The Amazing Spider-Man 360 Review - www.impulsegamer.com -
The Amazing Spider-Man
Reviewed by
Edwin Millheim
on
The Amazing Spider-Man 360 Review. The Amazing Spider-Man is a thrill ride of a game that stands on its own webs. Solid fun, not an earth shattering game changer, but one hell of a fun ride.
Rating:
4.75

Gameplay 8.0
Graphics 8.0
Sound 8.0
Value 9.0
Developer: Beenox
Distributor
: Activision
Review Date:
July 2012
Reviewer:
Edwin Millheim

8.4


The Amazing Spider-Man
XBox 360 (Reviewed), PS3, Nintendo 3DS, Nintendo DS, Wii, Microsoft Windows (August)

The Amazing Spider-Man is the single player action adventure of everyone’s favorite web head. The game coincides with the new 2012 reboot of the film, but that is where the tie in ends, it’s an adventure that continues the story on what happened after the events of the film. Though if you have not seen the film, there are some plot points that are gone over that take place in the film. So see the film first if you have not already.

While there may be some disappointment that the actors from the film did not reprise their roles for the game, the voice actors for this game did an excellent job conveying the characters and the situations that the characters find themselves in. in particular, I was pleased as punch to see that the legendary cult superstar brilliantly cheeky actor Bruce Campbell. Campbell plays a character in the game that gives Spider-Man challenges to complete. The character is the Extreme reporter and can be found floating around New York in a big blimp. Let’s face it true believers, it just would not be a Proper Spider-Man game without a cameo from this man. While Spider-Man has some great snappy quirky patter in the game….no one can deliver smart ass lines like the great master Bruce Campbell.

The story is common comic book faire here, not on par with a certain other hero game that flits in the night. Though it gets the job done rather well and fits the character and the high adventure that usually comes with a Spider-Man story. I did feel that some cut scenes bordered on laziness or lack of knowing what to do with the scene. As characters spoke there are times at the start when we are just looking at a wall full of equations and formulas, for a long, long time as the characters speak. A few moments of that would have been enough to establish Conners was fixating on something…not almost a full minute or two of this…..Other cut scenes are very well done, showing events and advancing the story in a logical way and introducing elements that come into the game play.

The events take place months after the events from the film, scientist Dr. Curt Conners is safely tucked away in an institution. Gwen Stacey is still working at Oscorp and has some bad feeling that the new director of Oscorp Dr. Alistaire Smythe is still leading with Curt Conners work that unleashed the Lizard. It of course is far worse than she could have imagined, the experiments where of a wider range of cross species, some exceedingly dangerous and known to most long time Spider-Man comic fans.

Though much like the reboot of the comics and the film, these Spider-Man foes have gotten a few make overs as well. Making most of them seem far more deadly and menacing than their comic counter parts. During the time Gwen Stacey is bringing Peter Parker through to have a look and to check on her worries, all hell breaks loose including several of the dangerous cross species. People become infected, including Gwen in a most horrific way, though after the initial shock of the event, there is never any feeling of extreme urgency to find a cure. I never felt like there would be any true consequence if I did not hurry up to find the answers. Smythe lets loose his robots soon after to try to assist in capture and cover up, why I don’t know because the cross species are out of the bag now. At any rate between the cross species and some odd plague that is half changing the citizens into weird half human and half whatever they are, Spider-Man has his work cut out for him.

While there are reboots of villains, there are some new foes to take on as well. Not counting the robots that are out to take on any cross species as well as Spider-Man…we also get to see and take on one new baddie that was created just for this game. Nattie…who is a cross species from a Piranha, Fast and vicious this is a long fight. It is interesting to note about this character that when Nattie was created, Chris Baker, one of the guys from Beenox, said that they all found out about a character in the Marvel universe named Piranha already…a Namor the Submariner villain. So they could not call this new character Piranha…. So over time and wanting to keep this new character, they decided to use part of the scientific name for one of the most dangerous piranha species…and so Nattie stuck. Just for the readers, there was also another Piranha like character in the Marvel Universe, Ray Jones, who was known as Piranha Jones. Piranha Jones was first introduced in Power Man Hero for Hire number 30. Just to show off my comic book love and comic geekdom.

Game Play

A lot of free roaming on the island of Manhattan, Here we are back were Spider-Man belongs in his entire web swinging glory. The feel, the exciting web swinging rush is back with a few twists. Spider-Man gets around in his signature style web shooters and all. Now this time around like the movie reboot, we are back to mechanical web shooters, though you really would not know it bit for the animations and the upgrades to the webbing during the game. There is no danger of running out of web fluid and wen a web shooter is empty, there is a fast animation of Spider-Man going to his belt and putting in a new cartridge. In fact it is so un-intrusive; if you blink you will miss it. But it’s there. There are no plot points or game play dramatics of running out of web fluid here. Though I am sure it was a matter of game design choice here…after all if you run out of web fluid, who wants to wall crawl, run and jump your spider butt across the city to get more if you have no spares in your belt?

