Anybody who likes Spiderman or superhero games will find this to be a entertaining and immersive experience.
The gameplay resembles previous 3D incarnations of Spiderman, you swing through the city and beat up baddies. This is the first time a video game has provided you with an immense city to do just that.
Think GTA meets Spiderman, its a sandbox of NYC. You can pull of aerial acrobatics in the canopy of New York's concrete jungle just like Tarzan, while pulling off neat moves like air tricks or running on the sides of buildings. Or if you get tired of that you can explore the city streets stopping crime. There's two types of crime, the kind that will happen in real time such as a purse snatching or gang fight, or then there will be pedestrians who flag you down to tell you to about objectives like stopping a police chase. The missions mix it up slightly with about 10 or so different objectives, sometimes more difficult as you progress. Even though they are fun, they can be simple and there isn't too much variety to keep you going. Web-swinging is fun and can be deep and stylish once you know the technique. The combat is pretty basic consisting of button mashing combos and a new bullet-time like feature called Spider Reflexes. It never gets too hard to kick bad guy butt, but the camera can make any event harder as it tends to get stuck in bad angles.
The story follows the movies plot to a degree without giving the better moments of the film too much spoilage. Its mostly there to give a sense of progression. You will still fight Doctor Octopus as he goes crazy about his nuclear fusion business. You will also have various quests to meet people and arrive late making ol' Peter feel bad about himself. But included within the main story line you will run into other comic names. Some of the events feel forced as you never hear about a character and suddenly you are fighting or chasing them, but its a nice way to give a little extra to the game.
Given the time this was made, the visuals hold up well and can be pretty impressive but wont ever blow you away. The real star of the show is the city of New York itself. Hundreds of towers liter the screen at any given moment as you float on the tops of the buildings or sail through the midst. Web-swinging is fun, and its the most realistic to date, your web must have an anchor to latch onto, and the building fly past you, really making you feel the speed of which your going. The framerate is solid never slowing down unless you do. Although it is really only pretty from far away.
Once you get close to the streets, buildings dont have much difference and all the cars are the same. The main characters look rather decent as the movie/comic counterparts but pedestrians look bland and blocky. Still you wont be standing around just looking at things close up, you will be tearing through the streets and over buildings, and it never looks bad.
Since this is the movie licensed game you can expect to hear the likes of Maguire, Molina, and Dunst starring although they seem rather bored at times but its a good effort. The dialog is tolerable enough to get you through, but dont expect the same kind of writing as the movie. The music consists mostly of rock or speedy eletro pop when something is happening, a nd there are a couple of the movie theme songs in there for good measure. But most of the time the only things you hear while swinging through the city is the wind blowing past you and the sounds of the city below. This works okay and it may have dodged a redundant soundtrack bullet but sometimes it feels dead when you need the motivation. But arguably the most effort went to the tutorial tokens. Each one contains tips on how to get through the game read from Bruce Campbell. If you're a fan of Campbell you'll find his charisma a sweet add-in to an already good game. If you're not, you might find it annoying but its easily skippable.
The city of Spiderman's New York City is massive, its gives you the majority of the city of Manhattan complete with a Central Park, and other similar landmarks to explore from the ground up. There are various hidden items and activities scattered throughout as well. From tokens that appear on skyscrapers to ones hidden in criminal hideouts. You can also perfom mini missions like meeting MJ for a movie, taking pictures for the Daily Bugle, or any of the many time attacks. They're a fun way to mix things up and get more challenging as you get better. If you like to accomplish all that a game has to offer this one will keep you busy for quite some time.
In the end, this is a fantanstic game for the superhero-adventure
genre and a must play for any Spiderman fan. Its also probably one of the few great movie licensed games out today. It has its flaws and can be improved but raises the bar for future titles to make more immersive games.