The Amazing Spider-Man
Release Date: June 26, 2012
ESRB Rating: T for Teen
Available for PlayStation 3, XBOX 360, Nintendo Wii, Nintendo DS, Nintendo 3DS
Releasing a video game as a tie-in to a summer movie blockbuster may have its advantages, especially if it’s a week or so before the movie opens, but does a disservice when that game is an instant spoiler for the outcome of the movie. Such is the case with Activision’s The Amazing Spider-Man, a third-person open world game which picks up the action a few months after the end of the feature film. Gwen Stacy reveals to Peter Parker that Oscorp is continuing Curt Connor’s experiments under the supervision of new director Alistair Smythe. When the cross-species experiments escape and infect everyone they come in contact with (including Gwen and Smythe), Smythe sends his security robots to detain and destroy the mutants, attacking Peter in the process. Peter dons his Spider-Man outfit, fights the mutants and robots, and frees Connors from the psychiatric hospital in hopes that he can create a cure for the virus. Spidey is then sent on various missions to retrieve intel on Oscorp, take down many of the mutants and robots, fight rampant crime throughout the city (including a run-in with Black Cat/Felicia Hardy), collect comic book pages, and eventually save the city.
The game was developed by Beenox, and borrows heavily from Batman: Arkham Asylum and Batman: Arkham City games developed by rival Rocksteady Studios. As Spider-Man, the player can roam around the city and select missions as they become available and help to progress the storyline. However, many of the missions are repetitive, some requiring little to no skill whatsoever, while others are just downright frustrating. The PlayStation 3 version includes support for Move controllers, but found those to be too exacting and cumbersome, while the DualShock3 controller allowed for much more fluid and easier gameplay. The animation, particularly for the cutscenes, is embarrassingly bad, with characters unable to show any emotion whatsoever and appear as if they were designed for the PlayStation 2. The exception, though, is the titular character, but that may be because he is in costume for most of the game.
Although The Amazing Spider-Man is often repetitive and frustrating, it is still a fun game to play in small doses. The story is rather bland, essentially recycling some of the plot from the feature film but with different characters, and the big climax to the game is a bit of a let down.
Score: 3 out of 5