x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 18 January 2018

Game Review: The Amazing Spider-Man

Set in a vast, open-world Manhattan, The Amazing Spider-Man video game is by no means a classic, but is worth a dabble for a few hours.

The Amazing Spider-Man game is enjoyable but very simplistic.
The Amazing Spider-Man game is enjoyable but very simplistic.

The Amazing Spider-Man


PS3, Xbox 360, Wii


If you haven't already seen The Amazing Spider-Man in cinemas, you might want to look away now. While this game might bare the same name and is a tie-in to the film, it takes the unusual step of being set several months later, instantly triggering "Spoiler Alert" alarms as it reveals - without any word of warning - pretty much everything that happens.

For those who have seen it, or have the memory of goldfishes, let's continue.

A third-personer set in a vast, open-world Manhattan (where else?), The Amazing Spider-Man thrusts players into the web-slinger's universe as a mutating infection spreads across the city. Following an unnecessarily long opening cut scene (much like many film-based games, there are all too many of these), you're battling security robots with all your spider resources, bounding from pillar to post like nobody's business and spitting stringy web gunk all over the place.

As you might imagine, the best bit involves swinging your way around the city. And, by golly, that is fun, with the cameras zooming right in on your arachnid buddy as he performs all manner of mid-air acrobatics between skyscrapers. The Web Rush addition is nice, too. With the press of a button, time slows and your spidey-senses enable you to see all the locations you can instantly be flung to, such as the top of a flagpole, or into an baddy's face, foot first.

Sadly, despite such cool assaults, the fight scenes are a let down, with acrobatic fisticuffs that become increasingly formulaic as you'll begin to rely on just a few buttons smashes to vanquish foes. They're also somewhat easy, with the signature moves available with a simple tap and a Web Retreat option should you get into trouble. It's clear that the developers have taken a leaf out of the Arkham City fighting book, but alas minus the fluidity.

Bosses, too, are a disappointment, somewhat B-list in Spider-Man terms (Rhino is the first), and relying on a repetitive pattern-based attack to take them out. Anyone who played the recent hit Prototype 2, another open-worlder set in New York with a character who can scamper up the side of buildings, might wish Spider-Man had some of its less-family friendly edginess. Cheesy, social-media friendly dialogue has Spider-Man offering knee-trembling insults such as "don't expect a friend request anytime soon", while the loading scenes see pointless opinions regarding goings-on offered on a Twitter-style platform.

If there's a word to sum up The Amazing Spider-Man, it's repetition, with sometimes identical missions, fights and even dialogue cropping up time and time again. There's also a lack of sharpness on the visual front, a factor Emma Stone might start thinking about should she see the rather chubby rendition of her face. Andrew Garfield is no doubt pleased he spends much of the time with his mask on.

But, incredibly, despite this rather long list of negatives, the game still manages to be entertaining. You may end up doing it several thousand times - pointless webbing is thoroughly enjoyable - and anyone who gets bored of web-slinging around New York after a couple of hours has clearly had their fun gland removed.

Much like the film, it's by no means a classic. But it is worth a dabble for a few hours of daft-costumed superhero escape.