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Review

The Amazing Spider-Man Review

  • First Released
  • Reviewed: June 26, 2012
  • PS3

The Amazing Spider-Man is a fun and funny romp through a big, colorful city.

In The Amazing Spider-Man, the webslinger dispenses quick wit almost as fast as he dispenses justice. More importantly, he gets room to show off his high-flying acrobatics with a freedom his last two outings were lacking. This time, Spidey has the whole of Manhattan as his playground. As you fling yourself above the city, swinging past skyscrapers and vaulting from towers, you get a dizzying sense of what it would be like to slip into the famous red and blue costume.

It's a joy when The Amazing Spider-Man thrusts you into this wide-open world. By holding down a single trigger, you propel webbing from your wrists, swinging in whichever direction you choose. Expectedly, you don't necessarily see the webbing attach to anything nearby, which is fine: the joyous locomotion is all in the name of fun. Yet the game does a great job of providing the illusion that the laws of physics still vaguely apply. When you swish through a park that isn't near tall buildings, you stay near the ground, practically brushing the grass underneath you. When surrounded by stately superstructures, you rise toward the heavens, from where you can look upon the entire city and admire its vibrancy.

Out here in the concrete wilds, The Amazing Spider-Man is at its best, simply because moving around is so much fun. Hundreds of collectible comic pages twinkle on rooftops and flutter in the air. They are simple but nice rewards for the act of locomotion. Come near a page, and you hear and see its telltale glimmer, and note the button prompt inviting you to fling toward it. These signs are enough to have you scanning the screen, searching for the elusive paper. But there's more to the game than webswinging, of course: most of the story-based missions take you off the streets and send you into the sewers and other such interiors. Out in Manhattan, most tasks are optional and involve picking up asylum escapees and returning them to their institution, beating up muggers, and so forth.

Spidey prepares for his yoga lesson.

With a couple of exceptions, most of these tasks don't evolve in any way, and they become stale if you focus on them for too long. One minigame has you hovering a circle over Spidey as he flies through the air automatically; you're meant to keep him in view of the video camera that follows him. It isn't very challenging or fun, and in fact, on medium (Hero) difficulty, The Amazing Spider-Man is rarely challenging. Other tasks--rescuing sickly citizens and rushing them to a nearby makeshift hospital--are more enjoyable, in part because of the banter between Spider-Man and his poor passengers. ("No drooling on the suit, please!") But eventually, the voice samples repeat, and playing paramedic loses some of its appeal. Nevertheless, there are enough things to do that you'll be thrilled to have the chance to zoom through the air at top speed.

The missions that lead you through the story aren't as delightful as the open-world hijinks, though the story itself is as wonderfully absurd as any Spidey tale to come before it. The game begins (apparently) after the events of the upcoming The Amazing Spider-Man film, with a tour of the Oscorp facility, where the corporation is winding down some unusual experiments. Well, not everything is on the up-and-up, and soon a viral outbreak has the city in turmoil. Peter/Spider-Man's response? Break out an asylum inmate who holds the key to a cure. With so many variables, it's no wonder that Spidey's plans don't follow their intended script, though he stays pretty upbeat throughout. Spider-Man is as funny here as he's ever been, cracking wise in even the most stressful situations. The dialogue is a good mix of seriousness and ridiculousness, making it easy to stick with the plot even when it goes so far over the top it spills into bizarre territory.

Why do all the punching yourself, when there's a nice heavy statue nearby?

Story-driven chapters are notably more confining than the free-form gameplay that surrounds them. You investigate dull-looking sewers, where you notice technical drawbacks like heavy aliasing that go overlooked in Manhattan, which is saturated with color and personality. In the indoor spaces, you confront hazards like steam valves (clog them up with your web shots!) and pools of acid (navigate around them!). You must take a more cautious approach, holding down a button to slow down time, choosing a proper perch, and then releasing the button to leap to that spot. You can tap the button should you prefer a more fluid pace, but you risk zipping into the wrong position if you aren't careful.

