Spider-Man 3 Preview

We make like a Spider-Man in the Wii game based on the upcoming movie.

With Spider-Man 3 slinging its way to theaters in May, Activision had us down to get some exclusive hands-on time with the Wii version of the anticipated game. Although the game is taking the same approach that it's PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 cousins are in terms of using the movie plot as its base and expanding on it, developer Vicarious Visions is offering content specifically for the Wii that ranges from a unique control scheme to exclusive comic characters to altered gameplay mechanics. We had the chance to try out a sampling of levels from a work-in-progress version of the game to see if it swings.

Grab your Nunchuk and Wii Remote and help Spider-Man take down the bad guys.

The first two levels we tried were tutorial levels that took you through the basics of the control scheme, which uses both the Nunchuk and the Wii Remote. Getting around is pretty standard for a Wii game from Vicarious, as many elements are similar to Marvel: Ultimate Alliance. You'll use the Nunchuk to move Spidey and wave the Wii Remote to perform attacks. Quick attacks will be initiated by swinging left and right while strong attacks are triggered by an up and down motion or by pressing the A button.

If you flick the Nunchuk when Spidey's head flashes (a marker that his spider sense is kicking in), you'll be able to dodge attacks. You'll jump with the Z button and stick to walls when you hold the B button when you're near one. Holding Z and B together performs a webzip, which helps you move to a point quickly. The A button lets you interact with highlighted objects. Pushing down on the D pad lets you perform an adrenaline attack, which powers up your normal attacks. Hitting left or right on the D pad puts you in Spidey's sexy black suit (more on that in a second). Up on the D pad lets you enter photo mode and snap shots, like any good struggling photographer who happens to have superpowers does.

The plus button calls up your scrapbook, which is a rundown of what you've done in the game, and lets you access the hero menu where you can level Spidey up using hero points you earn. The minus sign calls up a city map to let you get an idea of where trouble is brewing. Finally, the 1 button lets you lock the camera onto a target. When the camera isn't locked, you'll be able to rotate it around you by tilting the Nunchuk left or right.

In addition to all that, the game puts a new twist on Spidey's webswinging by letting you physically spin his web lines. If you hold down the B button and flick the remote forward, you cast a line at the nearest building and start to swing. Releasing B will make Spidey release his web. You can choose to shoot another with the remote, or hold the Z button on the Nunchuk and flick it to send out a line from Spidey's other hand. Insane? Sort of. Do you look goofy? Yes, a little. Is it fun? Kinda. The mechanic is a little tough to get a handle on initially, especially if you want to go all pro and do the dual-hand webswinging, but it seems like it could be cool once you pick it up.

The Wii game put a whole new spin on web-swinging, as you'll control Spidey's webs with the Wii Remote.

Following the controls tutorial, we had the chance to try a gang mission that showed off the massive city map and the crime system. Though all the console versions will feature gangs terrorizing the city, the Wii version of Manhattan will get one extra gang to disrupt things. Managing crime is important, as it affects how the city and its residents will evolve throughout the game. A well-protected city will thrive and look nice, while a sketchier one will be a lot more interesting (read: dangerous).

If you successfully complete missions and follow the various plotlines through the game, one of which features exclusive appearances from Shriek and Morbius from the comics, you'll earn hero points. You'll be able to spend the points in a submenu that is laid out like a spiderweb version of the Final Fantasy X sphere grid. The various points on the grid will let you power up Spidey's existing abilities, as well as earn new ones by spending hero points, letting you customize your wall crawler.

One of the big elements in the level showed off the Wii game's unique way of using the black suit. Unlike the other console versions of the game, the Wii version will let you put on the suit whenever you want. However, it's not all fun and games. To paraphrase the comic and film, with great power comes a big price tag. Though the black suit lets Spidey do significantly more powerful attacks, if you use it for too long, you'll notice the edges of the screen will start to darken and your line of sight will be reduced. If you don't change suits, you'll pass out. Unfortunately, taking the suit off isn't as easy as putting it on. Once you initiate the change back, you'll have to match onscreen prompts using the D pad. If you complete the sequence properly, you'll be able to get the suit off. If not, you can try again or pass out.

