Review: The Amazing Spider-Man (Xbox 360)
This game shares the name of The Amazing Spider-Man film which, at least at the time of writing this review, I haven’t seen. Thankfully, that doesn’t matter as the game takes place after the film and, while a few of the characters are present, the events are entirely separate.
On one hand the story is quite basic – monsters are on the loose and Spidey must track them down, beat them up, and save the day – but there’s a little more to it than that. The company whose old regime were responsible for creating the monsters have unleashed high-powered robots programmed to destroy all mutants – and that means Spidey is fighting two groups at once. The escaped monsters carry a virus and are infecting the human population. The number of infected humans occasionally appears on the screen and this, although clearly scripted, adds a sense of urgency. Spidey realises he can’t deal with everything on his own so turns to his previous adversary, Doctor Connors, for some assistance.
The dialogue is pretty average throughout most of the game but The Amazing Spider-Man isn’t without some nice exchanges. My favourite line is when Spidey is asked “Who’s the man behind the mask?” and he responds with “You want the short answer or the long one?” which alludes to the fact that he could answer “Peter Parker”, which would be accurate, but there’s so much more to him than just a name, not least of which is the teen angst he has in abundance.
Those who enjoy collecting things in games will be pleased as there are lots of comics around the city and Spider-Man is just the person to collect them. To be fair, Spider-Man is the only person who CAN collect the comics as when I say “around the city” what I mean is they’re sitting on the roofs of skyscrapers or magically buzzing around like Harry Potter’s snitch (not a euphemism!)
When Spidey collects these comics he’ll say things like “The cover price has gone up, but still worth it.” Yeah, so says the guy who got his copy for free on top of a skyscraper. Collecting these comics will unlock some things in the Extras section and it offers a nice diversion from the story.
The visuals in The Amazing Spider-Man are a disappointment and the game more closely resembles the peak of the original Xbox than the current 360 variety. Developers with a movie tie-in on their hands should at least make the characters resemble their big screen counterparts. What we have here is a bunch of characters, outside of Spidey in his suit, which I feel even some younger players will struggle to identify as those they just saw at the cinema.
There are two aspects of The Amazing Spider-Man which ensure it stays on course and isn’t a joyless experience. The fighting, although not as good, is similar to the unarmed combat in Batman Arkham Asylum and City, and using newly unlocked moves is quite fun. This brings me to the most enjoyable feature – swinging around the city. This is especially fun when Spidey drops low to the ground and swings past cars and pedestrians at high speed. In a superhero game it’s important to capture the movement and, just as The Hulk did years before, The Amazing Spider-Man appreciates this.
The Amazing Spider-Man isn’t as polished as it should be, and the visuals could definitely be better, but the enjoyable fighting and Spidey’s movement make the game hard to dismiss. Younger fans of the film will definitely be entertained but it’s not the best example of a super hero game and older gamers might prefer to play Batman in Arkham.