The Amazing Spider-Man hands-on preview

Posted By | On 25th, Jun. 2012 Under Previews | Follow This Author @MostUnfurrowed

I used to firmly hold the belief that Batman was far and away the worst super hero; a rich bloke who’d watched too many Bond films and vampire novels; a poor-man’s rich-man’s Iron Man. Then along came Arkham Asylum and Arkham City, giving that view a swift roundhouse kick in the face and hilarious sand-paper voice aside, completely changing my perception of Bats who now ranks among my all-time favourites.

The Amazing Spider-Man serves to do exactly the same thing for Spidey, the only hyphenated super hero still around, altering my view of him as a character, but certainly not in a good way. The Amazing Spider-Man, as the name suggests, is an official movie tie-in, the first since Spider-Man 3 and the less said about that the better. According to Beenox, the events which take place in the game are set after those in the film, suggesting fans may be best off watching before playing.

With a chequered history of Mac and Windows ports, The Amazing Spider-Man is Beenox’s third Spider-Man game, a universe in which they appear to have a rather hit-and-miss approach. Shattered Dimensions took an unconventional approach to Spidey and amalgamating four Spider-Men from four different universes, receiving fairly high critical acclaim, a stark contrast to Edge of Time, quite rightly laughed out of the room for being rather terrible. GamingBolt were given the opportunity to get handsy with The Amazing Spider-Man at Activision’s Post E3 showcase.

The Amazing Spider-Man has been rebuilt from the ground up, a fresh new take on Spider-Men past, returning to the endless possibilities of an open world sandbox game, traversing through the  indomitable New York skyline with nary a care in the world. Such an environment lends itself to a Spider-Man game, a closed world setting never really made much sense, but on paper you could say the same thing about Arkham Asylum.

Initially web-swinging between buildings is nothing short of exhilarating, that first leap of faith towards the streets below is a real heart-in-the-mouth moment, but the sensation quickly wears thin and within minutes web-slinging becomes almost tedious; a seemingly infinite amount of time between swings and trying to navigate this city is simply dull. Wether this is down to the inadequacies of web rush or the limp, lifelessness of Manhattan remains to be seen. The city simply doesn’t feel alive, its citizens merely inhabiting the streets for Spidey’s benefit.

HUD-less gameplay seems to be on the up in recently months, apparently allowing for greater immersion and a more ‘authentic’ experience, to which I am highly sceptical, and The Amazing Spider-Man is no exception. Beenox even explicitly stated this, but all it serves to do is high-light some of the poorer level design choices in the enclosed segments, frequently I became disorientated simply because there were no reticles, way-points or immediately accessible mini-maps as reference.

One of the more robust elements in Spidey’s repertoire is the combat, delivering a relatively solid experience, if leaving you with an overwhelming sense of deja vu. There’s no two ways about it, the combat mechanics are nigh-on identical to the Arkham games, even down to the warning squiggles above an enemies head when they’re about to strike (I’ve been informed in the comments section by Spider-Man himself that these squiggles first appeared in the comics to indicate his spider-sense) which is by no means a bad thing if delivered to the same standard. It’s solid, yes, but feels very lightweight in comparison and just lacks the fluidity that made Batman feel so very powerful.

I’m doubtful that web-head can even be saved a glossy veneer as Spider-Man aside, bland low-resolution textures are ten-a-penny, New York bereft of a personality and left looking like Coventry, even the cars look decidedly 2007.

The only real positive I can draw from by short time with Peter Parker is that for once in-game collectibles have a real-world significance, comic pages can be collected, scattered around the city like scraps of pornography at a railway siding, but what’s unique here is that each page unlocks a digital version of the original Amazing Spider-Man comics, the entire collection available to view in-game.

The Amazing Spider-Man is nothing short of a disappointment and at its current duration, feels limp and impotent, delivering one of the least satisfying sandbox super hero games to date. Spider-Man is starting to feel less like a formidable crime-fighting super hero and more like a aging Daddy Long Legs, aimlessly bumbling about the room before getting tangled in his own web and killing himself.

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  • kal-l

    wow! that was harsh but truthfully im kind of expecting to see something similiar and expected. This article makes it sound like the previous spiderman games -fun at first quickly tiresome. As long as i dnt get bored after storymode has finished just swinging round a lifeless city Maybe theyll throw in DLC in the future 🙂 but hey.