While it is solid to get around the city, it is not as tightly refined as say Spider-Man 2. In Spider-Man 2 players had the option to go with the simplified web swinging controls or manual controls which gave the player a far more refined control over the web swinging. Here in The Amazing Spider-Man game there is just one way, the game makes it simple to web swing, a press of the trigger is all that you need to get up and swinging, this does make the game much more accessible to casual gamers and as a Spider-Man fan myself, I find it does not alienate the old school Spider-Man players at all. It’s a precarious balance that Beenox has accomplished here indeed.

The other coolness in the locomotion of The Amazing Spider-Man is Web Rush. Spider-Man can use this for not only navigation but combat as well. It is an amalgamation of web strike from “Web of Shadows” which is perfect because that is one of the better attacks made in any of the Spider-Man games. Going into Web Rush, for a moment it goes into a first person kind of rendition, looking from behind the mask of our webbed wonder. Time seems to slow down thanks to Spider-Mans enhanced reflexes, and a superimposed outline shows in different parts of the environment as to where Spider-Man can launch himself.

The camera is a lot closer, more over the shoulder of our hero and it makes for some intense web swinging as the city blurs past you from the speed of your swing.

Some players may be a little disheartened by the fact that the web does not need to attach to anything for our hero to swing along through outside environments. Its ok true believers suspend your levels of disbelief. Have you ever seen a spider send a web line out and it catch the air and up the spider goes? …I’m just saying…..
 
Fighting can turn into a button masher for some if you don’t really explore the nuances of Spider-Man’s attacks. You can sure just mash away and get away with it, but I found by trying different combinations I got to do some pretty cool moves on my own.

During fighting, sometimes there are things in the environment that are interactive and throw able at an enemy or groups of enemy. Take full advantage of these if the odds are against you, stunning opponents gives you the chance to web them to the ground and take them out of the fight. There are frantic moments that make you feel you are just along for the ride and not controlling Spider-Ma’s fighting though, so this does take a bit away from the experience. I found by Exploring my options and style of fighting in the fast and furious combat of The Amazing Spider-Man, it did feel a bit more of a rewarding experience, only just.

There is also some stealth elements involved as well. Wall or ceiling crawling and keeping to the shadows will give the player an option to stealth take down an enemy. Webbing them up in a cocoon ala “Shattered Dimensions” which was another great Spider-Man move introduced with Noir Spider-Man in “Shattered Dimensions”.

Further out in the city environment, Spider-Man can catch a ride on some helicopters. It does not seem to serve much of a purpose other than to get a ride and site see, but it is cool. On inside environments our hero can of course wall crawl, ceiling crawl, and web rush his heart out, and run and jump as he likes. There are some areas only accessible through air ducts, when this happens the camera comes in real close and one can see why many compare the game play and fighting to the recent Batman game series Arkham Asylum and Arkham City. The flavor of this game and those is different in many respects though. More times than not, when the action starts happening in the Amazing Spider-Man…it felt more frantic and crazy.

After a couple levels in, random extra missions start to take place, from getting infected people to quarantine areas, to car chases, and catching extra dangerous criminals that are giving the please troubles, then also investigating secret labs from Oscorp. There are also picture taking assignments some of those will net you new and different types of costumes after accumulating enough of them.

Oh and then perhaps my favorite, grabbing comic pages from all over the city, get enough of there and they unlock electronic comics of the webbed wonder that you can view in one of the start menus. This is a great part of the game as extras go, I can only hope Marvel takes advantage of this and cross markets some more comics of our hero into the game. Maybe even as extra purchases using Microsoft points or PSN points. Either way, the vintage issues are a great part of this characters history and it is interesting to see the evolution of the comic style and how they had been able to introduce story elements comic wise over time to a more mature audience nature.

During game play as our hero advances along the player earns points to distribute around new attack skills and combat bonuses. There are also upgrades to web based attacks and strength of the web, and better yet for those stealth moves, there is an upgrade to be able to web up two enemies at once and heft them to a ceiling as long as they are in close proximity to each other.

Sound department is ok, nothing spectacular; everyone doing voice over work is great and relays things very well.

Graphics are not too bad at all. Direction and presentation wise it leans towards a cinematic feel which is cool. Character graphics are a mix of really nice from Spider-Man himself and the bad guys, some of the other character animations and graphics just seem off ever so slightly for some reason. I myself game wise only found one graphic bug when first fighting the flying hunter killer robots, Spider-Man got stuck in in a radio antenna. Standing in place, running trying to jump and or web swing, nothing worked. I had to go out of the game and back in to fix that. It was the first and last time I encountered that bug. At the writing of this story as with other games I review, I jump in and out and play more of the game and side missions as I write. There was another update to the game so perhaps some things have been tweaked, who knows. The Amazing Spider-Man is a thrill ride of a game that stands on its own webs. Solid fun, not an earth shattering game changer, but one hell of a fun ride.

The Amazing Spider-Man is highly enjoyable.
Have fun, play games
Edwin Millheim






 
 



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