That same button, when used on a guard, a robot, or some other meanie, has you rushing in to initiate combat. The influence of Batman: Arkham City is keenly felt when you bash on baddies, though Spidey's game isn't as fluid as Batman's. Nevertheless, the basics are similar: you tap attack buttons to pound on your foes, and when the right visual prompt appears, you press the dodge button to somersault out of the way. And like Bats, Spidey is particularly vulnerable to bullets, though you have a one-button escape move that allows you to quickly flee danger. You can even web-grab objects like vending machines and dumpsters and smash them on the ground, stunning nearby foes and allowing you to easily blanket them with webbing.

The similarities to that other superhero game are obvious in sections that encourage stealth. You can hover above an enemy or slink from behind and perform a sneak attack. Dropping from a beam, tapping a guard's shoulder, and then wrapping him up and sticking him to the ceiling is a hoot. The AI is mechanical, and not too keen--it's usually simple to zip out of danger and resume your predation.

The guards aren't imbeciles, though, and shine their flashlights about when they are aware of your presence, potentially giving you away if a beam lands on you. Another great touch: you aren't limited to roosting in predetermined areas. Though you can't necessarily stick to every surface, you can usually flit to the wall right over your target's head and wrap him up from there. It's a nice, flexible system.

This boss fight tests your ability to press a button when the game tells you to.

These gameplay basics are fine, but the interior missions are much less compelling than events that occur in the open city. A lengthy section toward the end of the game is even more limiting than many of the missions that come before, losing most of the fun in favor of providing narrative tension. But even before this, avoiding alarm lasers and acid puddles isn't as enjoyable as most aboveground missions, and there are few opportunities to swing with abandon. While the combat is entertaining enough to watch, it is entirely too easy most of the time. There's a simple upgrade system in place in which you spend experience points on new moves and other improvements. But there's no real sense that you are getting more powerful. Battles are easy from beginning to end, and never feel radically different or require more finesse just because you level up your skills.

That's even true of most of the boss fights, which rarely require more than a single attempt. Fighting half-man, half-beast abominations isn't that compelling due to the ease of combat. Robot battles in the streets of Manhattan, on the other hand, make up for their lack of challenge with an incredible sense of speed and the illusion of public danger. Imagine any given scene in a superhero movie in which the superstar faces a menacing rival in the midst of a bustling metropolis. The Amazing Spider-Man deftly re-creates that brand of visual rush when you race after marauding machines and glide about gigantic automatons. The skill required often comes down to hitting the right button when prompted, but when the excellent movement mechanics collide with the urgency of a boss battle, the game is explosive.

Even Spider-Man appreciates a nice stroll in the park from time to time.

Such moments are the exception rather than the rule in The Amazing Spider-Man. The game spends too much time in drab drains and boring science facilities, where its best assets are sidelined in favor of easy combat scenarios. But when developer Beenox gives Spidey room to soar, you get caught up in the pure elation of swinging through a spirited city, where helicopters hover overhead and well-wishers call out to you in the streets. And that elation is the best reason to don the suit once more and remind yourself that with great power comes good fun.

The Good
It's a blast to swing about the city
Clever, laid-back sense of humor
Some boss fights look very exciting
Nice mix of combat and stealth
The Bad
Indoor missions aren't as fun as outdoor ones
Combat and boss fights are too easy
7.5
Good
About GameSpot's Reviews
Other Platform Reviews for The Amazing Spider-Man

About the Author

GameSpot senior editor Kevin VanOrd has a cat named Ollie who refuses to play Rock Band because he always gets stuck pla

Discussion

0 comments
blue927
blue927

game is awesome my score is 9.5 

doolindesperado
doolindesperado

I think I might get this one.  I always enjoyed the open world spidey games, except for Spiderman 3.  That game well, was not very enjoyable.

duffellcoat
duffellcoat

this is the best spider man game to date so far

pcgeekmaniac
pcgeekmaniac

This might as well be the best spider-man game after web of shadows

Bgamer221
Bgamer221

Movie rate it amazing, Game rate it amazing, its just amazing, love it since web of shadows, spider-man makes up for a really great game, also talking about the stunning movie, all i ask is tht actionvision keep up the good and awesome work they developed, ´cause it´s truly something you can just forget

shiss27
shiss27

Very high review for a movie spin off IP. Most get 4's and lower. Might be worth looking into

mdchapel9
mdchapel9

Looks fun but I'll wait when its cheap

chroniclehobbit
chroniclehobbit

I'll have to check it out when i have money available!

