Brett reviews the 'thrown-together' movie tie-in, The Amazing Spider-man 2.
[ written review below ]
With another Spider-man movie we are once again treated to a Spider-man video game tie-in with the amazing Spider-man 2.
What we are given with the amazing Spider-man 2 game is a sloppy game that feels like the developers aren’t even trying to hide the fact that the only reason for this game being made is to cash in on the recent release of the movie.
The only thing about this game that doesn’t feel underdeveloped is the web-swinging, which i will admit is pretty much close to perfect. It’s just a shame that the rest of the game hasn’t had as much polish.
The graphics look terrible and besides some fine details to Spider-man’s costumes the game looks like it was made five to ten years ago. The character models are bland and look next to nothing like their movie counterparts.
Another good thing about web-swinging is that you won’t be spending much time on the ground to see the repetitiveness of character models and vehicles. Activision and the developers really took advantage of the fact that Spider-man takes place in New York City with the overabundance of taxis driving around.
Even lacklustre graphics would have been excusable if not for the fact that the city is boring and lifeless.
It tries to make you feel the need to actually do things in the game world with its heroic and menace system, which more accurately forces you to beat up criminals or save people from burning buildings or else you get gunned down by the private law enforcement agency. This wouldn’t be so bad if it wasn’t so repetitive, in turn making it more of a frustrating task.
I found myself doing the minimal amount of heroic acts needed just to be able to make it to the next mission without being gunned down from point a to point b.
Then there is the combat which is pretty much beyond basic, even taking into account that this game is trying to reach a broader audience age-wise. It is purely nothing more than button mashing.
The combo system is pretty much pointless needing very little skill or timing to be able to defeat the very few different enemy types. The combat animations are very well stylised and nicely animated although the camera can leave a lot to be desired when it comes to framing the action.
Upgrading Spider-man’s abilities is just as pointless, as the effect the upgrades have on the actual gameplay is so minimal that you could actually not worry about upgrading at all. Spider-man’s abilities seem powerful enough from the get go and the enemy AI never really poses any real threat.
The story, while not taken directly from the movie does share some of the same elements from it. There are some good character additions not in the movie and it does have some interesting parts, but they are never really explored or they get overshadowed by all the negative aspects of the game.
The amazing Spider-man 2 tries to get the player involved in the story by giving you a selection of dialogue during conversations with other characters. At first i thought this was very promising like the choices you made with the dialogue may actually effect story.
All it does is make you choose the order in which the questions get asked. This could have been done with a continuation of the cut scenes, but I guess they needed some way to see if you were still paying attention.
This game takes aspects from other games and lazily slaps them together, so much so that at one point during the game’s better parts i had a feeling of déjà vu. I’m all for developers using aspects from other games, but it only really works if the originality of the game stands out in a positive way and that just isn’t the case here, because there is none.
The amazing Spider-man 2 is purely for the fans and even then I’m sure some Spider-man fans, such as myself, would be greatly disappointed in this game. The game had potential and some aspects including Spider-man’s creator Stan Lee making an appearance were really nice additions.
Yet every other aspect of it is taken straight out of games such as the Batman Arkham series, which does it so much better. It fails to take advantage of the open world setting which makes the great web-swinging mechanics wasted.
Given a bit of extra time this game could have been the Spider-man game fans deserved instead of the rushed cash grab that it is. If you can find this game in a bargain bin I would recommend it for a few hours of web-swinging and button mashing fun.
The Amazing Spider-man 2 deserves nothing more than a 4.5 out of 10.
Available on PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Wii U and Nintendo 3DS.