Well-known villains will be making their presence felt in the game.

After getting in touch with the gangs in the city, we got to try out a fight between Peter Parker and "New Goblin" Harry Osborn, who's picking up the crazy baton from his deceased father. The fight differs from the PS3 and Xbox 360 versions, which get up close between the two fighters and mix in some God of War-style button pressing. On the Wii, Peter is hanging off of Harry's glider, and you'll have to avoid cars by flicking the Nunchuk or remote to get out of the way as Harry tears down the streets into traffic. When you can find a moment, you'll have to get Peter to jump on top of the glider and pummel Harry. During the battle, you'll have to match onscreen prompts to dodge his attacks while getting in some licks of your own until he goes down.

Once we beat yet another member of the Osborn family into the hospital, we got to have a close encounter with the Lizard. The level opened up with a cinematic that finds Peter visiting his ill-fated college professor Curt Connors. One quick look at the prof's recent home movies, and it's clear his experimental regeneration serum needs some more work. Rather than restoring his lost limb, the serum turned him into a surly, bipedal reptile that enjoys causing mayhem. The level showed off the various ways the Wii Remote and Nunchuk are tapped in minigame form, as you go and rescue people from burning cars and on the side of buildings. The mission featured a chase and melee with the lizard's minions. The last level we tried pitted us against the Sandman underground in the subway, which is the perfect place to fight a villain with the ability to morph into sand--well, not really.

The visuals in the game are solid, though they obviously lack the next-gen ultrabright shine of the PS3 and Xbox 360 versions. Despite that, Vicarious has managed to get a comparably sized city onto the Wii and a solid, open-world experience. You'll see cars and people going about their business. Given the Wii's limitations, things are a bit boxy in places, but there doesn't appear to be anything too ugly on hand. The game's frame rate holds up pretty well, even in the incomplete version we were playing around with. Spidey and his foes move at a decent clip already, with some inconsistency during the more insane levels. The character models, as with the city, are solid but a touch boxy. The main characters display more polygonal love than the assorted NPCs, as you'd expect.

Spidey's mysterious black suit will be a part of the new game.

The game's audio is pretty typical. There's voice for the major characters, a convincing array of sound effects, and a varied selection of sound bites from the denizens of the town. The film's stars are on hand to bring their alter egos to life, and more significantly, the mighty Bruce Campbell serves as your spiky narrator. Campbell's goofy quips are a funny complement to the action. The game's score offers the standard mix of original tunes and movie themes to keep the experience authentic.

Based on what we've seen so far, Spider-Man 3 on the Wii is shaping up to be a unique Spider-Man experience. Though the game's structure is familiar, the mechanics and character progression should keep it interesting. We're cautiously optimistic about the Wii control scheme. It seemed cool from what we played, but we wanted more time to get a proper feel for it to be sure it holds up over the long haul of the game. Spider-Man 3 is slated to ship in time with the film this May.

Written By

Want the latest news about Spider-Man 3?

Spider-Man 3

Spider-Man 3

Discussion

153 comments
Domenico54
Domenico54

I love how the game isnt good with the PS2 and Wii the only big consoles I HAVE!

MASTER_LINX
MASTER_LINX

I think it's gonna be fun with Venom and all

L7UWP
L7UWP

Hopefully this will be as good as Spiderman 2 was. :D

WGR_Darrin
WGR_Darrin

Can't wait. Simply cannot wait. I'm sorely tempted to get this and the 360 version, so I can do the web swinging with the Wiimote but also get the slicker graphics.

Camble
Camble

Every Spiderman game I've played since the Playstation game based on the comics has been great, and this one will be too.

