Play
Please use a flash video capable browser to watch videos.
00:00:00
Sorry, but you can't access this content!
Please enter your date of birth to view this video

By clicking 'enter', you agree to GameSpot's
Terms of Use and Privacy Policy

Review

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 Review

  • Game release: April 17, 2014
  • Reviewed:
  • PS4
Robert Handlery on Google+

Amazing is a slight exaggeration.

Forgiveness is not a rational choice. Emotions are what cause us to waver in our beliefs, to brush aside a questionable act from a loved one or to put blinders on when the truth overwhelms us. The idea of forgiveness is endemic to what The Amazing-Spider 2 is. Peter Parker is a grounded guy despite his extraordinary powers, and his innate relatability makes him likable. The way he insults his enemies while knocking their heads together, and makes wry observations while swinging through the city, have always made me laugh. But I find it hard to accept his morally challenged choices. Is it all right for him to beat the stuffing out of ordinary criminals considering how much stronger he is? To steal information from a police officer's laptop or bug wireless towers to spy on citizens? At what point does Spider-Man stop fighting for the greater good and start becoming a menace in his own right?

Such questions are never answered in The Amazing Spider-Man 2. But the question of forgiveness stayed with me throughout the adventure, and not just in regard to Spidey's questionable acts, either. You see, to enjoy the game, you have to forgive it for its many problems. The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is as flawed as its sure-headed protagonist, equal parts enjoyable and aggravating, which made my feelings waver as I smacked down evil-minded foes in the well-realized Manhattan that Peter Parker calls home.

Spider-Man is at his best when he's soaring above the congested streets of New York. Firing webbing at skyscrapers creates an incredible sense of locomotion in part because of how well it represents the way I imagine it would feel to be in Spider-Man's tights. By independently shooting webs out of each hand, you guide yourself around buildings with speed and precision, and once you're accustomed to the rhythm of movement, you can deftly scoot around corners without breaking a sweat. When there aren't any buildings, you fall to the ground, which is a little restrictive, but made me choose my path smartly. I didn't want to be stuck walking like a sucker. Still, movement only has that freeing rush when you're not acting with a purpose. When I would stop to collect a floating comic book, or try to wall-run up the side of a skyscraper, I would often clip through surfaces as the camera jittered and shook. Such problems broke my immersion in a snap.

At what point does Spider-Man stop fighting for the greater good and start becoming a menace in his own right?

There's similar problems in the combat. Spider-Man spends a lot of time fighting enemies, and much of it is blandly enjoyable. It's easy enough to latch on to faraway enemies, pulling yourself toward them in a frenetic burst of violence as you teach them the follies of their ways with your fists. Dodging enemy attacks and retaliating with incredible force makes you feel like the purveyor of justice Spider-Man wants to be, and there were times when I was caught in the simple pleasure of making digital people squeal with pain. But it is very simple, and after a while it becomes too predictable for its own good. Combat is closer to an elaborate quick-time event than a test of skill. Attack when your foe's guard is down, dodge when he flashes red, and repeat until everyone is squirming at your feet.

Cops don't mind when you photograph their laptops, right?

Granted, such simplicity exists in boss fights as well, but those battles do demonstrate how interesting this system can be when the challenge is ratcheted up. Squaring off against the lightning-fast Black Cat, who hides in the shadows and then strikes with sadistic glee, tested my reflexes and my hunting ability. And then there's the markedly different showdown against Kingpin, who's so fat he was arrested for having 10 pounds of crack...butt crack (at least according to Spider-Man). This was a fight of endurance as I had to withstand the attacks of his henchmen while avoiding his rumbling charges. As I punched Kingpin, he would ask questions that made me even more leery of my actions. Why does Spider-Man spend so much time fighting petty thieves when there are real villains out there?

