Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Review #436: The Amazing Spider-man(Playstation 3)

 The not so Amazing Spider-man
 With 2 Spider-man games under their belt, Beenox finally felt confident to develop what fans wanted: Another open world Spider-man game, and thus The Amazing Spider-man was released.

 While it's a movie tie-in, instead of retelling the movie's plot, this game acts as a pseudo-sequel of sorts. After Dr. Connors' fiasco, Alistair Smith takes over his research to 'fix' what Connors did... but it soon goes awry, with the entire Oscorp building turning into an infected zone, filled with contagious cross-species mutants. Spider-man breaks out Connors out of the mental instituted in order to help him create a cure and save Manhattan. It's an alright story for a movie tie-in game, and probably a better idea than tackling the movie's plot. This game also features very new takes on popular villains like Alistaire Smith, Rhyno and the Scorpion.
 There's two different elements to the game: Outdoors and indoors. Most of the game takes place in-doors, which is were missions take place. Basically, during these parts the game plays like a Batman: Arkham clone, with one-button, free flowing combat, and once signs appear over Spidey's head you must press a different button to dodge. It's fun and fast, but it lacks some of Batman's grace. But hand-to-hand combat isn't always the best road to take, y'see, even when fully upgraded Spider-man can't take much punishment, so it's in your best interest to crawl on walls and ceilings, finding vantage points to stealthily do away with enemies. It's very easy to exploit the stealth system, once found just web-rush from corner to corner until they forget about you, then take out a few more enemies, rinse and repeat.

 Web-Rush is the game's main gimmick, by holding R1 time will slow down to a crawl, shifting to a first person camera. From here you can pick a surface to web-zip to, an enemy to web-strike or an object to interact with. It works fine, and seeing how the automatic lock on for tapping R1 kinda sucks, this'll be the safest way to interact with an object in the midst of a battle. They finally had the bright idea to change how web-swinging works outdoors and indoors, in these indoor segments R2 will make Spider-man swing automatically from web to web, and holding L2 will make him increase his altitude as he swings.
 But when not undertaking missions you'll be exploring the sandbox city of Manhattan. While you can go towards your next mission at any time, there's a substantial, but needlessly repetitive, amount of side-missions to undertake. Secret Labs to take down, muggings to stop, car chases and a few others. While these are not random, unlike previous games, there's a large amount of each, so you'll be quite busy... if you do engage in them. I did a few, but quickly grew bored. You can also find hidden comic book pages that unlock entire high quality Spider-man comics. Pretty neat! There're also a fair amount of costumes to unlock, including my favorite Marvel character's costume: Kaine's Scarlet Spider.

 But as filled to the brim with excess fat as the overworld is, there's one big, fatal flaw: They messed up the swinging. Previous Spider-man games had a fantastic timing based system that felt rewarding and gratifying to swing around. In here you just hold R2 until Spider-man lets go of the web and then tap R2 again. No way to do it any faster. And you'll want to be faster, since the swinging is VERY slow. It takes away a lot from the overall game. Web-zip was removed, and while you can use quick taps of Web Rush for an extra boost, it doesn't feel any faster... or any useful for traversing the city. Among all open-world Spider-man games, this one's easily got the worst swinging mechanics of them all.
 The Underwhelming Spider-man would've been a better title. While there's nothing particularly bad about it, except maybe how uninspired the side-activities are, the game doesn't do anything that other games do better. The indoor missions? Batman's got them covered. The open world segments? Pick any other open world Spider-man game. So, yeah, it's not a bad game, but there's a lot of other options to exhaust before you'd feel compelled to give it a go.
 6.0 out of 10

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