title.
The game features a variety of missions, from taking down enemies in a police stand off (using a rather helpful zip line kick) to evading bullets on a getaway car while you gum up the windshield with your webbing (not as easy as it looks) to battling thugs in a city park. Each of these missions are fun, and will eventually unlock the next portion of the game – in this case, going head to head with Rhino.
Beenox has done a splendid job streamlining Spidey’s combat techniques. He can attack using combos and, on occasion, his webbing, which can temporarily disable bad guys. In addition, he also has the option of using secondary items during a fight (like a dumpster) which he’ll easily pick up off the ground with webbing and hurl at a baddie to knock him out. It really is quite a sight.
As for the web-slinging controls, they’re terrific. Spider-Man really knows how to get around the city and you can even change his direction with ease should you end up going the wrong direction. The only catch is that if there aren’t skyscrapers around, you won’t be able to web swing so easily. But c’mon, it’s New York with very few places to run into that problem. We also like the new Web Rush ability, where you switch to a first-person view and get a look at everything you can latch on to, including posts and the sides of buildings. With a touch of button, you go right to it. Awesome.
The battle with Rhino kind of sets the pace for how boss battles in the game will go. When he comes charging at Spidey, you have the ability to dodge by hitting the Y (or triangle, depending on the version) button at the right time, and he’ll go running right into a van. This opens up the opportunity to quickly attack him. Three strikes, and he’s out.
The E3 demo we played also introduced flying gliders, which shoot off huge plasma bursts that can do harm to Spidey. Fortunately, his zip line attack is rather useful, as he can swoop right in and blow them up with ease. With the final, bigger glider, you’ll need to tap a few buttons before it comes crashing down in the streets of Manhattan.
The Amazing-Spiderman is Beenox’s best looking game to date, too. Though we did run into a slight bug or two, the city of New York is faithfully recreated and requires no loading time to run through. Spidey is also well animated, flipping and performing acrobatics while he webs around. The other characters look great too, especially Rhino, who definitely fits in the “menace” category.
Activision’s movie-licensed game is set to hit shelves later this month, so if you’re a fan of any sort of Stan Lee’s crime fighter, we humbly suggest checking it out.