Villainy is one of the major framing devices in The Amazing Spider-Man 2. The city views you as either a hero or a villain based on how much crime exists, so you must stop the many evildoers to keep everyone happy. To do so, you complete side missions, such as rescuing people from burning buildings, stopping high-speed chases, and fighting street toughs. Measuring how much the city trusts you is a good idea, and does compel you to keep the streets clean, but in practice, it feels artificial and pointless. Is all of Manhattan really going to hate me because of one robbery? Or swing their allegiance when I do public good once more? Are they really so fickle?

At first, I did complete every side mission, because I am a completionist. It didn't take long for me to stop. The side missions aren't remotely fun, so spending hours doing the same few tasks over and over sounded like a penance I didn't deserve. Squaring off against ordinary toughs in optional fights when I have to do so much of that in story missions just isn't appealing. And navigating smoke-filled buildings highlights how clumsy Spider-Man is in enclosed spaces. But the thing that made me turn my back completely on side missions is how the story plays out. No matter how much good you bring to the city, you're invariably painted as a villain, so it wasn't worth pleasing people to begin with. If the people of New York can't appreciate me, then they can deal with their own problems.

Spider-Man isn't the stealthiest superhero around.

There are definitely issues that go deeper than mere annoyance. But there are still enough bright spots that I enjoyed my time with the game. Spider-Man is well developed, carrying his trademark snark like a torch, and I laughed frequently at his many jokes. Yeah, listening to the same few phrases repeated over and over again got a little much, but I appreciated the happy vibe of the game. Plus, there are tons of goodies to examine. I don't read comics in real life, but I did flip through one here, and it was nice finding out a little more about Uncle Ben before he cooked his last pot of rice. And there are figures to gaze at in the comic book stores complete with biographies about the characters. Immersing myself in all things Spider-Man for a few days made me smile, and the game does a great job of bringing the characters to life.

The biggest failing of The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is how familiar it feels. In fact, there have been other open-world games starring Spider-Man that walk a remarkably similar path. So there weren't many surprises, nothing that jumped out and made me take notice. Still, being able to spend time with Spider-Man was enough for me to stomach the various problems, just because he's a fun character to listen to. There's nothing majorly wrong with The Amazing Spider-Man 2, after all. There's just not a lot right with it, either.

The Good
Enjoyable representation of Spider-Man
Satisfying boss fights
The Bad
Tedious side missions
Combat is too simple for its own good
Movement lacks precision
5
Mediocre
About GameSpot's Reviews

About the Author

Tom spent his Saturday mornings in his youth watching the Spider-Man cartoon, though he's never read a comic book. He's not embarrassed by that fact. It took him more than 15 hours to bring peace to Manhattan.

Discussion

221 comments
vailenaa
vailenaa

I have a strange issue, the camera is not allowing me to look in the directions I want.  Pretty annoying. Many times I've almost throwed my comp out of the window.. HELP???

Creed02
Creed02

 At start .. i liked the game for 2 hours .. then it gets too flashy.. and the story isn't focused properly.. it seems they have mixed all the junk

gruber23
gruber23

Look guys, if we want Spiderman to be back on top, then why not Beenox get help from Rocksteady Studios from the Batman games to make a better and improved version of the next Spiderman game. And for the movies, why can't Sony and Marvel/Disney work together to make a really good Spiderman movie. JEEZ! The Amazing Spider Man 2 Steam

Snakepond1
Snakepond1

At least it scored higher than Tom's Bioshock Infinite second take review.

Metallicwolf29
Metallicwolf29

Batman and Robin > The Amazing Spiderman 2. Am I right?

reddevilofhell
reddevilofhell

The only dilemma I have is, which sucks more... The movie or the game....

liquidbutter
liquidbutter

15 hours of mediocre movie tie-in gaming. Tom doesn't deserve to be subjected to that. Get a freelancer to do these.

stevenhearnn
stevenhearnn

I have been waiting for this game the way some of you out there await the new call of duty, desperately counting the days until I could once again swing around New York as everyone's favorite web-head. Web-Swinging is fun again and the new stealthy approach follows Batman Arkhamsfootsteps. Gameplay is wise this game rocks. 

playstationzone
playstationzone

Amazing Spiderman not a Amazing game since not next gen game and its Amazing Activevision dont know how to make a next gen game and again if not doing nothing to crash banicoot games sale back to sony.

