Plot: What’s it about?
Spider-Man is back and can once again web sling to his heart’s content, with an entire open city at his fingertips. The plot is an epilogue to the movie of the same name, which finds Spider-Man up against a host of powerful enemies. With a menagerie of genetically enhanced creatures on the loose, his girlfriend infected and in quarantine, and massive robotic creations on his trailer, Spider-Man finds himself in serious trouble. His only option is to break Dr. Connors out of prison, since his research holds the key to putting an end to the genetic monstrosities. This creates even more problems however, as Connors just caused massive mayhem as The Lizard, so Spidey is in deep this time. But even when faced with overpowered beasts, giant robots, dangerous criminals, armed guards, and more, Spidey refuses to give up. But with danger growing all around him and an entire city on the brink of disaster, can even Spider-Man beat the odds and save the day?
When it was announced that this game would return Spider-Man to a free roam design, I was thrilled. I loved being able to just blaze across the urban landscape by webs, so while recent Spider-Man games were fun, I missed that element. The web travel is well done, so it is a blast just to cruise around and enjoy the unique Spider-Man experience. Now you can web sling as much as you want, then handle missions at your leisure. The free roam design allows you to progress the story at your own pace, while providing side objectives for when you want to take a break. So you can rescue civilians in peril, stop crimes in progress, and of course hunt down collectibles. The last option is sure to require some time invested too, given that you have to track down 700 comic book pages. The story based levels contain collectibles as well, so when you’re not dishing out justice, there is plenty of stuff to keep your eyes peeled for.
The story is solid and the missions you undertake are fun, with a nice blend of stealth and all out action. You won’t be able to sneak through without conflict, but you’re able to utilize stealth to ensure you start each battle with an advantage. I enjoyed the combat as well, with a kind of chained attack approach, but with a forgiving window. So even if you don’t have cat like reflexes, you can snap off some impressive attack chains. You gain experience as you progress, which then allows you to unlock new upgrades, while finding tech elements offer you even more chances to fine tune your webhead. Between the wonderful return of free roam, the collectibles, and the leveling system, there is a wealth of paths to explore. I have had fun with the last few Spider-Man games, but The Amazing Spider-Man trumps them in grand fashion. This is the game fans have wanted, with a full Spider-Man experience, so of course the game earns a high recommendation.
Video: How does it look?
The game looks awesome, especially in free roam mode. The developers were able to get just the right look and feel of slinging your webs to travel at high speeds. There is repetition in the landscape, but that is common and the city still looks pretty remarkable. The character designs look good as well, especially the level of detail on Spider-Man himself. The cut scenes don’t stand out as memorable, but the in game visuals shine and that is what counts. I do miss the comic book style visuals of the past few games, but this more realistic look is appropriate for this installment.
Audio: How does it sound?
While perhaps not as prominent as the visuals, the sound design is also rock solid. The various web sounds are proper, while the combat has a comic book style texture, but not in an over the top sense. The music sounds good too and especially stands out as you travel in free roam, a mode that also features some effective atmospheric design. And of course, Spider-Man’s zingers are clear and clean, which is always a must. So all in all, a clever and well implemented sound design.