Hanafa
Hanafa

the wii remote is cool, but sometimes i would prefer the option to use a normal remote like the classic controller they made for it...seem like there is really no use of the classic controller for NOW....because of this reason imma jus get spiderman 3 for the x-box 360 i like waking up early in the morning still half asleep while playing game... to lazy to be moving my whole arms to spin a web every second during game play.

earth79
earth79

it's got a 90% chance of being great. 5% chance of being good but not great. and 5% chance of being glitchy beyond repair. i'm exited but i'll check reviews first before getting it.

Sirlehr
Sirlehr

I wonder if the speaker on the Wii-mote makes the "Swish" sound as you swing on your webs

Alfredo_Sauce
Alfredo_Sauce

hmmm... i will like it but it will get tiring after a while

AtlanticRock
AtlanticRock

Spider-Man 3.... 4.... 5... 6... argh!!!

sun_spirit
sun_spirit

Spider Man 2 was an awesome game, it will have a loooooong way to go to try and catch up. But, by the looks of it so far, it seems to have a good chance!

quistoman
quistoman

Every previous game that attempts to rely heavily on the motion controls is glitchy at best, so I would hope they can find a way to smooth out some of those issues and this might be a good game.

mkothephenom
mkothephenom

Im not sure if I should get the 360 or Wii version

fzero_master745
fzero_master745

dude i am soo getting this game! i love where they went with it and i know its gonna be WAY better than the movie!!

Bro_Blood
Bro_Blood

Looks like spidey has that Venom looking suit

bonafidetk
bonafidetk

it looks pretty good. Spiderman series is one of the best movie to game conversions out. Except perhaps some of the LOTR titles.

SGTNAPALM
SGTNAPALM

discojoy: a couple of years? ibwant it now lol

DiscoJoy
DiscoJoy

Playing with my Wii last night, which is just as much fun to do as it is to say, and I think that the motion controls will really become second nature after a few years. Everyone will be doing it. It's just a logical step. I can't think of a title more perfect than Spider-man to make use of these controls (other than a decent FPS or sports game for Wii). Actually, I can t think of dozens of titles, but it will really push the concept to a lot of people. It may not be perfect yet, but the success of the Wii has got a great number of developers rethinking games. What we have at the moment is just a taste, methinks.

deathstrike00
deathstrike00

Wii is awesome btw But another spiderman game? gotta be kidding me.. :S

GunGriffin
GunGriffin

All this dissing of the Nintendo Wii is starting to get on my nerves. I bet the half of you who hate the Wii asked for one for your Birthday and never got it because your momy/Dady could not find it. I finaly got mine and it rocks! Wii sports is awsome and has killer controls. Rayman is also good but lacks the fun of Wii sports. I think what people need to remember here is that the Wii is still new and it will take some time for the devs to get the controls down to a T like they have done on the other consoles. It's easy to program a button to do somthing, it's hard to program a motion sensor to do somthing when you move your hand.

arc_salvo
arc_salvo

"I wonder how they came up with the name for this game...or the movie... They must've pulled all-nighters for weeks." You got that right, Bob! I mean... just think of the all the thinking it took. They're trying to communicate the idea that they're making a game about a man. A man with -spider- powers... and that this game they're making is number -three- in the series. Now HOW are they going to do this all in just one short sentence, and keep it all snappy? Guy who's a superhero with spider powers who's appearing in a third movie that this is the game adaption of? Spider-superpowered hero who's in his third game based on a movie? Man-spider game about movie #3? Yeah, it's hard work making up a good title isn't it? But these professionals, they shortened all these clunky ideas and phrases that I'm sure they must have thought of into a simple and slightly abstract summary: Spider... Man... 3! BRILLIANT! 'Cuz when you see "Spider-Man 3" you immediately think of a guy who's a Spider (probably with superpowers), and that whatever the thing is about, it's the 3rd thing in the series... and those masters of communicative prose took only 3 words (2 if you count Spider-Man as 1 hyphenated word) to do it! Just think of how much better that is than the shortest title that I could come up with my amateurish composition skills: "Man-spider game about movie #3?" No WONDER they don't hire me to write these things!

monty_4256
monty_4256

wow, I'm surprised someone is finally doing one of the ideas that comes to mind when you think motion sensitive control first there is sword weilding, and so far we've had gestures and merely shaking the remote to attack glad to see someone putting effort into wii game controls now... wii sport is the only one before this that I've seen evidence of that

jayceesuncle
jayceesuncle

The wii and spiderman. Swingin from them bulidings are goin to be fun.

