The last couple of Spider-Man games from Beenox and Activision have been pretty good ones, between the character-changing Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions and the time travel-laden Spider-Man: Edge of Time. But a lot of gamers have been pining for a game that resembles the “good ol’” days of Spider-Man, like the ones that offered a world of free exploration. (That would be Spider-Man 2, more than likely, and it was good.) Well, this summer, the team will be granting your wish with The Amazing Spider-Man, based on the upcoming Marc Webb film of the same name.
The game’s events take place shortly after the movie completes, and has Spidey moving throughout the city, tracking objectives with the help of his cell phone (it’s amazing the reception he gets while he swings through Manhattan), and doing everything from chasing after criminals to facing familiar adversaries. Though Activision is keeping the story under wraps, they’ve promised that it’ll be devoted to the character, so you won’t have to worry about him doing anything outlandish this time around — you know, like time travel.
One huge aspect that gamers will come to appreciate with Spider-Man is being able to move about the city freely, an element that worked so well in past games featuring the web crawler. You’ll be able to zip line, grab onto buildings, and swing from location to location rather rapidly, and yet land on something small, like a street lamp, without even showing any clumsiness.
In fact, with the addition of the Web Rush mode, you can be even more precise. Once you activate this, you’ll be switched to Spider-Man’s first-person camera, where you can see everything in the environment and see what surfaces you can immediately move to. This is ideal if you need to move to a precise point on the map or just want to seek out hidden goodies throughout the city.
However, it’s not all about movement. Spidey’s got some fights on his hands. One scene we were showed in the demo had him in hot pursuit of some thugs in a car, eventually landing on their hood and trying to damage it while avoiding incoming gunfire from the nutcase in the passenger seat. Other situations will have him fighting enemies with a unique combo system, one where he can use his web shooters in the midst of combat to tie up enemies and other special maneuvers. We weren’t shown all of this just yet, but it sounds fantastic.
The game will also include stealth abilities, ala Batman: Arkham City, where Spidey can get the jump on enemies and tie them up in webbing so they won’t get in the way. Original? Hardly. But it’s always entertaining to get the jump on a baddie and then move him out of the way.
What’s more, Spidey will have his work cut out for him when he faces bosses in the game. Along with the familiar enemy from the film — the Lizard — he’ll also face other foes from his comic book past, including the nasty Iguana and the equally unlikable and brutal Rhino.
Even though there’s still a little production time left with it, The Amazing Spider-Man looks great. Beenox has built a convincing recreation of Manhattan, right down to the bridges and inner workings, and the streets are bustling with life as you swing your way around them. The sound effects are good too, but the game was noticeably absent of voicework. The final version should feature Peter Parker making snarky comments as he makes his way through the street, though Activision hasn’t confirmed who’s handling the voice acting just yet. Hey, is Neil Patrick Harris available?
For those who wanted the “old” Spider-Man back in video games, you’ve got him. The Amazing Spider-Man is a return to form for the free-roaming action, and it offers plenty of it with hours of story and bonus missions. We’ll let you know if this is one you’ll want to swing away with when it arrives in stores on June 26, just a week before the film.