Tuesday, 20 May 2014

The Amazing Spider-Man 2

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 really is a swing and a miss game (it’s a terrible pun, I know), although swinging around NYC is insanely enjoyable, it is well and truly cancelled out due to boring combat, dull Peter Parker segments and glitches that rear their head from time to time. It’s more than likely down to the game being rushed so it could be released as close as possible to the release of the film.

Swinging in a Spider-Man game has never been more fun; opposed to your web hitting an invisible point in the sky, you now need to be near a building or structure to actually swing. You also have to use the left and right triggers to swing – if the nearest building is on your right hand side, you press the right trigger and vice versa. Obviously since you’re encouraged to swing near buildings, there’s traffic. Narrowly missing a vehicle results in drivers beeping at Spidey, who’d have thought? He’s only saved NYC from danger time and time again. However, being able to recreate the film-esque CGI dives that appear in every Spider-Man film is a great feeling.

Another cool thing within the game are the costumes you unlock by completing challenges. There are 13 in total for you to unlock, and if you pre-ordered this game from GameStop, you will have a code to redeem another four, with a fifth costume being a PSN exclusive.  They look great on Peter Parker, and it adds a little extra purpose to completing challenges. Who wouldn’t want to swing around NYC as Spider-Man 2099?

Unfortunately, you don’t swing around from start to finish and you’re forced into SOME pretty boring combat that’ll leave you with a feeling of déjà vu. This is due in most to the combat system’s similarity to the one found in the Batman: Arkham series of games. All you have to do is button mash and dodge/counter when your Spidey Sense is tingling. As well as a dissatisfying combat experience, enemies can glitch out as well, and in one situation, a boss glitched out to the point where it became invincible requiring a restart. Very, very inconvenient.

It took me around six hours to finish the game, approximately the same amount of time for the previous Spider-Man title, but unfortunately this time about half of that was pretty boring. The build up to boss fights didn’t get me in the ass-kicking mood and often consisted of button mashing my way through a rather large room of enemies till I’d be up against a super villain. This wouldn’t be so bad of they were actually challenging but bosses were just time consuming due to their high health bar. What fun is there in landing a combo, evading, then doing it over and over again? Unless you’re playing Dark Souls that is.

Another weak point was the plot. In the films, there is some form of narrative and a story to follow; however in the game, it feels like villains are just chucked into the mix. You can unlock a bit more of the backstory by completing side missions, which only slightly adds to the overall plot but the game does a bad job of incentivising this. The only ones that drew me in were the Russian Hideout side missions. Though that was mainly for the cool costume unlocks.

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is available now for PC, PS4, Xbox One, PS3, Xbox 360, 3DS and Wii U, with last-gen consoles seeming able to keep up with current-gen consoles. The version I played on the PS4 didn’t sport any major differences bar sharper textures, vibrant colours and more traffic. 

Overall, I would say The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is a prime example of what happens when a game is rushed, especially in an attempt to be released as close to a movie release as possible. If they either A) worked on this earlier, or B) delayed it until it was perfected, I’m more than certain it would have been a great game. They’ve perfected swinging around NYC, and the whole smooth motion of it makes it the best part of the game, but it’s a shame that boring combat and a non-existant plot let the game down big time.

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 gets a 3/5.


Sam Terry

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 at CeX

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