Hvac0120
Hvac0120

Would the perception of this game be different if it sold for $25?

ddogbritt16
ddogbritt16

The only good spiderman movie games that are good in my opinion are spiderman 1 and 2 (those 2 games were fantastic) and even though ultimate spiderman isn't a movie game that game was still pretty great.

Gwarpup
Gwarpup

Another sucky movie game.. oo shock/amazement.. nothing new here.  When will people stop buying these things?  Quality of said games should come free with the movie ticket.


cyberwookie72
cyberwookie72

Not surprised. A flop! Just like the new movie?

PlasmaBeam44
PlasmaBeam44

Just give the Spider-Man game license to Rocksteady already.

OneStrong2
OneStrong2

Another powerful man who bends the rules? He's not listening to phone sex, he's obviously trying to find someone. Are you serious? More offensive is the same beat-em-up animations. No innovation, redundant mini missions, and generally, he's still swinging from mid air. For a PS4 title, 1080p beast mode machine, this still kinda looks like a high res Xbox 360 title. 

onlyher23
onlyher23

I really want this game though...

thecatsix
thecatsix

Worst part for me were all the stupid cutscenes. Swing over to crime--cutscene--beat thugs--cutscene followed by yet another cutscene. No immersion.

I love Spidey games, and I never sell back my games. But this one is already packed on its way back. After an hour I was sick of it.

jasonredemption
jasonredemption

What I can't understand is the downgrade in combat.  In the first Amazing Spider-Man game you got various moves (sometimes overpowered) that allowed you to vary up combat.  You could do these web tornadoes and stealth take down multiple enemies in this one I feel like I'm button mashing the square button because there are no other options.  Why is that?  Why did they strip out some of the things that made the ASM so amazing???

starhowl
starhowl

Hahahahahahahahaha.. Another video game failure! Ahahahahahahahahaha!!!

Anyway, you could also have rated it '50' and you would have to pay me for playing this shit.

Latiran
Latiran

See? this is why i don't really come here anymore, one negative review after the other. Give me IGN anyday over here and it's shame because i used to like it here but not anymore.

You just godda try and look at the positives too but you guys never seem to do this now.

fragsnipa
fragsnipa

Spiderman 1 and Spiderman 2 both movies and videogames >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Amazing Spiderman 1 and Amazing Spiderman 2 both movies and videogames.

CrashOV
CrashOV

They should have tailored the arkham combat style to the spider man game play and not just blatantly copy and paste it over. It just doesn't feel like it fits the game. Also some type of lock on system would have been very appreciated. The fact that I need to swing my camera around and aim for a specific target with a dot while I'm being shot at from all over and dodging enemies surrounding me is just not helping the game play. I agree with pretty much everything in the article. The animation is bad. like 2001 game outdated bad. They also seem to mimic Garfield's way of moving when he's talking to people in his spidey suit in the movies. This wouldn't be so much of a problem however if the voice actor totally wasn't not trying to sound like Garfield. So in the end result you get a character that just doesn't match with the voice actor. And this to me was evident throughout the game. At no point did it feel like the voice and character where one and the same entity.

Arsyad00
Arsyad00

hey i watched the movie :D

nparks
nparks

This is definitely the weakest Spider-Man game we've seen a while.  Poorly implemented combat mechanics that were clearly swiped from the Arkham series.  Poorly implemented stealth mechanics, also clearly swiped from the Arkham series.  Poorly implemented web-slinging mechanics that make navigation too often frustrating.  Absolutely abysmal storytelling with horrendous animations, writing, and voice-acting.  Skill progression that feels utterly meaningless.  Tacked on collectable hunting.  And little to no variety in mission types and experiences.  It's a huge step backwards.

