Review

With the exception of, perhaps, the X-Men Origins: Wolverine game, there has never really been a truly great movie tie-in game, but Beenox‘s latest foray with The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is certainly valid attempt and one of the better Spider-Man games.  I have never liked any of the previous Spider-Man movie tie-in games as they never really got the feeling of being Spider-Man down quite right.  The Amazing Spider-Man 2 does, in fact, get that right.  Unfortunately that is weighed down by too many other problems.  It’s a so close, yet so far kind of scenario, and yet, for what its worth, I like it.

ASM2 Screen (1)

I took my daughter to see the movie on opening weekend and we thoroughly enjoyed the film.  I came home, sat down with the game and was pleasantly surprised to find out that neither the movie nor the film are the same story.  As with the first Amazing Spider-Man game, the game and the movie tell two different, yet connected, stories.  You will not be spoiled by seeing or playing either one first.  In fact, the game starts with a quick flash back to the moment that Peter Parker truly becomes Spider-Man, as the tutorial reminds us all of Uncle Ben’s death.  It’s the tutorial that reminds us how to use the controller we’ve been using for years, but, to be fair, sets up the first chapter of the game. One in which Peter learns the location of Uncle Ben’s killer and begins his pursuit of him.  It’s a fine first chapter that introduces the player to all the many controls that will be needed to play the game.  So many controls were thrown at me in the matter of just a few minutes that my head was almost spinning trying to remember them all.  Fortunately, it doesn’t take long to realize what I need to do and all the different buttons begin to make sense.

Speaking of controls, Beenox has done a great job improving the web swinging ability in The Amazing Spider-Man 2.  No longer do Spidey’s webs attach to, well, nothing. Now they must attach to the side of buildings or to trees before Spider-Man can swing.  Additionally, each of the left and right triggers control his left and right web shooters so players can truly feel like Spider-Man swinging their way through Manhattan.  If you swing too far up in the city, you’ll have to lose some altitude before you can continue swinging.  Seems much more plausible now than the mysterious cloud swings of before.  The wonderful Web Rush ability also returns allowing players to choose a spot in the scene and watch Spider-Man quickly zips his way to that point.  Holding down the right bumper will pause the world allowing player to choose their web rush target spot, giving them time to think during even hectic battles.

ASM2 Screen (6)

Combat in The Amazing Spider-Man 2 takes a page right out of the Batman: Arkham City games (can I even mention a DC property within a Marvel review?).  With the added ability to use webbing to pull enemies towards you, the combat feels great.  Spider-Man’s Spider-sense warns of an impending attack allowing players to perform a counter move, usually with amazing flair.  Stealth is also a part of the game as Spidey can pull enemies, unaware, into a web cocoon and move onto the next unsuspecting enemy.  All in all, The Amazing Spider-Man 2 controls very well and is very responsive.  Even the story is interesting enough to keep me wanting to come back for more.

Unfortunately, the well honed controls and combat isn’t everything in a game.  Besides the usual collectibles in the game which would, normally be fun to find as each Spider-Man comic book found can actually be read when you travel to the Comic Stand, owned and operated by the man himself, Stan Lee.  This fun factor is hampered by a terrible new mechanic called the menace rating.  As Spider-Man prevents crimes throughout the city, outside of story missions, he becomes heroic.  But if enough time passes and he does not prevent a crime from happening, his rating goes down and he becomes considered a menace.  When this happens, players will be unable to even traverse the city on their own time without being attacked by the city enforcement officers.  This renders the normally wonderful open world mechanic into a painful traversal and one I don’t want to be a part of.   It even negates my desire to go looking for the 300 comic book pages scattered around.  It is nearly impossible to prevent all the crimes that keep popping up all over the city, making side mission truly a chore to do.

ASM2 Screen (5)

Players can also choose different Spider-Man costumes from the history of the comic books, each with their own abilities.  The problem with this is that each costume levels up individually as you use it so the more you use one, the less you want to give it up, rendering all the others useless.

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is a wonderful attempt at an almost perfect Spider-Man game.  I actually do feel like I’m Spider-Man in this game, but the menace system made playing the game after a certain point, well, a menace.  It was painful just trying to move through the city and I could never keep up with the crimes in order to remain a “hero”.  This turned an otherwise great game into something I had no desire to play anymore.

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About the Author

Sean
Sean is an avid gamer and lover of all thing tech. He is a dedicated husband and the father to three beautiful daughters. In addition to taking his love of gaming to a new level with this site, Sean is also host of our podcasts: The OMG! Hour, Lost Treasures of Gaming, and Primetime as well as the bi-weekly podcast mashup show, Gamers Unscripted. Follow Sean on Twitter as @Xiantayne and this blog as @OMGnexus.