I have enjoyed Beenox’s take on the Spider-Man franchise before, but none so much as The Amazing Spider-Man. Spidey has returned to the open-world where the gameplay thrives. The gameplay does borrow from Batman, but joyously so, and Spider-Man still has plenty of his own charms. The new gameplay, Spider-Man’s awesome tech, the brilliant web-slinging action and the generous replay value makes The Amazing Spider-Man the most competent and enjoyable game in the series.
For fans of: Spidey games, Prototype, Batman series
Reviewed on: Xbox 360
Also available on: Playstation 3, PC, Wii, 3DS
If we had to give it a numerical score: 8.0/10
What we loved
- Graphic and cinematic quality
- Web-slinging in open-world New York
- Replay value
- Spidey’s tech
- Control-mechanics are super-fluid
- The soaring fight scene with the Hunters through New York was poetry
- No multiplayer included for the sake of including the option
Not so much
- Borrowed Batman gameplay might get some knickers in a knot
- Wish Peter Parker had more of a ‘bad-ass’ attitude
- Camera from intricate angles not always great (if it’s fair to hold that against the devs)
Gameplay and Features
The game takes place after the events of the movie it ties in with and Spider-Man is pitted with stopping Alistair Smythe of Oscorpe and his devastating cross-species experiments which result in these monstrous hybrid species invading New York, causing mass terror. The veering from the movie plays an important role as the game is allowed to return to the open-world environment where the gameplay was celebrated before.
While there is no multiplayer offering, there is plenty of content thanks to the open-world theme that is filled with smaller side-quests. Spider-Man can stray from the main story and bust-up petty crimes infiltrate secured labs, help the police in car chases and collect comic books scattered throughout the city. The side-quests are not the deepest by any means, but serve as a great excuse to sling around New York. Ignoring the side-quests and collecting comics could see you completing the campaign in around 15 hours or so, but where’s the fun in that? Web-slinging never gets old.
Spider-Man has a decent range of progressive attacks and technology which can be furthered by unlocking actions or tech. Nothing is wasted here and levelling up your abilities and tech only makes for more enjoyable gameplay. The combat is reminiscing of that in the Batman games, and while easy at first, it does get pretty tricky as you face more powerful opposition. Your unlocked actions and tech open up the possibilities for attacking the various foes and everything primarily revolves around the ‘Web- Rush’ mechanic. This mechanic is much like a focus ability where you pause the surroundings and are able to choose your next strike, or simply boost to a chosen area. You basically engage the ability, focus while everything freezes and the key actions for combat or collectables are highlighted. Simply choose the desired action and release the button for the action to be carried out. The action is used for normal attacks, stealth attacks, to zip to a collectable or to pick up objects and use them to throw on enemies.
The intuitive gameplay is further complimented by the fluid controls which allow you to pull off great combat at speed. You can quickly use you ‘web-rush’ to engage an enemy and then build up your combo to reach devastating finishing moves. The fluid controls and brilliant animations make for hugely entertaining combat that is very pleasing to the eye. In a tight squeeze when you are overwhelmed you can hit the LB button to sling you right out of the battle to a safe spot.
The gameplay – the combat and the slinging – was an absolute highlight for me, and positively progressed as I used XP to purchase upgrades. The more I unlocked the bigger the grin on my face and I would actively look for the biggest brawls I could get Spidey in to.
Sound and Visuals
The presentation is well suited to the theme and looks great. The menus and sub-menus are a breeze to work with and there’s plenty niceties to add to the experience. The stat tracking in the game tracks a bunch of information. The loading menu screen keeps you busy too as there is a ‘Twitter-like’ feed of thoughts of the residents of New York, which generally depict the mood in the city. The loading menu also gives you tips which you can jog through while you are waiting for the level to load.
The cinematography direction of The Amazing Spider-Man is stunning and pays homage to its comic-book origins, as does the general art direction. The graphics were put together with care and there is plenty of good texture and detailing. Spider-Man unlocks new suits as you go along, so you should never be bored with your outfit. The suits are vivid, well textured and detailed.
Web-slinging through New York and a few other aspects did remind me of Activision’s Prototype, but New York has never looked better or been so much fun. I was pleasantly surprised by the level of detail in the masses of buildings covering the map – it did not look like a completely drab city like many other large gaming-worlds. Beenox made use of different surfaces to make up the buildings, there’s is clever use of lighting, blurred effects and reflections to make New York look somewhat realistic or ‘living’ and feel atmospheric.
Other than some difficult camera-angles, there are no major discrepancies with the visuals. The camera-angle can be a little disorientating when Spider-Man is on ceilings or other tricky angles, but you can always hit A to jump off onto the ground to re-orientate yourself and centre the camera.
The sound quality, like the visuals, is of a high quality. The narrative is fairly compelling while not being totally absorbing, but was carried out well by the voice-acting with the Sam Riegel being the standout as Spidey. If anything it is not Beenox’s fault that Peter Parker is a little on the ‘squeaky-clean’ side, so the dialogue is reflective of his personality which stays true to the series. Call me a ‘Dark Knight fanboy’ but I would have loved it if Peter had a somewhat “darker” attitude, and the dialogue reflected this. The scoring and music is again well suited to the series in its entirety, authentic with that movie-feel.
I could be really disparaging to the fact that Spider-Man borrows from Batman, and the truth of the matter is if Beenox had pioneered with these “borrowed” elements, we would probably have been more ‘wowed’ by the said elements. Beenox didn’t, but despite this I am certainly am not going to hold anything against them because it works well in the game, there is still plenty of its own engaging gameplay, and because I enjoyed The Amazing Spider-Man so, so much.
Read about our ratings here.