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The Amazing Spider-Man
The Amazing Spider-Man is an interesting little gaming title. First of all, this one is a movie tie-in, but it’s not a video game interpretation of the film that is due out one week after this offering hit store shelves. Instead, this picks up after the events in the film. This is good for those who follow the comics and have a general idea of what to expect, but for those who aren’t too familiar with it, this will definitely ruin some plot points and tension when in the theater, or putting it in your media player once it becomes available to own. However, even with spoilers in consideration, there’s a lot to do in this game that makes it more than your generic licensed release.

First of all, this game really treats the Spider-Man characters with great respect. It was awesome seeing a story line involving Aleister Smythe, as well as a plot involving the serum Doctor Connors created and used on himself to become the Lizard. However, I wasn’t too into how many of the animal-based super villains all seem to be linked to this, such as Rhino, Scorpion, and Vermin. But, it’s obvious this game is keeping with the movie’s story line, meaning it actually doesn’t end or have a proper resolution once those end credits role. Not only that, but within the first two hours, some plot points had been ruined, including one of the characters on the silver screen adaptation dying at some point (but one that won’t surprise the fans as it’s destined by the source material).

At this point, I have about ten hours in it, and the story is actually very well composed. I’m really into what’s going on and wondering how Aleister and Conners will factor into the cure of the disease that is infecting New York, and I’m loving the Spider Slayer battles, though they don’t reflect the ones in the comics up to this point. In fact, these aren’t the slayers at all, but rather “cross-breed extermination” units. The S-01 was a decent spider-looking model that I’ve gone back and fought a couple times through the stage select feature not only for grinding purposes (which isn’t necessary), but just for the sheer fun of it. The S-02, a large worm-like robot, was also a blast to take down, though a bit too easy. My only real gripe is that the relationship between Peter and Gwen Stacey really doesn’t feel natural. In fact it just feels forced in the game, and I wish her peril was not even included. I don’t care one way or another about her and her safety at this point. Instead, I want to stop Smythe, find a cure, and figure out what Norman Osbourne and Oscorp have to do with all of this. Perhaps after I see the film I’ll have a little more compassion for that character, but if having read her fate in the comics didn’t sway me to care about this version of her, nothing in this game will.

But, Beenox takes the game back to the Spider-Man: Web of Shadows build, making it an open world title with plenty of exploration and optional side mission. In many ways, it’s a great idea. I love web swinging around New York City, but at the same time having to find seven hundred comic book icons to try to reach one hundred percent completion is just tedious. I’m aware at five hundred the rest show on the map, and I’m currently at two hundred and fifty, so by the time I reach the end I should have enough or near enough, but it’s just hard to control Spider-Man in the first place, making grabbing the comics rather frustrating. But, I’d rather that over the photo-op sections of New York City where you have to provide Whitney Chang with images for her news articles. On top of that there’s also looking for escaped mental patients to bring back to the hospital, and picking up infected civilians and bringing them to the nearest medical point that always seems rather out of the way. Even some of the other side quests like petty crimes, police chases, and the Xtreme races are all way too short and simple, sometimes barely even offering thirty seconds of fun. These small extras do make you feel accomplished when you wipe the map clean of them, unlike the stages that are often just obnoxiously long with additional puzzles that result in a very simple and quick boss fight.

At this point, it’s the story driving me, as well as my OCD. Honestly, if it weren’t for the latter, I’d be content just playing this game on easy, beating the last bad guy, and calling it a day. That really is where The Amazing Spider-Man shines, and it’s a shame the romance aspect of it is so forced. The mini games honestly could be a lot better too, as I don’t feel too powerful for hitting one button to reach a car and web up the windshield in maybe seven, eight seconds, nor do I feel swift when I complete an Xtreme race with only a few check points that I can reach by web rushing once per flare. The sensations you would want with a Spider-Man game just aren’t there for me, and I’ll be looking to finish this one off quick and move on. But, I do have to admit, for a movie tie-in, this is definitely one of the better titles I’ve played since Disney/Pixar’s Up, being a rather enjoyable experience for at least half of the time I’m playing it. I can also see this game having downloadable content at some point to extend the story. But, for now, I’m content, though fearing the frustration when I have to go and mop up some achievements or side quests for the full completion rating…

Article based on physical review material provided by personal funds.