haven’t bothered to see the new Spider-Man film because I can’t see why the Sam Raimi movies needed a reboot so soon. God I’m such a miserable git! So, instead I thought I’d play the game to fill me in on the new adventures of Webhead only to discover the game is actually set after the events of the movie and is full of inevitable spoilers. For instance, why does Dr. Connors only have one arm and why is Peter Parker hanging out with a girl called Gwen? What happened to Mary-Jane? Marvel fans will surely lambast my ignorance at this juncture so let’s get on with the review.
It’s hard to do anything that new with a Spider-Man game because the fundamentals will always be the same. There will always be swinging and crawling around Manhattan, bad guys to fight and limitations due to Spidey’s fighting nature. He’ll fire webs from his wrists and beat people up but he’s never going to pick up a machine gun!
Beenox have tweaked the formula yet again and what we have here is a sort of ‘Spider-Man: Arkham City’ blending styles from Batman and Spidey to make a fun game that’s functional but may not blow you away.
The game begins in first-person view as you visit the Oscorp building and soon hell breaks loose when all the hybrid mutants escape and run into Manhattan to run through the park or have breakfast at Tiffany’s or whatever they do nowadays. You then spring into action and go about learning your powers. The combat has you performing kicks , jumps and punches as your combo count visibly rises. When it turns red you can then do a special move that dispatches your enemies with style. As you earn XP you can then upgrade these moves to shoot webs further, become stronger or need a lower combo before you can unleash a stringy mess on your foes. It’s not as satisfying as Rocksteady’s combat (and to be frank, what else is) but it works.
When out and about the game looks absolutely stunning. As you hold down the trigger to swing about the city there really is a sense of height and speed and strangely it’s a massive distraction collecting comic books scattered about the city in order to unlock digital versions of real classic Spider-Man comics. Here you can also rescue civilians from thugs and pick them up and take them to the nearest hospital. These are fun at first but soon become something you won’t want to do as there’s little reward for straying off the path of your next objective.
Movement is also refined. To help with disorientation there’s now a mode called Web Rush where time slows down as you look about for your next landing point. You even get a shiny ghost of how Spidey will stick to the wall you’re aiming at.
There are also moments which blatantly rip off Batman’s Predator missions where you must stealthily string up bad guys and stay out of the way of bullets as you clear a room without being detected.
Boss fights are also quite a spectacle. There are moments where you have to swing around massive enemies and find their weak spots but in normal difficulty they’re just not very challenging with rudimentary quicktime events in some places and other moments where you’d expect to press a button to dodge an attack being blatantly absent. Spider-Man should also get a harder wearing suit. Just look at the state of it!
There’s no doubting this is a fun and competent Spider-Man game, it’s just that there doesn’t seem to be much progression in combat or gameplay as you play through it. I actually preferred Activision’s Prototype 2 for sheer spectacle but this is by no means a bad game so it gets 7 out of 10.
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