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The Amazing Spider-Man 2 Video Game Review

Is being Spider-Man sensational? Amazing? Spectacular?! Come read our thoughts on the webhead's latest video game.

*Review is based on the Xbox 360 version*

If you cast aside all of the crazy drama and maniacal villains, who can say they honestly wouldn't want to be Spider-Man? From his superhuman physicals (strength, reflexes, agility) to his ability to smoothly swing above the streets of New York, stepping into Peter Parker's boots should be a blast. But does Beenox and Activision turn being Spider-Man into an awesome experience or a total mess? Well, that answer falls somewhere in the middle.

The story here quickly addresses The Amazing Spider-Man 2's villains (e.g. Electro and Green Goblin), but it's really more about a gang war that's breaking out in New York and the Kingpin's play for more power. As chaos erupts across the city, someone known as the "Carnage Killer" is taking out bad people in a not-so-kind fashion and Kraven wants to mentor Spider-Man so he can unlock Spidey's true potential. Needless to say, the story itself covers a whole lot of territory and offers some fan service by incorporating a lot of villains, but ultimately, it keeps coming back to one thing: Spider-Man's morals. For a comic book fan, the constant conversations about why killing is wrong and why Spider-Man isn't a killer will feel heavy-handed and repetitive, but for general/younger gamers, it's good to drive home the fact that Peter Parker is the "ultimate" hero.

The story's twist and turns won't shock you, but I will admit the simple fact the story kept jumping from one big name to the next kept my interest strong. Obviously, if you're not passionate about Spider-Man and the world around him, this is going to be a very bland experience for you. For everyone else, it's sure to at least keep you amused and curious enough to see what character will be brought into the picture next. Plus, there's a decent post-credits teaser for this universe's future. One area where I will give the narrative some big credit is how it handles the dilemma between Harry Osborn and Peter Parker/Spider-Man. The game presents a better dialogue between the two during this dispute. It's not emotionally compelling, but it's good to see they had Peter elaborate much more than his movie counter-part did. It's certainly a situation which calls for it.

Web-slinging down an avenue is a joy. Once you're able to master the basics of traveling (which really doesn't take too long), you'll see that it works the best while sticking to the avenues/main streets and it's a legitimately fun experience. Once you get a good amount of momentum going, it's great to feel the rush of speeding right past the traffic below you or making it to a waypoint with plenty of time to spare.

Another thing The Amazing Spider-Man 2 has going for it is the pure fan service. There's a lot of collectibles to enjoy here and you can check them all out (costumes aside) in Stan Lee's comic shop. And yes, Stan Lee's the employee and he did voice work for the role. You can unlock entire issues to read (it wasn't too long before I was able to re-read the first appearances of Shocker and Kraven and there's plenty I've yet to get), play wave-based challenges at an arcade machine, view character models, and, of course, scroll through concept art. But really, the best part about this shop is a glorious poster of Scarlet Spider (based on SCARLET SPIDER #7's cover). On top of these unlockables, there's a variety of costumes you can access. Sure, just stepping into a new skin is pleasing, but the game makes sure there's a little more to it than just a new appearance. You can level up with each costume and each of them have three stat bonuses. For example, one may allow for faster healing while another improves critical damage. These aren't changes that'll add a whole new layer of depth to the game, but it's better than simply looking different.

The combat isn't quite as fluid as it could be, but it's still an enjoyable experience. It would have been nice to see more additions to the upgrade chart and a greater variety of moves, but for what it's worth, dancing around goons and pummeling them/webbing them to the floor remained pretty exciting, especially when you're able to execute a "special" move to finish a character. The stealth focused aspects are incredibly basic and you can't help but draw comparisons to a certain DC game. Taking down character after character without being spotted is a decent dose of fun, but it's not all that satisfying once you realize the AI really isn't anything to brag about.

This game also incorporates a "Hero or Menace" feature. Basically, the more side missions you complete (rescuing civilians, stopping car chases, helping police in firefights, etc), the better your reputation will be throughout the city and civilians will act accordingly. If you fail to complete side missions, you'll fall into the "menace" side (J. Jonah Jameson was right!), and this means your stats will take a bit of a hit, onlookers will speak poorly of you, and eventually, the game will be a little more difficult because a Task Force will try to hunt you down. Honestly, it feels like a way to nudge you into completing all of the side missions that pop up, but the game really isn't that difficult if you become a menace. I had a pretty easy time avoiding the Task Force, as well as handling them if I did bump into them.

The web rush feature is a mixed bag. On one hand, it's useful in combat scenarios, especially ones that require stealth. But on the other hand, needing to utilize this to travel through the city really makes movement less fluid. When you're Spider-Man, you want to experience the thrill of leaping over buildings and swinging between them. However, there's countless moments where I needed to slowdown time to assure I'd reach where I needed to and this really hindered the exciting nature of being Spider-Man. Also, when you're in a tight situation, sometimes movement can get a little clunky and he won't web rush exactly where you want him to go. This resulted in some very frustrating moments during fire rescue missions.