S4vagecabbage
S4vagecabbage

This game could have been so much more-blah blah. I've come to notice that many gamers (meself included at times) are placing too much hope for the most top quality graphics with whichever game comes next. In my humble, newfound opinion...graphics, while somewhat important don't mean squat. I really believe that this game would have been much better if they could have just nailed some solid gameplay. That was a crucial benefit to the Arkham series. Cash-grabs are inevitable of course, sad but true. Maybe for the next Spidey game the producers will at least attempt to honestly create a quality game. It may take time and effort but I assure them the investment would pay off greatly.

Spiderman game rules

1. Open world

2. Blind web-swing cornering so you won't always have to look in general direction and you can keep focus on moving target unless it goes out of range or something.

3. Sharp wit

4. Attention to physics because even Spiderman can fall too far. The tuck n' roll landing looks silly when you leap/fall off a building. (Hey dummies, Spidey can web together a parachute if the fall is too far, one would assume)

5. Detailed storyline with small additions gradually to aid the proficiency our web-slingin' hero navigates the open city (Peter Parker is a smart kid, right?)


freedomzealot
freedomzealot

Every other game is Superheroes, zombies/aliens or a world war. When is America going to get out of the 1960s and realise its the 21st century?

fkguy300
fkguy300

@Hvac0120 Nope, even @ your $25 price tag, I'd still think that was too much. I'd say $9.99 is the right price for this game. This game belongs on a ps3. Bargain Bin - The Amazing Spiderman2 Bargain Bin -


Now if they made 'Street Cleaner 2 HD', I'd pay $60 for that.

fede018
fede018

@Hvac0120 the game is crap at $60, $25 or any price. The gameplay is still crap, son!

xan114
xan114

@cyberwookie72  $92 million opening weekend. thats the second best of 2014. yeah, total flop. 

zerofrust
zerofrust

@thecatsix  Gee way to bring me back nightmares with your avatar pic...I will never forget the impression that movie left on me when i was a kid lol

sonic6748
sonic6748

@Latiran  Honestly this game was far from being great, but some of the things that I appreciated about it was that it strayed from the storyline of the movie it was based on rather than being chained to what happened in the movie. I think that it could've even ended up being good if it wasn't rushed to coincide with the release of the movie and they polished the combat mechanics, graphics, camera, the amount of lines that spidey repeats (why is he saying the same lines in a boss fight that he says to regular thugs?!?), etc.

I still liked it though, and the interaction between spidey and the black cat makes me hope Felicia will be in costume for the next movie ;) .

Moegitto
Moegitto

@Latiran  They gave Kirby a far higher score than IGN did, I think you just need to realize you're enjoying a bad game. You can do that, I like Alpha Protocol but it is in all aspects a bad game.

misternathan
misternathan

@Latiran  Have you even played the game?  In my opinion, 5 was more than generous.  I bought this game in the hopes that a Beenox-designed open world game would play at least as well as the original Spider-Man 2.  Not only is it significantly worse, but the graphics would largely be considered substandard against most 360 and PS3 "last gen" releases.


The game is insultingly bad, and the fun of traversal wears off in minutes.  There are only 14 campaign missions, and no less than 5 of them are little more than tutorials.


Appreciate honest reviews.  If you're just looking for someone to sell you on a game by "look(ing) at the positives" just talk to a sales associate.

PETERAKO
PETERAKO

@Arsyad00 and you haven't killed yourself?! you must me remarkably strong willed.

PrpleTrtleBuBum
PrpleTrtleBuBum

@S4vagecabbage I would actually love if devs really went an extra mile and implemented Bionic Commando style web swing aiming. Flying between buildings while actually having to look around and aim accurately made me feel more like Spiderman than any of these new actual Spiderman games do.


