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In Short

What happened? The Amazing Spider-Man was a bit of a sleeper hit for me 2012. It was not the shiniest example of a superhero tie-in, but I thoroughly enjoyed it. Unfortunately The Amazing Spider-Man 2 feels underdeveloped and unpolished on the production side. It’s not the worst game, and I would normally forgive poor asthetics for great gameplay, but this was all but often a drab experience here to. Worst of all, it comes off as a bit of an indulgent excercise to feed the marketing mill, a stark contrast to the previous Spidey game from Beenox.

Developer: Beenox
Publisher: Activision
Reviewed on: Xbox 360
Also available on: Playstation 4, Playstation 3, Xbox One
If we had to give it a numerical score: 5.5/10

What I loved

  • Webslinging across New York
  • Unlockable comics and figurines
  • Stan Lee appearance!

Not so much

  • Unashamed Batman: Arkham clone
  • Boring gameplay
  • Bland audio-visual production
  • Verging on amateur voice acting
  • Pointless speech-trees

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It’s actually a bit ironic that the gameplay pretty much bored me for the most part. The Amazing Spider-Man 2 generously borrows from one of my favourite series – the Batman Arkham series. So I would’ve hoped that I could see past the cloning and just enjoy another superhero game with “cool mechanics.” I think it’s the combination of the game just not being that polished, and because I was just not challenged enough, that I just couldn’t enjoy The Amazing Spider-Man 2 all that much. It’s almost as if the developers implemented the characteristics that were so loved in the games it borrows from, thinking it would be a safe call, built these mechanics into their game, but then added the first couple of layers and stopped there. The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is hugely uninspiring, lacking in polish or any sort of pizzazz.

The fighting mechanics are just about, if not exactly, lifted from the Arkham games’ mechanics. I know we’ve seen other games take inspiration from the famed mechanics, why wouldn’t they, it works so well. Problem here is that it’s not even remotely disguised, and just not as fun. Spidey can strike, counter combos in exactly the same way. Big combos are rewarded with powerful attacks. This would be forgivable if the AI actually challenged you, but come one or come a bunch of enemies, and soon enough you’ll be just going through the motions.

The Arkham cloning doesn’t stop there either. In my opinion the web-slinging was ruined with the ability to grapple from point to point, like Batman’s grapple-gun. The desired destination is even highlighted like that in the Arkham games. So you can just choose not to sling or crawl around, and just simply grapple around New York. To me the joy of being Spidey, is the slinging, so I would want to be forced to do so across the large sandbox on offer.

And that’s again not the some of the cloning. Spidey’s sensory “vision” works just like Batman’s “detective vision,” highlighting key aspects or foes. I am a huge believer in “if something works, use it.” But at least add your own flavour. The world is filled with copies of copies, but when something doesn’t have its own qualities too, it is less acceptable, to me at least.

The most joy I found in The Amazing Spider-Man 2 was web-slinging around New York’s skyline, looking for side-quests. Apart from the awkward swinging bang in to buildings here and there, this aspect was fun. Swinging around the city reminded me of Prototype. Unfortunately, the latter was extremely fun when you got to your destinations, despite the awfully bland terrains along the way. Spidey 2, not so much. The web-slinging could also have been a little more polished, but it does work well. You can cast webs from either hand with either the RT or LT, and hold them together for a boosted swing. The mechanics here were well designed and work well. There’s plenty of opportunity to sling around too. The Amazing Spider-man 2 features the main campaign as well as plenty side stuff to do. There’s a morality system, so you can spend hours trying to build up your hero status and a decent’ish progressive system. Unfortunately the side-quests offer nothing too challenging here either. So progression or level’ling up comes a pedestrian level. I could forgive the bland visuals, the dreary dialogue, but boring gameplay and quests just makes the game feel like work.

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Closing Comments

The Amazing-Spiderman 2 is not a bad game, I suppose. Pick it up in a bargain bin if you’re keen to sling around the skies of the drab New York. Just don’t expect anything like the films or comics. There’s just no magic here unfortunately.
The Amazing-Spiderman 2 doesn’t feel like it was made for core gamers, gamers who play games every other night. It couldn’t be. It just doesn’t inspire at all, it’s not challenging enough, there’s the production flaws and overall it just feels too much like it was cloned to work, but that’s about it. It’s like if it were a car: the manufacturers slapped on some wheels, an engine, a gearbox and sent out to market. It gets you from A to B, but what a boring trip.

The thing is it doesn’t need to be made with core gamers in mind, it will sell in masses just because of the hero that adorns the cover. And playing as Spider-Man in a game that’s not actually broken will be enough for the younger (less critical) or the casual audiences. Unfortunately, for me, someone who takes gaming so seriously, I can’t possibly get excited about a game that feels like it was made just to round-off a franchise. Not when it doesn’t feel like all that much effort was put it to making it.

Zombiegamer Rating:

Brains

 

 

Read about our ratings here.

  • You can buy the game from our affiliate here.