We know you've been hankering for more impressions of Neversoft's Spider-Man. Twitch no more, true believers! What follows is as much info on the game as is possible for us to divulge. Read on!
Race to the Bugle!
This stage has Spidey hustling his way to the Daily Bugle, where the vile Scorpion is threatening sourpuss editor J. Jonah Jameson's life in a most serious way. Because he perceives Jameson as responsible for his condition (Scorpion's suit is bonded to his skin, permanent-like), his motive for attempting to rub him out is clear.
As Spidey, you have to race to the Bugle's building before Scorpion has a chance to throttle JJ. The stage is very similar to the first (where you're racing to the bank), save for an imposed time limit, represented by a meter onscreen that depicts the likeness of Scorpion advancing upon JJ's scowling mug. Very comic-chic. There isn't any real action to speak of, other than the occasional rooftop thug to burn. The wall crawling and web swinging, though, are loads of fun. Once in the Bugle, get ready for a mean matchup....
Spidey vs. Scorpion!
That's right - Spidey has to save JJ's worthless hide. The encounter is not unlike your typical beat-'em-up boss fights. Faced with a nemesis whose muscle-per-square-inch rating greatly exceeds yours, you have to use wits, dexterity, and office furniture to even the odds. Scorpion isn't that tough, though his tail slap packs a mean wallop, and his tail beam greatly discourages any wall action. Also, JJ's a part of the equation, so you'll have to baby-sit him, as his life meter is mighty small (for a gruff old man), and Scorpion doesn't pass up a chance at taking chunks out of it. Webbing him up and subsequently pounding him works well, though after a round of pummeling, I had to promptly leap out of the way of his tail.
After Scorpion's done in, kind old JJ will sic the cops on Spidey, chopper and all. Thus begins the ugly chapter of...
Spider-Man vs. The NYPD
Back on the rooftops, Spidey has some mean company: a police attack chopper. Framed by J.J. Jameson, Spidey has to convince the cops that he's innocent of bank robbery, murdering cops, and such, while being bombarded by all manner of munitions.
The game plays similarly to the other rooftop levels, save that this time there's an attack chopper firing at you while you traverse the rooftops. It's quite frantic, you can be sure - crosshairs will appear over landscape elements to be bombarded, and you have to make sure you're nowhere near them when they go down, because in most cases they mean instant death.
Other legs of the chase play out on the sides of buildings, which are carpeted by missiles and machine-gun fire, forcing Spidey to anticipate the gunner's targets. Sometimes crosshairs will appear over Spidey, and you'll have to be extra squirmy to stay out of their sights. Since maneuvering is more of an iffy affair when you're wall crawling, you can imagine how challenging this leg of the chase is.
At any rate, after a few stages of pursuit (on rooftops, up the sides of buildings, and even through girders), the cops finally give way, and Spidey encounters Black Cat who, in a very characteristic role, comes bearing bad news: Venom and Rhino are riling things up elsewhere in the city. But that, alas, is a topic for subsequent discussion....
So end our impressions. Rest assured that despite our gripes about the camera, we've greatly enjoyed playing the game. The action is definitely heavy, the mood seems right on, and Spider-Man is just as mobile and versatile as we expected him to be. We can't wait to get our hands on a full copy. We'll be keeping this space fresh with new exclusive info on the game throughout the week. So stay tuned!