• Review: The Amazing Spider Man

    Single Issue IX (Written by Gen. Chris)

    The Amazing Spider-Man (2012)

    The Amazing Spider-Man In the aftermath of the attempt by Doctor Curt Connors to transform the people of New York into lizard-human hybrids, Peter Parker and his girlfriend Gwen discover that Oscorp has not ceased its experiments into cross-species genetics. Discovering that Oscorp is indeed continuing its research, the presence of Peter, a confirmed cross-species himself, drives the patients insane. Upon their eventual escape into the city and the infection of a deadly virus of all within Oscorp, including Gwen, Peter Parker must enlist the help of the imprisoned Connors to develop a cure, as well as tackle the looming threat of the cross-species monsters and the rise of the impetuous and vengeful Alistair Smythe. As his alter-ego Spider-Man, Peter must quell the unrest and save the city from utter destruction.

    The Amazing Spider-Man tells the story of what happened in New York following the events of the movie of the same name, and offers a large world in which to call home as the hero Spider-Man. This large world is one of the positive attributes of the game. New York City, specifically the island of Manhattan, has been carefully crafted into a large playground for the player to swing around in; at its longest it is about three miles long, which is rather large but swinging from end to end is no problem at all for the web head. Within the large world is plenty for the player to do; the campaign is a fairly decent length on its own, but the city itself has much to offer. There are a large variety of side activities involving petty crime for Spidey to tackle, as well as other things such as races, photography spots, and even comic book pages to collect, numbering seven hundred. These activities as well as general combat rewards the player with experience points that can be put towards a rather engaging upgrade system that gives attacks additional damage or even brand new attacks or moves for Spider-Man, which are certainly a necessity as the campaign progresses. These upgrades feel natural as well, and overall are rewarding to obtain. A further good aspect of the game is the combat and stealth mechanics. While they can be a bit awkward and the animation is not always the greatest, combat and stealth are nonetheless quite satisfying. Stealth in particular is great in many instances as it allows Spider-Man to easily incapacitate foes without their allies being aware, which can be incredibly useful and rewarding in difficult situations. And since you can practically stick to any surface, there is virtually no limit to where you can hide in game. There is even dynamic damage done to Spiderman's uniform, as it will steadily deteriorate and shred as more damage is done to it throughout missions. Really though, one of the best features of the game is the webslinging; though it can glitch fairly often, swinging around the city is nothing short of fun.

    There are of course several flaws that are noticeable within the game. Though a large world, Manhattan Island is relatively empty, and there is really little to see. Adding to this is the fact that the game is simply not very pretty, though it is by no means awful to look at either. It simply could look much better. The side activities are also quite repetitive, meaning that they can become boring rather quickly, especially the multitude of petty crime activities. Some of the missions are also fairly dull; the best missions are the ones outside in the city, but the indoor ones can be pretty boring, especially as they consist of mostly the same things over and over. The boss fights, with the exception of a handful, are quite boring as well, and are ultimately somewhat forgettable given these villains are some of the more dangerous foes of Spider-Man. The combat, while fun, is ultimately too similar to a less-polished version present in the Batman Arkham series, and can be a bit awkward at times with poor animation and timing. It can also be difficult when surrounded, often forcing the player to slink away and go stealth to recover, all the while hoping that the enemies do not spot you, which can happen often as the enemies are not particularly dumb. The game is also plagued by long load times and a boring in-game newsfeed chronicling the happenings in the city; it was a nice idea, but poorly executed.

    These few negatives are not really enough to offset the many good aspects of this game. The voice cast, while not including the movie actors, provide great performances, and the comic style of Spider-Man is on point as his humor can often alleviate much of the tense moments. Though it can be a bit repetitive, it is nonetheless symbolic of the character from the comics. The addition of collectible alternate costumes is also a great touch, and it allows Spider-Man to don the many variations of his costume over the years. Tying it all together is the interesting campaign and story that, while certainly has its low point, nonetheless has many exciting moments, especially in regards to three of the boss fights.

    Overall, there is nothing overly wrong with this game. Is it perfect, and an ideal representation of a videogame? Of course not, as there are several flaws such as the often repetitive features that cannot be simply overlooked. But it is an entertaining game, and one that should be satisfactory at least in part to its target audience. And most of all, it is fun, and as far as videogames developed as tie-ins for movies, it is actually a rather solid game. Simply swinging around the city, collecting all there is to collect and just watching the world, is quite fun in and of itself, and the campaign is good albeit flawed in many ways. I would certainly recommend it, especially to people who have ever wanted to play a decent Spider-Man, or really any superhero, game.