Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Review #424: Spider-man 3(Playstation 3)

 Celebrating Spider-man's jump into HD with QTEs!
 When the time came to bring Spider-man into the HD world Activision got Treyarch to handle the new game. Ever since they created Spider-man 2, they could do no wrong, and now with the added horsepower of the PS3 and X360, surely the new Spider-man game would be a thing of beauty. It's about as pretty as its graphics.... which is not good.

 You get the gist by now, Spider-man movie tie in games have always been a loose retelling of the movie's plot with added micro-plots, and this is no exception. It's also quite different from the PS2 version, the only common threads being the Lizard/Kraven story, the Mad Bomber story and the movie's main story, but even then those missions play out very differently, sometimes with entirely different outcomes. It's a very different game, and even the way they handled certain scenes from the movie differ. For the first time ever, and about damn time too, story progression is not locked behind busywork, and it's pretty lengthy to boot, about 6 hours give or take, more if you indulge in side-activities.
 As with previous Spider-man games, this is an open-world action game, and just as before, between missions you can partake in side-heroics, although now it offers more involved side-activities, some which even take you inside buildings. Thanks to the power of the new consoles, the world around Spider-man is bigger than ever, he ends up feeling as tiny as a spider surrounded by giant buildings. As ugly as the character models are, the city itself is quite pretty to traverse, even if it's not graphically impressive, the scale makes up for that.

 Swinging has always been the best part about Spider-man games, and this Spider-man 3 is no exception. While it doesn't feel as fast as before, the added sense of scale makes it look almost as gratifying as it is to time your button presses. I can't say that it's the best version of the swinging, since it's kinda hard to get on top of buildings without overshooting your jump and thanks to the inability to use the web-zip to climb it faster. The Sprint button is back in action, and it helps speed up Spider-man on foot or on web, depending on when you press the sprint button will change whether you swing faster or higher. Pretty neat.
 The combat has been entirely redone, with Spider-man being able to string weak and strong attacks together, as well as using his webs to pull or push enemies around. There's a new blue gauge that recharges automatically when not in use, and it governs Spider-reflex, which makes everything but Spidey move slowly, and it also allows Spider-man to automatically dodge most attacks. Landing hits will also recharge a round Spider-symbol, once full you can use special moves. The black suit is no longer a power-up, but a shift that Spider-man undergoes midway through the game that can't be reversed unless the story demands it. Black Spider-man has a few different attacks, and the gauge used for special attacks is now spent to enter rage mode: Enhanced strength and the enemies can't block your attacks anymore.

 Look, Spider-man's combat has always been sloppy, and this one isn't any different. At times combat felt a bit too mashy for my taste, and bosses were pretty darn annoying, mostly because they were damage sponges and had way too many invulnerability frames. Mind you, they aren't hard per say, just boring. But what really soured the entire experience for me were the Quick Time Events. The game abuses them. and every boss must be defeated through one. Miss a button input and you take damage and they get back up again with a little health refilled. Because it's always fun having to redo the entire Kingpin fight again because I missed an input and it cost me a retry. The last two bosses, Sandman and Venom, which should've been exciting, turned into the most excruciating part of the game. They aren't even hard, but the QTEs had a short window of time which had me redoing the QTE scenes way too many times for my liking.
 The upgrade system was also very weird. You have to complete missions and sometimes the game will give you something new. Side-activities too, since that's how I got a Spider-reflex upgrade. Swinging is upgraded by swinging a lot, which actually made sense. It's a weird upgrade system, and not one that I liked, since I wanted to get the health upgrades but I didn't know how. A few missions were rather bland too, mostly the Daily Bugle ones.

 I wish I could rate Spider-man 3 higher. Whenever I wasn't doing story missions, I was having a blast. Stopping crime on the streets? Fun. Swinging around from place to place? Fun. Fighting bosses? Made me want to turn the game off. A few weird design choices and lame missions put me off as well. Spider-man 3 on the PS3 isn't a total blunder, but there're so many other, better Spider-man games that do what this one does just as well or even better, without the QTE nonsense.
 5.0 out of 10

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