Spider-Man is on his way back to the consoles for another bout of webbing up villains and generally being a nuisance to crime! The Amazing Spider-Man is due later this month, featuring everyone’s favorite web-slinger – and I’m here to offer up some hands-on information about the title. How’s it play? What villains were spotted? Can you throw him off a building and slam him into the ground at full force? Find out after the click!
First things first: no, death by splatting (at least that kind of splatting) is not available for Peter Parker this time around. I hurled him off the highest building I was able to find, watched him rocket towards the ground at a breakneck speed (just ask Gwen Stacy!) only to find that Spidey would, all on his own, immediately shoot a web up and land normally, no worse for wear. Curse you, Spider-Man! You’ve eluded destruction at my hand once again!
Anyway, on to the more pertinent aspects of my gameplay experience. First off, Rhino made an appearance – noteworthy because I’ve always had a soft spot for this villain. Big and dumb, whose main attack even in the comics is simply to run towards whatever he’s upset with at the moment and slam into or stomp them – sure enough, that’s what he did in my playthrough as well. Spidey’s controls were pretty decent – it was easy to get him to dodge and jump around the big animal-themed villain’s attacks, even as he smashed cars in Spidey’s direction. I’ll be honest, this wasn’t a particularly amazing fight, but it was solid enough. Good enough to satisfy most fans of the hero.[singlepic id=7071 w=320 h=240 float=left]
More interesting to me, actually, was the whole open-world experience. This time around – and this seems to be a growing trend with games in general, one I approve of – you’ve got Spidey swinging around in the open city, where he’s able to swoop down, annoy people, and presumably stop some more general crime while he’s at it. Front and center here was a car chase event – and you took this group of highly mobile criminals down in true Spider-Man style. Slinging from building to building to catch up, landing on the hood of the car, dodging bullets being sent your way while webbing up the windshield to blind them… somehow this felt more satisfying than the Rhino confrontation. Sure, it’s a less-impressive enemy, but there’s something nice about being able to just swing around and find problems to solve, rather than going from one scripted confrontation to the other.[singlepic id=7072 w=320 h=240 float=right]
Frankly, my playtime was a little limited on this one – I got enough time to confirm that yep, the city feels real big, and the controls feel natural enough. The real question is whether the developers are going to be able to make use of the huge city you’re able to explore. After all, if there’s not enough crime in the city (or not varied enough crime), then the whole thing’s going to feel like kind of a waste. Here’s hoping they don’t screw this up, because any gamer knows how easy it is to turn a popular media title like this into a 65%-at-best game.
Victor Grunn has been a gamer since the days of single-button joysticks and the Atari 800XL. When not lamenting the loss of the Ultima series or setting people on fire in Team Fortress 2, he's an aspiring indie game developer and freelance writer.