I'll be blunt: the graphics are disappointing. Human characters come off as completely rigid and devoid of emotion. The fact many look (and sound) so drastically different than their movie counter-parts doesn't help matters. The restricted draw distance is also noticeable. To counter this, they added a layer of clouds, but it instead comes off as thick smog and gives the city a very gloomy look when you're looking head. Looking beyond the playable world wasn't a pretty experience, either.

Yes, the combat is fun, but boss battles are extremely repetitive and not nearly enough is done to give them a little variety or even make them memorable. Electro and Green Goblin's big fights add some quick time events, but instead of coming off as cool, these moments drag on and eventually feel ridiculous instead of thrilling (I lost track of how many times I punched Electro in the jaw or smashed Gobby's face into a building). They just sort of happen and then you move on to the next one. Nothing here is going to truly leave an impact or make you think back and recall how awesome a boss battle was.

Minor gripes: Carnage was way too preachy in this and it didn't feel like the comic villain we know. Kraven was presented well and Kingpin's focus on distancing himself from anything illegal (on paper, at least) is amusing, but Carnage felt like one part Joker and another part twisted anti-hero. To me, this just didn't really ring true to his character and felt like someone different. Lastly, you're going to hear the same lines a lot in this game. From Spider-Man's taunts (which sometimes feel downright rude instead of smile-inducing) to bad guys attempting to trash talk, the amount of dialogue is pretty limited. This is especially noticeable when the game cuts away to a brief news bit after you complete a side mission. These are a neat addition at first, but seeing as there's so few of them, it quickly becomes a repetitive process and you'll keep trying to skip them asap because you've already watched them numerous times before.

Is this game worth purchasing right now? Honestly, I can only recommend that option to die-hard Spider-Man fans -- the crowd that simply wants to feel the rush of web-slinging through Times Square and hearing onlookers root for the wall crawler. These people will likely be able to overlook the game's numerous flaws and just have a good time being Spider-Man, unlocking collectibles, beating up goons, and being immersed in a story with so many rogues. For everyone else, it's a rental at best or you should wait until the price drops. Sure, I had a good time overall, but there's just no denying the fact this game has occasionally clunky movement, repetitive missions, and extremely bland graphics. It's by no means the next Arkham -- not even close to it -- but true believers just may have a decent amount of fun.

41 Comments
Posted by w0nd

out of all the fantastic Spider-man Voice actors they have at their disposal, they pick the bland Donatello from tmnt. Doesn't feel like Peter for me. Not sure how carnage fits into this game but is he still connected to Venom? I haven't made it that far....

Posted by patrat18

I'll wait until the price drops.

Online
Posted by LiveForever

Zero stars?!?!? Hehe.

I've wanted the first game forever (didn't like the film though) but it never dropped below $25 on steam.

Online
Posted by Avenging-X-Bolt

@patrat18 said:

I'll wait until the price drops.

same, probably around the time the dlc skins are released

Posted by ravisher

kraven looks cool

looks like carnage will not be in any future movies

Posted by k4tzm4n

@ravisher said:

kraven looks cool

looks like carnage will not be in any future movies

The producers have teased Carnage may appear in the Venom solo movie.

Staff
Posted by GraniteSoldier

I Waite to buy the first ASM game since it seemed pretty iffy. I'm a Spidey die hard but $60 is a lot to throw down for a meh experience. I'll wait for a "complete edition" with all the skins and such.

Posted by Master_Thief

Arkham Knight it is

Posted by patrat18

@patrat18 said:

I'll wait until the price drops.

same, probably around the time the dlc skins are released

Ageed.

Online
Edited by PunyParker

It is a movie game.....who the hell expected Arkham Knight?!!....

I'm getting it,cuz i like Spider-Man in an enormously massive level,and you all know that,and because i won't get any game till November,and it's probably my last PS3 game....

@w0nd said:

out of all the fantastic Spider-man Voice actors they have at their disposal, they pick the bland Donatello from tmnt. Doesn't feel like Peter for me.

I KNOW RIGHT!!??

Posted by ZZoMBiE13

@patrat18 said:

@avenging_x_bolt said:

@patrat18 said:

I'll wait until the price drops.

same, probably around the time the dlc skins are released

Ageed.

For those considering playing this game, it's only $40 on Steam if you're a PC gamer as well. Only the console versions run $60.

As for myself, I probably won't pick this up though. I haven't really liked most of Beenox's Spider-Man games. Shatty Dims was OK, but the first movie tie-in game was pretty awful, at least in my experience.

Posted by k4tzm4n

It is a movie game.....who the hell expected Arkham Knight?!!....

Uh... no one? But it's fair to draw a comparison or two when it clearly borrows quite a few elements.

Staff
Posted by PunyParker

@k4tzm4n said:
@punyparker said:

It is a movie game.....who the hell expected Arkham Knight?!!....