  • Spider-Man

    The squiggles was first used in Spider-Man in the COMICS so the arkham games took the lines from SPIDEY whenever his Spider-Sense went off

    • Jordan Garland

      Thanks, I did not know that. Will edit the article to address it.

  • Steve

    If there was an award for the best video game kill-joy, this guy would get it. What a way to kill the buzz, man! Each to their own, i suppose, but i for one am looking forward to this game and i won’t let this article put my hopes down.

  • Syed

    haha i love how this guy says “The Amazing Spider-Man is nothing short of a disappointment and at its current duration, feeling a bit limp and impotent, delivering one of the least satisfying sandbox super hero games to date”.

    wait a bit before the game comes out to make such statements dude. i dont know if you’ve played it or not but this is one of the worst articles ive seen latetly

  • Spiderman

    Dont talk shit about me unless you in front of my face bitch!

  • chris

    this guy is such an idiot bro .. idc i seen the gameplay, and even ign said the gameplay and everything looks amazing .

  • Chris

    Yeah, definitely a very unprofessional take on reviewing a demo version of a game that hasn’t even come out yet. Especially coming from someone who “used to firmly hold the belief that Batman was far and away the worst super hero”. Batman is by far and away one of the greatest super heroes among both the Marvel and DC universes. But this is about Spider-Man, one of Stan Lee’s best creations and one of Marvel’s most powerful and most popular heroes. Belonging to 2 Avenger Teams and the Fantastic Four, and often making appearances in other Marvel teams like the X-Men. Regardless of what you think of the game, which isn’t actually important at all, you should have been commenting on what you think the fans of Spider-Man are going to think about the game, because I for one am absolutely stoked to return to the open world Manhattan that Spider-Man 2 made so entertaining. (Spider-Man 3 was based around the same mechanics, and was just as good regardless of it’s terrible story tie-in. An insult to the Spider-Man name.) So when you write a review about a game that has an incredibly large fan base, despite the ups and downs of previous games, it’s ok to be critical, but an article author should be completely unbiased, and you my friend are indeed the biggest video game kill-joy I have ever encountered. This was my first visit to Gaming-Bolt, and it is absolutely my last visit.

    • Weasley28


  • Jose

    This guy has no credibility he didn’t even know what those squiggles marks are supposed to mean. Get your facts right before writing another article.

    • Bruce Wayne

      Batman is Super rich, though.

  • Mike

    I agree, this reviewer is nothing short of a disappointment, limp, and impotent. From everything ive seen and read, the game looks pretty damn good.

  • Drvenkman

    You guys didn’t know that several ‘boarderline’ clever metaphors and a fedora make a great review? Who have you been reading….

  • Jay gillings

    I get tired of reviewers bringing up batman and the arkham games yes they were good yes they had an 10/10 rating but it also had it’s flaws and that’s with any game. The things you’ve listed is bs lifeless city dull boring lack fluidity disappointment sandbox game are you kidding me?? Seriously?? This game in every aspect is superb I was astound with what beenox did with this game it tops spiderman 2 and now holds the crown over every other spidey game. Oh and spider-man always had the squiggles above the head but I rate this game 9/10 in my opinion the best spidey game in a long time.

  • Jay gillings

    The hell is wrong with this reviewer? You can’t be serious smh I bet you are very devoted to batman.

  • Chris

    So I know I said in my comment that I was never going to come back to this website because of this preview, but now that I’ve had a day to thoroughly play through some of the game, I wanted to come back and say, this is definitely still a bad article. The game visually looks amazing, Spider-Man has never looked so good. The action is pretty sweet, the boss battles are pretty decent, the outdoors boss battles in the city are amazing. At times the fighting mechanic is a little easy, but again, if used properly and with patience, the animations are sweet and the signature moves are very Spider-Man–esque. With that said, play the game on super hero mode, it makes the battles a little more challenging so the game feels a little more realistic. The web swinging mechanic and the web rush system are pretty sweet, and if used correctly definitely get an A+ for visual appeal. My only complaint is that I wish it was just a tiny bit more like Spider-Man 2, I liked having control of how long you can hang on to your web-line for, and I liked being able to charge up a jump while swinging. Other than that, I think any Spider-Man fans like myself are/will absolutely loving/love this game! Now I’m never coming back to this site.

  • Joe

    I really not agree with this review, im in the middle of playing the game and i like it a lot so far, great and fun story, Spider-man and the game just looks really good and i deff. reccomend this game.


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