So, with this latest incarnation, Beenox is back behind the wheel to give it another go, this time promising to return Spidey to the open world that we loved so much back in 2004. The question is, do they succeed? Well, the answer is yes and no.
Yes, the open world of Manhattan is back, and it looks incredible on the new gen system. (I played on Playstation 3.) It felt good to freely swing around the city at my leisure, saving random citizens and stopping car chases. Beenox chose a closer, behind-the-shoulder-type angle for Spidey, so while swinging through the city you get a nice sense of realism to the whole thing. But, what about the web-slinging itself? Does it live up to the hype of the previous games?
This is where most fans will be split down the middle. Unfortunately, no, this is not the web-slinging of Spidey 2/Ultimate. Beenox decided to go a simpler route and gave us easy, one-button swinging. I facepalmed myself so hard when I heard this news, I almost gouged my own eyes out. "How can they keep doing this to us?" I screamed. "They gave us perfection several years ago. Why can't they just do it again!?" Apparently, this is too difficult for Beenox. Sure, we got our open world that we cried over for years and years, and they delivered on that front. But, a wide open city is only as good as its web-slinging.
Fortunately, even in its simplicity, I actually DID have fun with it. Introducing a new move called the "Web Rush," holding down the trigger button slows down time and shows us different locations of the screen that Spidey can quickly "rush" to. While it doesn't sound that rewarding, once I mastered mixing it into my regular swinging rotation, I found myself doing some pretty slick-looking maneuvers. Bouncing around the city like a hyperactive gymnast on Red Bull, I quickly started to enjoy this version on a different level. While it doesn't compare to the other game's more "real" feeling, it's satisfying and can become pretty addicting.
Combat is fun, as well, as it should, because they literally ripped it directly off of the Batman Arkham Asylum/City games. While not nearly as fluid or rewarding as Batman, it's still the simple 3-button actions (attack, dodge, special) carefully timed to pull off some pretty awesome Spidey acrobatics. On the story side of it all, it takes place directly after the new flick, so if you haven't seen the movie, prepare for massive spoilers. For whatever reason, the game was released a week before the movie, so I witnessed said spoilers, but it wasn't anything too heartbreaking for me.
While the open world was nice and for awhile it's really fun helping random strangers in danger, it quickly becomes repetitive. Boiled down to either car chases, muggings, or police lock downs, each and every one feels exactly the same just in a different location. My first car chase was incredibly thrilling. Doing it 10 more times in exactly the same manner got tiresome. I completed the entire game on normal difficulty and all side missions in about 12 hours. There are tons of things to collect around the city (700 comic book pages to be precise), and although I am a hardcore collector, I passed on getting them all after about 450.
Although it's a movie tie-in, the stars of the film do not provide their voices here. That said, the cast here does a fantastic job. Gwen sounds perfect and Steve Blum and Nolan North bring the awesome as Curt Connors and Alistaire Smythe, respectively. But, the big surprise for me was Sam Riegel as Spider-Man. There's been a lot of not so great Spidey vocal work in the past (I'm looking at you, Rise of the Imperfects.) but this dude nails it. His voice is reminiscent of the '90s cartoon version actually, but with more emotion. Basically, this is what Spider-Man probably sounded like in my head as a kid.
All in all, I was pleasantly surprised with The Amazing Spider-Man. I went in with very little expectations given Beenox's past and came out satisfied with one of the best Spider-Man games to come out in years. While not as great as Spidey 2 and Ultimate, I think this one will still grab fans' attention and is definitely worth picking up.