For some reason Best Buy stores in my area began selling The Amazing Spider-Man video game early, so I jumped on the opportunity to pick up a copy to get a head start on the competition. I definitely had concerns about this game considering that it’s technically a movie based title, which is a genre that seems to disappoint gamers far too often. After spending a majority of my Saturday with the game though, I can tell you with confidence that The Amazing Spider-Man the game could be one of the best movie tie-in projects of all-time.
I have not had enough time to beat the game yet, so this post isn’t to be considered our final review of Spidey’s latest game, but I am so impressed with what Beenox had pulled off that I had to let the rest of you know about it. Their last few Spider-Man games may have disappointed long time fans of the webslinger, but I think they’ve taken the first step towards redemption with TASM. In this game, which is set after the movie (definitely some spoilers in here, so watch out), Beenox brought back the open world genre to the Spider-Man franchise. After my first 30 minutes with the game I quickly realized that they made the correct decision in doing so. Spidey belongs in a NYC open world setting, and for the most part they nailed the feeling of being an acrobatic web crawler with super powers in TASM.
I can’t help but compare this game to some of the other recent open world superhero experiences such as inFamous 2, and more recently Prototype 2. Spider-Man controls just like James Heller, or Cole McGrath, with the RT button essentially controlling his main methods of getting around town. With a press of the RT button Spider-Man will begin to do his iconic web slinging maneuver, which can be held down for easy traversal of the NYC cityscape. Holding this button down will also allow Spidey to traverse buildings in the same manner as Heller and Cole. I can’t tell you how much fan service this feeling of swinging through the city provides. I really wish this game supported 3D, because I think the technology would have made the feeling of being Spider-Man even more realistic.
In addition to the easy to use RT controls, Beenox has implemented a new feature for making gamers feel even more like a superhero called “Web Rush Mode”. Web Rush is put into motion by holding down the RB button, and once it is activated Spider-Man goes into a Max Payne-like bullet time mode. While in this slow motion setting you can strategically place your marker on various locations that Spider-Man can quickly sling himself to. If you’re gliding through town and see a comic book collectible that you want, you can quickly switch your direction by hitting the RB button to enable web rush mode, which will slow your roll (literally) allowing you to place a Spider-Man silhouette over your desired target. Once you let go of RB Spidey will flawlessly sling himself to your desired position.
I can’t tell you how cool this feature is, and how many different possibilities it opens up for the gamer to go about tackling the various challenges in the game. Web rush mode definitely helps to make you feel like a bada*s, which is exactly how anyone should feel while playing a game based on comic book characters.
The combat in this game is almost just as fluid as getting around town. If you’ve played any of the Rocksteady developed Batman games then you’ll be very familiar with the fighting mechanics in TASM. Spider-Man’s main fighting controls are all contained within the X, Y, and B buttons. He gracefully bounces from one thug to the next just like the Dark Knight, albeit with a little less grace. The fighting controls are solid, but after playing Arkham City last year I can tell you that they’re not quite as tight. This doesn’t mean that fighting sequences suck, because they’re actually quite thrilling, but at times I felt like Spidey wasn’t following the orders I was giving him if you know what I mean.
If I had one major complaint about my time with The Amazing Spider-Man the game it would be in regards to its camera. It’s not awful by any means, but at times I found myself fighting with the camera during some of the hairier sequences. It almost feels like Spider-Man is too damn fast for his own good. It’s either he moves too fast, or the camera is way too twitchy at times for its own good. This issue is magnified when you’re going for precise maneuverability during collectible pick-ups, or when you have to zero in on a specific target on your enemy. I found myself fighting with the camera far too often while trying to get myself on a perch to pick up one of the game’s 700+ collectibles (yeah that kind of sucks, but it’s fun finding them), but it’s not a game breaker.
Like I said, I still have some more time to put into this game before I can officially give it a full on review, but as it stands right now I’m completely happy with Beenox’s latest Spider-Man game. The Amazing Spider-Man the game has managed to do something that almost every other movie tie-in game hasn’t, which is to provide a fun gameplay experience set in a movie’s world.
If you can’t wait to get your hands on it you may want to check your local Best Buy out to see if they have an early copy. I know mine did (Columbus, OH), and I’m happier than a pig in sh*t that they broke the street date. Stay tuned for our full review, which will more than likely be out tomorrow, or at the latest on Tuesday. This game is definitely worth a buy though, as long as you don’t mind spoiling a bit of the movie for yourself. You’ve been not believing that a movie based game can actually be top notch…
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