previews\ Feb 21, 2007 at 7:00 pm

Spider-Man 3 - PS3 - Preview

Two words were often repeated – “epic” and “cinematic” – during the Spider-man III: The Game event, hosted by Activision in San Francisco Thursday, Feb. 15.

The words were not bantered about lightly – they had direct bearing on the snippet of gameplay shown during the event. Spider-Man III: The Game is both epic in design and cinematic in a very visceral way.

Chris Archer, the executive producer for the title at Treyarch, guided the gameplay demonstration, which revealed a title that has seen a major revamp from the previous iteration in the franchise.

In the last release, players had complained that there were too many “busy” missions – meaning that players were forced to take a very linear path through the game. That has been completely thrown out for Spidey III. In its stead is a ‘sandbox’ quest system, which will allow players to jump from mission to mission at their leisure, taking whatever missions they wish at any time they wish.

And with the size of the gameboard, there are a lot of mission possibilities. Not only has Manhattan been recreated, but there is more than 20 miles of subway and sewer system built into the game as well.

And if you want bosses … well, the game abounds with them. Not only are there three non-movie gangs, but you will have to face Sandman, Scorpion and the new Green Goblin, as well as contend with the symbiotic black Spider-man suit.

New technology means the ability to create a cinematic experience for gamers. Not only is the movement much closer to what movie-goers have come to appreciate and expect, but the game will allow players to create cinematic moments similar to what filmgoers will see when Spider-Man III hits theaters in May.

Key moments of the game were recreated to follow movie moments, like when Peter Parker was fighting … hmm, that might give something away. You will have to wait for May to see that, but yes, Peter is playable.

The game does feature a new combat system and that means new charge, melee, and web attacks, but remember, there is that black suit, one that needs to be fed, and with that comes a whole new set of emotions as well as attacks. The black suit depends on a rage stage, which can be reached three different ways. And once you hit that level, the attacks can best be described as brutal and vicious.

The game’s graphics are terrific and players will go from exterior locations to interior seamlessly. While Toby Maguire comes across a little less like his real-life counterpart, other characters – like Thomas Haden Church, who plays the Sandman, a.k.a. Flint Marko – look dead on.

Spider-man 3 is a very visceral experience, backed up by the promise of dynamic play that captures the Marvel universe and Spidey, in particular.

Look for Spider-man 3: The Game to release on all next-gen consoles, plus the PC and NDS when the film hits theaters in May.

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