 

CanadianCamaro
CanadianCamaro

I like Batman, but Spiderman takes the cake, is more fun in my opinion. Batman 8 Spiderman 9.

iandavidvinoya
iandavidvinoya

If this will have a Vita port, I might consider.:)

00J
00J

Well Spiderman's outfit/graphics are the best i've scene. His head tracks the camera and the view is up close behind him, your along for the ride... Spiderman sticks to walls good but he has such great agility that you'll rarely stay put for long, but even if you do just perch and contemplate or just take a break Spiderman feels like Spiderman even standing still... It's really cool after swinging through the sky to set down in one place, knowing you can take to the skies at any moment and be soaring through the air... Spiderman really feels like a Giant/Human Spider! Contrary to the reviewer when Spiderman is on a ceiling or wall crawling it feels just right the way the camera view gets inverted, you have to get used to "Being Spiderman" It get's natural after a while. If the companies can keep making Superhero games like Spiderman and Batman they have the formula down i think... 

CageFury
CageFury

Great game, def has some problems, but still one of my fav spiderman games.

Game_Genie89
Game_Genie89

I give this game an 8.5 because there are a few problems in my opinion. One main problem is that there's absolutely nothing to do after you beat the game. I'd love it to death if you could have random crimes pop up when you finish the game. I love swinging around, but that would get boring extremely fast without a purpose. But the other problem is only in my opinion and has nothing to do with what the game didn't deliver, as it wasn't a purpose of this particular game, and that's the fact that I love being able to choose between being good and evil. But if they continue with this series and happen to add Venom in the next game, and let you choose to put on the black suit, I would buy the game in an instant. Until then, this game was a really good rent. :D

Jir11
Jir11

Huge gap between the review of GS and the players reviews. Wonder if this game is as good as players say it is. I'll be picking it up either way.

Apastron
Apastron

Not a Spider-Man fan, but I love the look of the web swinging and I love open world games, so I'm in.

d_parker
d_parker

That's a fair review. Personally I'd give it an 8 or 8.5 simply because it's just great fun to be Spider-Man again in a good open world setting. Great job Beenox.

Angry3DSNerd
Angry3DSNerd

The reviews are always fair when is someone else doing the review. But Tom McShea just doesn´t care about the games, and stupidly rates them bad. Don´t trust on that ignorant, people!

sincitymarv666
sincitymarv666

Another great review, exactly the review I'd have given if I were blessed with the appropriate skill.

1penance1
1penance1

While I whole heartedly agree with the score, I just wanted to point out that Beenox shines best with Spidey indoors than outdoors. Hence why there are even any indoor missions in the first place. If they didnt include any indoor missions, this game would have blown. The city isnt really alive. I feel like im soaring above empty streets instead of a bustling city.

gamergath
gamergath

Am surprised. The game is out today and you've already come up with a REVIEW. Big up to GAMESPOT editor, Kev. you've made my day. I've come to love Spiderman games since I first played the game from the first movie. :-D

-Fromage-
-Fromage-

Thank goodness Tom McShea didnt review this.

DanBoiani
DanBoiani

 @Bgamer221 I'm sure that you had a point in the middle of all that incomprehensible gibberish.

00J
00J

Oh and the Web Rush ability really does improve on Spiderman, this goes well with his Spider Sense and seems like a really hard concept to finally realize, it's really good. It's kind of like taking one of Superman's most useless powers like Super Hearing or X-Ray Vision and figuring out how to make them an essential factor of the game. 

The Amazing Spider-Man More Info

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  • First Released
    • 3DS
    • Android
    • + 10 more
    • DS
    • iPhone/iPod
    • Mobile
    • PC
    • PlayStation 3
    • PlayStation Vita
    • Wii
    • Wii U
    • Windows Mobile
    • Xbox 360
    The Amazing Spider-Man is a free-roaming, web-slinging action game set shortly after the events of the film where Spider-Man must protect the Big Apple from a deluge of unimaginable threats.
    7.6
    Average User RatingOut of 723 User Ratings
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    Developed by:
    Beenox, Gameloft, Other Ocean Interactive, Mercenary Technology
    Published by:
    Activision, Gameloft
    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
    X360 PS3 WII 3DS PC WIIU VITA
    Mild Language, 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+
    DS
    Cartoon Violence