Spider-Man: The Movie executes the core elements of the Spider-Man experience well and, in particular, features some great outdoor levels.
When Spider-Man: The Movie was first announced for consoles, it was expected to turn out quite similar in style to the previous Activision Spider-Man games. And though Spider-Man: The Movie features plenty of visual enhancements and much larger environments than its predecessors, it is indeed similar. In fact, it's so much like past Spider-Man games that it's inherited several of their problems, particularly the shoddy camera system. While that may be a necessary evil in attempting to capture the movements of Marvel Comics' famous webslinger in a game, other issues--like the game's questionable enemy AI--could have been avoided. Still, Spider-Man: The Movie executes the core elements of the Spider-Man experience well and, in particular, features some great outdoor levels. Most players will have fun swinging in between (and mysteriously high up above) massive skyscrapers or lurking in the shadows, waiting to pounce on an unsuspecting villain. The convincing graphics will also help most Spider-Man fans look past most of the game's flaws.
If you've played any of the other Activision Spider-Man games, then you'll be able to jump right into Spider-Man: The Movie--the default control scheme is essentially identical to the one found in those games. Likewise, newcomers will find that the default controls are relatively simple, with each of Spider-Man's main abilities--including hand-to-hand combat, webslinging, and web zip lines--mapped to individual buttons on the GameCube controller. The default control scheme has some problems, though. When you want to perform a web pull or shoot a ball of webbing at an enemy, you have to press a button, as well as a corresponding direction, on the analog stick. It's easy to mess this up--if you don't time the combination precisely, Spider-Man will merely take a step in the direction you've indicated, rather than perform the move. Several versions of Spider-Man: The Movie were released simultaneously, and though this problem affects them all, it is a little more apparent on the GameCube.
Fortunately, the development team at Treyarch has tried to address this by incorporating an "enhanced" control scheme, through which web attacks--such as the web pull, the web ball, and the web dome--are executed by pressing a web-modifier button and then a corresponding action button. This system actually works quite well, and you won't run into any of the movement problems associated with the default control scheme.
But inevitably, you'll encounter serious control problems that have nothing to do with the layout or how responsive Spider-Man is to your commands. Many of your frustrations with Spider-Man: The Movie will be directly linked to the game's camera, which seems to take on a life of its own. The camera doesn't have a default position where it stays directly locked on Spider-Man's back, so, for example, even when you're simply running down a hallway or across the rooftops, you'll find yourself perpetually having to adjust the camera and Spider-Man's direction. This problem is significantly magnified when you use the lock-on option. There are numerous moments in which you'll be heading in one direction and then all of a sudden switching to another so that the camera can compensate to keep both Spider-Man and the enemy onscreen at once.
The perspective works at least reasonably well in the outdoor areas and during missions that require stealth, which occur quite frequently near the end of the game. However, the stealth element isn't done nearly as well as in games like Metal Gear Solid or Tenchu, and more often than not, you'll find that taking the time to be stealthy just isn't worth the effort. Spider-Man can essentially hide himself in the shadows, but some shadows offer more cover than others do because you won't be fully hidden--unless the icon in the upper right-hand corner of the screen is completely shadowed. The stealth system is not only inconsistent, but also just doesn't make sense at times--clinging to a certain spot on a wall that's completely visible will shade the icon, while lurking in a shadow in a corner of the ceiling will not. If anything, this makes the game more time-consuming and challenging; however, there's no denying that Spider-Man's stealth sequences can be pretty awkward.
- Player Reviews: 22
- Game Universe:
- Spider-Man (N64, PS, GBC, DC, PC, GEN, GEN, GG, SMS),
- Spider-Man: The Movie (PS2, GC, PC, XBOX, GBA),
- Spider-Man 2 (PS2, XBOX, GC, PC, GBA, NGE, PSP, DS, MAC),
- Spider-Man / X-Men (GB, GG, SNES),
- Ultimate Spider-Man (XBOX, DS, GBA, GC, PS2, PC, MOBILE),
- Spider-Man 3 (X360, PS3, DS, PS2, PSP, WII, GBA, PC),
- Spider-Man: Battle for New York (DS, GBA),
- Spider-Man: Friend or Foe (PC, PS2, PSP, DS, X360, WII),
- Spider-Man: Web of Shadows (PC, PSP, DS, PS2, X360, WII, PS3),
- Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions (X360, PS3, DS, WII, PC)
- Number of Players: