Josh Wilding Reviews: THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN Video Game [Playstation 3]

The Amazing Spider-Man movie has been a hit with the majority of fans, but is Beenox's video game any good and should you rush out to buy it as soon as you've seen the reboot? Well, there's a very clear answer to those questions, so hit the jump for my in-depth review.

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By Josh Wilding - 7/4/2012

Taking place a few months after the events of The Amazing Spider-Man movie, the video game tie-in sees Alistair Smythe now in charge at Oscorp as he continues Curt Connors work with cross-species genetics. Things quickly get out of hand as some of the subjects escape and an infection spreads around the city. Along the way, Spidey faces off against both them and Smythe's army of robots, although the premise as a whole is fairly weak and unoriginal. Classic villains such as the Scorpion, Rhino and, er, Iguana are all just mindless beasts, meaning they have absolutely no personalities or motivations to make them even a little bit interesting. The relationship between Peter and Connors and Peter and Gwen aren't handled anywhere near as well as they were in the film, as the video game keeps them in limbo rather than developing them. Smythe makes for a decent villain, although he's far from an entirely convincing threat. It has its moments, but they're few and far between as a handful of epic and redeeming story beats do little to make up for a very poor follow-up to the events of the film. While Beenox were obviously restricted by what they could and couldn't do, that's no excuse for just how weak the story is.

In terms of the fighting mechanics, The Amazing Spider-Man is basic and very disappointing. Combat comes down to little more than repeatedly tapping the SQUARE button until you finish off the baddie with a tap of CIRCLE for a finishing move (all while occasionally hitting TRIANGLE to avoid an attack). Boss battles are also underwhelming as they require little skill. It again comes down to hitting these same buttons, just slightly differently. The "Web Rush" mechanic is useful during these and other fights for performing some quick attacks, but it quickly becomes tedious and frustrating when swinging around the city. Despite the fact that you're supposed to be able to use it to get around New York creatively, it often can't settle on a target and will send you exactly where you DIDN'T want to go. The web-swinging itself is good, although far from perfect. The camera often feels too close to really give you the feeling that should come with such an experience, while you will often be propelled so high you spend most of your time being flung above the skyscrapers than swinging between them. There's no getting around the fact that it's good fun however, although the decision to base almost every single level in confined indoor spaces is baffling. Far to much of the game also comes down to quick time events.

Graphically, The Amazing Spider-Man looks fantastic for the most part. The more brutal the fights, the more damaged the costume gets as time progresses. It really is quite something to spend a few hours playing through the game with a Spider-Man who is eventually left in a torn and bloody costume. Swinging through the city looks equally as impressive as the character pulls all different sorts of poses and fight sequences also look great (if somewhat repetitive). Smythe's robots and Spider-Slayers all look rather impressive and despite some generic looking levels, there's occasionally a real sense of epic danger as you battle and fight your way through New York. Some character designs are better than others, although it quickly becomes obvious that the game would have benefited from the actors from the film lending their likenesses and movements to the characters as they look very unreal and Spidey's general movements lack the personality given to him by Andrew Garfield in the big screen version.

In terms of the score, it does an admirable job of making the boss battles and general fight sequences feel a lot more alive. This is particularly useful as the city often feels very dull. The Amazing Spider-Man is yet another free roaming Spider-Man game which lacks the same sort of freedom as the likes of Grand Theft Auto and there is literally no damage to your surroundings other than what it predetermined by the script. However, it's the voice cast which proves to be the biggest disappointment in the game. Sam Riegel lacks the personality brought to Peter Parker by voice actors such as Neil Patrick Harris and Christopher Daniel Barnes, and the repetitive (and not in the least bit amusing) lines he continuously spouts do little to help. Both Kari Wahlgren as Gwen Stacy and Steven Blum as Curt Connors are ok, but neither bring much to the characters. The fact is, it's hard to enjoy this voice cast when they're not being voiced by the actors from the film. Like the Tony Stark in SEGA's Iron Man games, these are just very, very poor imitations. Even the usually reliable Nolan North (Nathan Drake, Uncharted: Drake's Fortune) sounds thoroughly bored as Alistair Smythe and his presence only serves as a sad reminder of just how great a Spider-Man game we would get if someone like Naughty Dog were to work on it.

It could and should have been so much better, but ultimately feels no better than Spider-Man 3 (a game released five years ago). There's no denying that it's great fun and an entertaining ten hours, but wait for it to hit the bargain bins before buying.



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42 Comments
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ATrueHero1987 - 7/4/2012, 9:55 AM
Haven't played the game yet but I read all the supervillains that's going to be in this game....it should've had more.
Boyle360 - 7/4/2012, 9:57 AM
I must say I enjoyed it a lot more than you Josh, my hopes weren't very high to begin with anyway. I knew exactly what to expect, and I'm happy enough with it. Yes, it definitely could have been a lot better, and I mean a LOT better, but I really liked it!
It also bothered me that Rhino and Scorpion were just mindless beasts. It would have been much better if they used to be normal people who for whatever reason were guinea pigs for cross species experiments, and so still had their minds when they became Scorpion and Rhino, but were stuck in their 'suits' like the comics!
angus666 - 7/4/2012, 9:57 AM
I disagree. The web swinging is so much fun, the alternate costumes are awesome, and the graphics are surprisingly good.

I'd say while it's not and amazing video game, it is simply a ton of fun.

ninjaturtle11 - 7/4/2012, 9:59 AM
it was the best movie game ever
Alex909 - 7/4/2012, 10:02 AM
I think you were a little harsh here. Web Rush is easy to manoeuvre and I can get around the city fine using it. Sometimes you will miss your target but holding the WR Button will give you plenty of time to choose your destination.

As for swinging I agree. While not ideal, holding R2/RT you'll swing at the same level. It's not nearly as fun but it's an option.

And I thought the voices were excellent, Sam Riegel was good I thought. While not on the same level as CDB or Josh Keaton he was still a decent Spidey. At least he wasn't as bad as the guy from Web of Shadows. *shudder*
0ptimusCrime - 7/4/2012, 10:03 AM
Im with Angus666.
Not a GREAT game, but a very fun game.
I really liked it!
IronAmerica13 - 7/4/2012, 10:04 AM
I really enjoyed the game, it was lots of fun. I don't regret buying
CaptainAmerica31 - 7/4/2012, 10:11 AM
The Movie was better than the game haha
TonyChu - 7/4/2012, 10:18 AM
I played the game and I liked it. I am not a fan on how they portrayed Scorpion at all. I have no problem with them making Scorpion a scorpion injected with human DNA but the fact they went in the Batman and Robin route in which the villain is a mindless brute made me furious. Rhino there really is no problem with him because in the comics he is just a mindless brute but all the villains were not really fleshed out proplerly except Black Cat and you only go against her in one level. Also the web swinging is amazing and the best yet but they went a step backwards by having Spiderman swing from clouds rather than buildings. And I think thats why Beenox inverted the camera the way it is when you web swing is so gamers would not notice that. One more gripe is the way you unlock alternate costumes by having to disconnect your Xbox or Playstation 3 from the internet is so stupid.
GLprime2814 - 7/4/2012, 10:19 AM
I haven't played it but seeing clips I noticed how all villains are gene spliced like the lizard, suck cuz spiderman is supposed to be advanced tech if you read the comics you know that maybe 3 or 4 villans used some gene thing if they are not mutants. Rhino specially I like how he was stuck in an undistructible suit, and JJJ funding the scorpion armor.
TrueRedBlue - 7/4/2012, 10:22 AM
You would have a PS3 Josh...
Blitzed - 7/4/2012, 10:23 AM
Its hilarious that the members of this site who use their every comment to downplay TASM all seem to have a DC (and most commonly a Batman) avatar. yeah, Im looking at you Sirwhinesalot.

Do you guys think you posting your negative opinions in every TASM thread is actually going to have an effect on the success of this movie? If you didnt like it that is fine, and if you are going to elabprate or discuss what you disliked about the film, even better. However to go into every TASM thread and post "movie sucked" in a feeble attempt to hype TDKR is a level of fanboyism that is nothing short of disturbing.
Julesimanerd - 7/4/2012, 10:25 AM
the best CBM game is X-men Origins: Wolverine. thats the best CBM game, because its waaaaaaaay better then the movie
SpideyBat33 - 7/4/2012, 11:04 AM
Ive watched a walkthrough of it and it doesnt look to bad,
Arkham city is so much better though but ill buy this
Julesimanerd - 7/4/2012, 11:22 AM
@Sirwinsalot

still a good game. Its Wolverine killing people. isn't that what people wanted?
spidey1994 - 7/4/2012, 11:52 AM
To me, this is the best Spider-Man game since Spider-Man 2.
UncleJimmy - 7/4/2012, 12:01 PM
the reviews seem very inconsistent.
HULK2099 - 7/4/2012, 12:02 PM
No I think the game is on par with the spider-man 2 game it's pretty damn good
AC1 - 7/4/2012, 12:43 PM
Loved the movie when I saw it earlier, but the game being disappointing hardly surprises me - movie games are rarely any good, the main exceptions I can think of being X-Men Origins Wolverine and perhaps Spider-Man 2. Nothing about this game has really appealed to me, although the graphics look nice and I love being able to change costumes in games.

@SirWinsalot Arkham City isn't a CBM game, it's a comic book game - no movie basis at all. Nitpicky, I know. X-Men Origins: Wolverine is actually a pretty fun game, and ironically is more faithful to the character than the movies are. It vastly improves the story, adds a lot more to it, and is a lot of fun, although it doesn't have much replayability.
But yeah, the Arkham series are two of the best games I've ever played, not only in gameplay but in story too. Also, having the likes of Kevin Conroy as Batman and Mark Hamill as Joker really helped.
FriendlyNeighborhoodSpidey - 7/4/2012, 12:53 PM
I disagree with you almost completely. It's not perfect, but it's a fun and decent game. 2/5??? That's a little harsh.
I give it 7.5/10.
Rhino4508 - 7/4/2012, 1:15 PM
I really have to disagree. You say the combat style is boring and repetitive; however, this game's combat is very similar to that of Arkham Asylum and Arkham City. Both were one attack button, a dodge button, jump over option just jump and left-stick. The only real difference is that Batman has more gadgets to use in combat where as Spidey only has his webs. Although, where Bats using a variety of gadgets Spidey has varying ways of using the webs. From wall blasts to web slam. Also B-Man does have more options for stealth takedown than the Webhead but still Spidey has some interesting tricks up his sleeve.

Now, story-line wise it did seem a little unoriginal with the virus and infection filled New York. (Web of Shadows anyone) But to say that it wasn't a good tie-in is a bit much. The film used a viral threat as the main villain plot. It is only natural that the game's story would be an aftermath/expanding on that.

As far as villains go, I loved Scorpion in this game. You say the villains had no personality due to the fact that they were beasts; however, I have to bring to your attention that (for this game's purposes) that is exactly what they are. Failed experiments on animals with human DNA. Not the other way around. So in that sense, I loved it. And since these experiments are to be exterminated for being infected beasts, I think it leaves the door open to use these characters again, but as the actual human counterpart under going the splicing. Like Oscorp will take a look back and think "Hmm.. well the human DNA into the animal didn't work. How would the other way around go?" This would give them the option of doing the character a bit more justice and giving them more villains for future games without having to use this entire batch of villains again. They could be brought back as supporting characters in the future.

I loved this game. Granted the swinging was not as spectacular as I would have hoped and until you really get used to it Web Rush can be aggravating. But all in all I would give this game a 4 out of 5 stars. It was fun, challenging, visually stunning, and the boss battles were a lot more interesting and fun in my opinion. Especially, the robots. First time I have enjoyed a robot invasion in a spider-man game.

SHHH - 7/4/2012, 1:45 PM
Rental...
hayseed212 - 7/4/2012, 2:14 PM
I couldn't disagree more. May not be the game of the year, but is by far the best Spidey game (yes even better than Spider-man 2) I've been playing this game for a over a week now, days after beating it and still love swinging around the city (though it sucks that there's a limited amount of side missions) I've completed them all so nothing pops up for me to do, but swinging is still fun. I love that collecting the comics around the city actually unlocks real comics to read, like the first spider-man, and first appearances of some of the villains that are in the game. The fighting could've used more variety though. Like Web of Shadows where you could fight a whole gang and never touch the ground. But all in all I loved it. The city looked beautiful, the voice acting was really good, and the story fits in with the movie universe. The game deserves atleast a 4 out of 5
Rhino4508 - 7/4/2012, 2:25 PM
@hayseed212
Favorite boss fight?
DioFoRio - 7/4/2012, 2:48 PM
the ultimate spiderman game for ps2 was one of my faves. They should do another free roam but based on the comics.
justified1 - 7/4/2012, 3:05 PM
I'll get it but i think i'll wait awhile.
iMVuze - 7/4/2012, 3:23 PM
So no one shits on the Batman combat system when it is the same thing?....Batman really is untouchable.
thewolfx - 7/4/2012, 3:24 PM
i havent beatin the game yet but sofar im having fun , my only real problem is the swinging ..why couldnt they just copy spiderman 2 swinging


@TrueRedBlue

whats wrong with the best console out, xbot?
thewolfx - 7/4/2012, 3:25 PM
@hayseed212

drugs are bad mmmkay
Kalel219 - 7/4/2012, 3:33 PM
Best review of this game, exactly how I felt about it
superotherside - 7/4/2012, 4:00 PM
Great review Josh. Need to pick this one up sometime...
Moakynubs - 7/4/2012, 4:52 PM
Beenox hasn't let me down yet, but they do have a LOT of potential as a company, just as Spidey has a ton of potential as a game concept. I gladly support them, and I do genuinely enjoy all three games they've made so far.
Moakynubs - 7/4/2012, 4:55 PM
Also, always play a game on hard before you call it easy.
MrSundayMovies - 7/4/2012, 5:12 PM
Yeesh, brutal review. Made me rethink a purchase.
AmazingFantasy - 7/4/2012, 6:31 PM
SirWhinesaLot...Yes im [frick]ing immature.
hayseed212 - 7/4/2012, 7:33 PM
@Rhino4508
The giant "guess you call it a worm" robot was the best boss. Boss battles could've been better, maybe more of a 2 stage fight with em. But that one was just fun to fight.
gloomypatrick - 7/4/2012, 9:11 PM
ARE YOU [frick]ING KIDDING This game was AMAZING this guy knows nothing about wht makes a good game this games is the true spider-man game and is the best SO FAR !!

MadJakHatesSpinoffs - 7/4/2012, 10:15 PM
I beat the game in 3 days because I was so addicted to it. I thought it was a lot of fun and may have been the best Spider-Man game I've ever played. I also really enjoyed Ultimate Spider-Man and Web of Shadows.
ibravosp5 - 7/5/2012, 12:43 AM
This game is good to me no matter what anyone says
AlexDeLarge87 - 7/5/2012, 2:59 AM
I think they should have go Arkham Asylum and City road and build new story for it and not connecting it to the movie.
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