Review: The Amazing Spiderman (X360)

The Amazing Spiderman game is an amazing continuation of the movie, but can seem a little too cinematic at times. A third-person open world adventure, the game sees you cavorting through a beautifully rendered New York City as Spiderman, trying to save Oscorp scientists and your lady love, Gwen Stacy, from the cross-species infection that has set into Oscorp labs.

The story takes place several months after the movie. Gwen and Peter ended up at Oscorp investigating an alleged continuation of the cross-species experimentation that was explored in the movie. Of course, the mutant lab animals escape, and start infecting everyone within Oscorp. There would be no game, otherwise. The duty of saving the city once again falls to you, the Amazing Spiderman.

The game is, at first glance, very reminiscent of the Batman Arkham series. Combat is controlled by two buttons: attack and dodge; you’re also warned of impending attacks so you have ample time to avoid getting hit. Spiderman fights with globs of web and plain old fisticuffs, but while his attacks do merge into combos for damage multipliers, they don’t require any deft button taps to execute. Combos are executed by you simply mashing the attack button.

Also, since it’s Spiderman and not Batman, fights take place from all angles. Spiderman is capable of spidering his way across walls whichever way you want: that is to say, he crawls up, down, left, and right, making for impressively cinematic combat. This free-ranging combat isn’t the best for players who are prone to motion sickness, however; the wild camera angles can undoubtedly leave you nauseated after a while. They also aren’t the best complement to the game when you’re stuck in a small, claustrophobic space like a sewer. It can be hard to tell which way is up, sometimes. Fortunately, you can always simply drop back to the ground to get your bearings.

You’ll need to suck it up and deal with the camera, though. Setting it to static helps slightly, as you’re the one in charge of rotating it as you please. This is important, because as you can imagine, wall-crawling is deeply integrated with much of the game. Players are sometimes forced to rely on wall-crawling to get from one point to another, or they may have to position themselves to perform web rushes – which is the Spidey method of fast travel across a screen. Web rushes can get you to areas you might not normally be able to access, and can also help ease you into combat by starting off a combo attack. Combo attacks are important, since they contribute to experience points.

Enemies you destroy also provide you with experience points, which can then be used to upgrade two skill trees: character and tech. Experience points are also attained by pulling your combos and picking up magazines.

If you’re the type of player who rushes through a game, we recommend slowing down just a little with the Amazing Spiderman. The game boasts many little details that can be overlooked in hasty playstyles. Magazines scattered around New York don’t just give you experience points – they’re also chock-full of bite-sized trivia that contribute to the storyline. Loading screens also contribute to the game’s flavour, and occasionally include an electronic ‘feed’ that records the thoughts of Oscorp employees you are attempting to save. Players can also access their email via the in-game menu, and receive emails from characters like Aunt May and Gwen.

The beauty of the Amazing Spiderman is definitely in its details. The New York City that you traverse is amazingly realistic right down to its fire hydrants and parks, and also boasts a minimap that lets you explore every nook and cranny. Finishing the game also gives you the option to roam the city at will, swinging from building to building – just like in the movie.

However, while the Amazing Spiderman is cinematic and exciting enough to live up to its counterpart on the silver screen, the lack of challenge in its gameplay makes it fall a little short.

I love the open world concept and the character upgrades; the ease at which you can pick up the game is also a plus point, especially for players who’ve bought the game to complement their Amazing Spiderman movie experience. Casual gamers will love the equally casual gameplay, but the hardcore ones will find that saving the world could stand to be a little more difficult.

The Good
  • Dramatic and cinematic, this is as good as the movie gets.
  • The game is a sequel, but is explained well enough to stand on its own.
The Bad
  • Gameplay is too simple for seasoned players!
  • The camera angles change whenever you hop onto a wall, and induce serious motion sickness.

The Amazing Spiderman is an open-world action/adventure game developed by Beenox and published by Activision. It was released on June 26 2012 for the Xbox 360, the Playstation 3, Nintendo Wii and Nintendo 3DS. It is also available for the PC and on iOS/Android phones.