Payback7
Payback7

Sweet - spider man rocks!

ZevYehudi
ZevYehudi

The Wii version looks like fun. At times the controls are really akward for the Wii, so I am going to be weary before spulrging my wallet. I first will read the reviews on it, and then consider buying it. If the game turns out to be good, but the controls worked against the final score, I will abandon my hope of a good Spider Man game on the Wii, and get one on the other systems.

kejigoto
kejigoto

@DarkSideX Interesting choice of words considering most developers actually love what they can do with the controls for the games. Alot of developers have commented on how they can do things with the Wii they only dreamed of doing and that they could never do with the PS3 or the Xbox 360. The Wii may not have the best graphics ever but they certainly aren't terrible by any means at all. In fact they now have a cord out so you can hook the Wii up to an HD TV which gives the graphics a nice boost and makes a big difference. Hands down the Wii is destroying the PS3 and the Xbox 360 in sales and everything right now. Its still extremely hard to get your hands on a Wii, while any store you walk into will have Xbox 360's and PS3's. Awkward controls? Every game I've played on the Wii minus the Dragonball Z one, the controls have been awesome and worked amazingly. Oh yeah, where is the Xbox 360's bonus content...oh wait, there is none. Wii has the cool control setup along with a few other things and the PS3 has the ability to play as the new Goblin, Xbox has.... nothing.

hammer_of_thor_
hammer_of_thor_

I'll probably rent this game, may buy it though. The first two were surprisingly good games for movie-based games.

IronToxin
IronToxin

I think this game sounds really fun, but i would also like to get the ps3 version for the graphics and playing as the New Goblin, the 360 version seems to not offer anything.

bob_newman
bob_newman

I wonder how they came up with the name for this game...or the movie... They must've pulled all-nighters for weeks.

marquis360
marquis360

i am going to get this game i need this game

mattster1134
mattster1134

I dont think it will be as good as the 360 or ps3 version.

Floms
Floms

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

mrhuntin
mrhuntin

I am going to see the movie and get the game too!

RKFS
RKFS

Anyway I don't think anyone should choose between the versions because they are in fact entirely different games just based off of the same movie...

RKFS
RKFS

darksidex, 3D graphics only burden game developers by forcing them to think up creative ways to use it. Hands down, 3D is terribly blocky and bad graphics and by combining that with an awkward controller with two sticks and too many buttons, the choice is simple, 2D always wins.

belinchu
belinchu

Sadly, after seeing the Wii control in action, I don't have faith in cool things to be done with it. >.> But good luck to this game, Spiderman is pretty cool.

Goku-stream
Goku-stream

oooooooo, lets see how this turns out, but i quite like the control scheme.

ssrrdd
ssrrdd

Cant wait till the movie and game lol

link631
link631

i can't wait to see the movie

BloodMist
BloodMist

Sounds like a pretty interesting control scheme to me, and i like that they're adding new content in addition to the unique controls.That's something more devs should be doing.As for the graphics, they look fine by me.Pretty nice actually.

jjshocker88
jjshocker88

spider-man is my favorite super hero

darksidex
darksidex

Hard choice? The WII's controller only burdens game developers by forcing them to think up creative ways to use it. Hands down, the WII has terrible graphics and by combining that with an awkward controller and the choice between the WII, Xbox 360, and PS3 is a simple one. Xbox 360 always wins.