I'd also love if they pretty much forgot about common thugs. Half of Spiderman's charm is the awesome villain gallery. These licence games always have only a bunch and even they mostly have 1 boss battle and that's it. I think they should implement the villains into random crimes and make the game feel like Spiderman sim. That when I'm casually webswinging and suddenly Green Goblin appears on his glider and attacks. No scripted "he only appears on this 1 street" and no "he has 3 attacks he uses in order and you can only damage him after his super attack" and other similiar thrash. But it isn't necessarily GG, it can also be Doc Ock, Venom, Mysterio, Electro, Scorpion, Hammerhead, Morbius, Kraven, Chameleon, Big Wheel, Beetle etc. etc. The thing is that when Spiderman beats these guys they never give up and will always come back. But in these games when I beat them I know I won't see them until I start a new story and then it will be identical to the last time.


thecatsix
thecatsix

@zerofrust @thecatsix  Hee hee! Yeah, we loved Zuni so much back in the day, we made a parody movie of it with a little poseable rabbit that chased me around the house. :)

Latiran
Latiran

@Moegitto Yes i know and i was very surprised. Also because you find the game bad yourself doesn't mean everybody else does.

Latiran
Latiran

@misternathan Yes i have. Now i haven't finished it but so far i'm enjoying it, i never expected a masterpiece here and you should know by now that movie tie ins are never that good anyway.

xan114
xan114

@Latiran @PETERAKO  you're a fucking hipocrit latiran. you moan that theres too many negative reviews here and want them to look more at the positives for ASM2 but you acknowledge that one person might hate a game where another likes it? obviously this reviewer was one of the people who DIDN'T LIKE IT SO MUCH and every reviewer is going to be giving their personal and professional opinion. the general consensus here is that ASM2 as a game is average at best and to me as a spider-man fan i can tell you i won't be buying it because it looks garbage. i'm not usually one to knock a games graphics but they look AWFUL in ASM2 for a current gen game and could be mistaken for a 360/ps3 launch title. the combat is inexcusably sub-par and people have said its worse than ASM1. camera-bad, story and side missions-bad. game = bad

Duke_51
Duke_51

@Latiran @misternathanNot trying to knock your opinion or anything, but IGN is notorious for being overly generous in their rating system. A 5 is fair in this case. The review scores for videogames are already skewed enough as it is that a 7 is considered a "bad" game.

It's fine if you like the game, but I think the score here represents what the majority of us think about it; not a horrible game, and not a good game either.

Latiran
Latiran

@PETERAKO Well i'm glad to hear you won't judge me based on what i like and what you don't. Also the definition of bad for you might me ok for somebody else so yeah it all comes to personal preference or taste.


PETERAKO
PETERAKO

@fragsnipa @Latiran@misternathanI wont judge you for liking a bad game, but a bad game will remain bad, and even worse based on a movie that will make die hard spiderman fans stop being spiderman fans to forget the horror.

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 More Info

  • Released
    • 3DS
    • iPhone/iPod
    • + 6 more
    • PC
    • PlayStation 3
    • PlayStation 4
    • Wii U
    • Xbox 360
    • Xbox One
    The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is a third-person action-adventure video game that builds on the story of the previous game with an alternative take on the events of the upcoming movie, while also giving players an enhanced, free-roaming web-slinging experience through a greatly expanded New York City.
    6.1
    Average User RatingOut of 105 User Ratings
    Please Sign In to rate The Amazing Spider-Man 2
    Developed by:
    Beenox
    Published by:
    Activision, Gameloft, Square Enix
    Genres:
    Action
    Content is generally suitable for ages 13 and up. May contain violence, suggestive themes, crude humor, minimal blood, simulated gambling and/or infrequent use of strong language.
    Teen
    PS4 XONE PS3 X360 WIIU PC
    Mild Blood, Mild Suggestive Themes, Violence
    Content is generally suitable for ages 10 and up. May contain more cartoon, fantasy or mild violence, mild language and/or minimal suggestive themes.
    Everyone 10+
    3DS
    Mild Violence