Review: The Amazing Spider-Man Video Game
Other comic book heroes have taken over this year, but a friendly neighborhood Spider-Man was the new kid on the block, after a reboot by Marvel Entertainment and Laura Ziskin Productions.
With a fresh start to the series, Activision and video game developer Beenox cast their web at the 2011 New York Comic-Con and captured an audience to promise a more grounded, more realistic approach, giving us an incredible setting to play with.
The result is the most fun you'll ever have playing as Spider-Man to date. Bringing back what made the web-head's video games most enjoyable, Beenox has opened up the city of Manhattan and turned it into a digital playground.
Soaring across skyscrapers like Tarzan never gets old, especially when there is nothing to grab on to and Spidey nosedives from the clouds. It's a spectacular rush! It's the Amazing Spider-Man.
The combat is fast and acrobatic, fitting Spider-Man's lucha libre wrestling-inspired move. Using the Web-Rush to get the jump on enemies or capturing unsuspecting foes in webbing spins similarities from the Caped Crusader's tours in the Arkham video games. There are upgrades earned throughout the game, but enemies are easy enough to overcome without relying on them too much.
Spidey moves like a gymnast even more so in epic boss battles. These moments are the tootsie roll center of the tootsie pop after having to tread through a drawn out campaign and level design that is less than memorable. Sure they aren't too hard to hurdle, but they are still mad fun.
Environment's lack of detail is beyond disappointing. Big ups to the devs for pulling this off, but the world renowned New York City streets are about as active with pedestrians as the deserts of the Mohave. Even midtown is nearly devoid of people and traffic jams. Ironic when you read all the banter on NY City Thoughts during load screens. Seems like this is a city of bloggers trolling the Internet rather than taking in the sights.
But despite the rather simple textures and missing landmarks, there are a few fun distractions to check out. Side missions, although lacking depth, are a nice addition. Send Spidey to rescue civilians and snap photos while unlocking outfits and racking up numbers in a wide variety of statistics. By far the coolest unlockables to be had are the fully readable Amazing Spider-Man comic books. Finding these hidden gems are almost as fun as reading them.
Still there is a tremendous void in the game left from within its cast of characters. While Rhino and a reimagined version of Iguana appear more as mindless ogres and Black Cat's early tease has you waiting way too long for her to re-emerge, the game lacks the deep cast of archenemies of Spidey's past.
It is possible Beenox was crippled to add familiar faces due to the film's future plans, the story itself is terribly weak with dialogue that will have you shaking your head more than anything.
The voice actors are not to blame here, especially because one of them is Bruce Campbell, who voices The Extreme Reporter guiding you through more side missions and adding more life into the game.
Overall this is he best bang for your buck Spider-Man game out there today, even if it is short of Amazing.