The 5 & 1 Review is back, this time taking a look at the web-crawler, The Amazing Spider-Man 2.
The Amazing Spider-Man 2
What is the game: The movie tie-in for The Amazing Spider-Man 2. However, don’t expect it to follow the movie for long. After you hunt for Uncle Ben’s killer, the game gets a mind of its own and introduces seven bosses to take on as it’s story spirals farther away from the movie.
How does it work: Since Spider-Man 2, Activision has been trying to find that magic formula again that made the game great to play. However, too many opportunities were missed here that makes The Amazing Spider-Man 2 miss the mark.
The combat feels like a mixture of the freeflow fighting from the Batman: Arkham franchise, with a bit of Assassin’s Creed thrown in. However, it feels muddy and lackluster. The same few combos are used again and again, mixed in with an occasional signature move. Except for the occasional counter, you can just mash attack and be fine. On the flip side, though, you could get through the entire game by just countering everything, although it will be a lot slower.
The game lasts about 10 hours for the main story, although it’s all over the place. As mentioned above, there are seven enemies and a storyline that sometimes doesn’t make complete sense. I feel that sticking closer to the movie with a focus on the three villains there with some multiple battles would have been better.
I feel the biggest dropped ball comes with how the open world is utilized. There are random crimes and sidequests that pop up as you go around. However, except for doing a few to keep guards off you, there really isn’t a ton of reason to do them. After fighting criminals or taking photos for the umpteenth time, you’ll find out how boring they can be and start skipping them most of the time.
The world basically feels like a giant area where your concern is just getting from story point A to point B, occasionally finding a collectible along the way. Sidequests with meanings or boosts would have been great and made taking care of crimes worthwhile.
While playing on the PlayStation 4, it’s also easy to note that the graphics aren’t on par with other PS4 titles that have been released. Honestly, it looks similar to something you’d still find on PS3 or the Xbox 360. It’s not that the graphics are bad, I just feel like some extra polish could have been given here.
Not everything is disappointing in the game, though. Web-slinging is great in the game, giving you the feeling of actually whipping through the city. You have to have a building near you and at your level to hook onto and swing, meaning there’s no more webs attaching to the air. In addition, L2 controls the left web and R2 controls the right web, a great idea for swinging around and going back and forth.
This doesn’t include the web zip that can launch you closer to a building quickly, run up and launch off for another web swing. It also needs to be noted that where you launch off at makes a difference as well. Letting go of the web low makes you faster, and waiting till higher lets you get some air at a slower rate.
The stealth parts are also a shining point in the game. Being able to swing from building to building and crawl up to an enemy just to stealthily take them down is a great feeling. It shows Spider-Man at its best.
Stan Lee makes a return, and operates a comic shop where you can view collectibles, read comics you find and try out the training simulation. In addition, Peter’s room lets you change costumes if you have any costumes to switch to.
Why should you care: The game does have sparks of fun during missions. It’s just the constant need to stop petty crimes and lackluster fighting that drags down the experience. Beenox had a good chance to make a great sandbox game, but pointless side quests and little to see make the world just an annoyance to get from point A to point B.
Who should buy it: Fans of Marvel heroes or Spider-Man that aren’t worried about mediocre gameplay.
When should you get it: When you really need a superhero fix and can’t find anything else to play. Or, right after watching a Spider-Man movie.
Where is it available: At any game retailer, on the PlayStation Network and Xbox Live Marketplace, and on Steam.