After eight long years of countlessly mediocre Spider-Man games, Beenox have finally nailed what it takes to make players feel like they are the Webbed Wonder.
And while it’s far from perfect, it’s a rare example of the movie tie-in actually surpassing its inspiration, and guaranteed to satisfy and entertain more consistently than Marc Webb’s wonky blockbuster.
Intriguingly and somewhat inspiredly, Beenox haven’t tried to cram the movie’s plot into numerous mini-missions, instead opting for an open-world environment that you’re free to explore in a story set after the events of the movie. While there are few movie spoilers, you still have the core cast to play around with, with the game’s plot picking up on the Lizard’s nefarious plans to unleash a human-mutating mutagen upon the city.
Cue lots of excuses for various animal-themed enemies (the Rhino, an Iguana etc), and a mission-based but fundamentally open-world environment to swing, crimefight and backflip your way through.
Gameplay-wise, it’s essentially little more than a less varied Arkham City-lite. Button bashing combat is comfortingly similar (although far bendier and slightly more lightweight), and upgrading your powerset is nigglingly familiar, but where Spidey does differ is in its Web Rush mode. While similar to the Bat’s x-ray detective mode, Web Rush is a far more elegantly integrated ‘second sight’ that allows you to slow time down and discover new areas to crawl in and onto.
Yet while the free-flowing, fleshed our Marvel Manhattan mechanic is GTA-mazing, it once again falls victim to a camera that – while predominately functional – can confuse with nausea-inducing irritation. And while the structured missions and optional side-quests are fun, repetition falls in far too quickly.
Ultimately The Amazing Spider-Man is uncannily like Peter Park himself. The perennial underdog’s had a facelift for the better, but it still has a lot to learn.
Still, whether comic fan or hardcore gamer, at least there’s some fun to be had in the web-slinging journey.