Uh... no one? But it's fair to draw a comparison or two when it clearly borrows quite a few elements.

Well,a comparison is unnecessary,because this is kinda of a forced game.....They had to get it for the movie.
When we will see a Spider-Man comicbook game by a developer who knows his stuff,then a comparison with the Batman franchise will be more than welcome.....

Posted by patrat18

@patrat18 said:

@avenging_x_bolt said:

@patrat18 said:

I'll wait until the price drops.

same, probably around the time the dlc skins are released

Ageed.

For those considering playing this game, it's only $40 on Steam if you're a PC gamer as well. Only the console versions run $60.

As for myself, I probably won't pick this up though. I haven't really liked most of Beenox's Spider-Man games. Shatty Dims was OK, but the first movie tie-in game was pretty awful, at least in my experience.

Still too much lol. I have a ps3 and a ps4.

Online
Posted by k4tzm4n

@k4tzm4n said:
@punyparker said:

It is a movie game.....who the hell expected Arkham Knight?!!....

Uh... no one? But it's fair to draw a comparison or two when it clearly borrows quite a few elements.

Well,a comparison is unnecessary,because this is kinda of a forced game.....They had to get it for the movie.

When we will see a Spider-Man comicbook game by a developer who knows his stuff,then a comparison with the Batman franchise will be more than welcome.....

There's 12 paragraphs of me discussing the game, and Arkham is only brought up in two minor points:

  • Saying the stealth elements are blatantly inspired by that franchise -- nothing wrong with that -- but don't satisfy that much due to poor AI.
  • Me stating the obvious: this isn't a great game, but it has the potential to be fun for the right crowd.
Staff
Edited by PunyParker

@k4tzm4n said:

@punyparker said:

@k4tzm4n said:
@punyparker said:

It is a movie game.....who the hell expected Arkham Knight?!!....

Uh... no one? But it's fair to draw a comparison or two when it clearly borrows quite a few elements.

Well,a comparison is unnecessary,because this is kinda of a forced game.....They had to get it for the movie.

When we will see a Spider-Man comicbook game by a developer who knows his stuff,then a comparison with the Batman franchise will be more than welcome.....

There's 12 paragraphs of me discussing the game, and Arkham is only brought up in two minor points:

  • Saying the stealth elements are blatantly inspired by that franchise -- nothing wrong with that -- but don't satisfy that much due to poor AI.
  • Me stating the obvious: this isn't a great game, but it has the potential to be fun for the right crowd.

Wait wait wait,this wasn't going for you......( :P )
I think it's a misunderstanding there.....
I see people comparing the games,and say that clearly Spidey's worse,which it is,but it is a different situation!!

Your review is neat,man.......i agree on almost everything. ;)

Edited by k4tzm4n

@punyparker: Oh, apologies for the misunderstanding then! I assumed you were talking about the review since I only see one comment saying they're instead waiting for Arkham Knight.

Staff
Posted by matanui123

@patrat18 said:

I'll wait until the price drops.

I was thinking the same thing.

Edited by Txman210

Other then the voice for Peter Parker being annoying and the controls being a little bit clunky I'm enjoying the game

Posted by Ninjablade09

Having played the game at a friends house yesterday, I fully agree. Great review!

Posted by RisingBean

I'm on the fence if I want to get this now or wait. I hate decisions like this. Argh!

Posted by k4tzm4n

Having played the game at a friends house yesterday, I fully agree. Great review!

Thanks!

Staff
Posted by thewalkingdeadpool18

Not only the best movie tie in game ever but the best comic book game outside of AA and AC yeah i said it i like this game more then Akrham Borigins. But it's not even close to AC or AA level.

Edited by PunyParker

@k4tzm4n said:

@punyparker: Oh, apologies for the misunderstanding then! I assumed you were talking about the review since I only see one comment saying they're instead waiting for Arkham Knight.

In general,even since ASM,people draw this comparison,so i rushed to say this.

Posted by Knightsofdarkness2

Seems like an average game, will get it when the price drops

Posted by w0nd

I am having fun with it. Didn't play the first one. I do fight with the camera a lot. I don't recall fighting with a camera this much in the past games, can't tell if it's because it's too close to me so when i land on a wall it spazzes out. the city is bland, but what ever It's not like I am going to be talking to people in it. His one liners aren't delivered well. I prefer Josh Keaton ( for teenage spider-man) , Neil Christopher Daniel Barnes or even Neil Patrick Harris for adult. As much as people disliked shattered dimensions, the voices in that were amazing

Posted by KnightRise

Carnage looks like Carnage, in that he doesn't look interestingly adapted. Kraven looks cool, though.

Posted by GeekBait

I like this game. Only problem I have with it is that the main storyline was too short and there was no Venom and Gwen was nowhere to be seen.

Edited by Hagenti

Exactly what i thought. I'll be picking it up when it drops in price, which probably won't take long.

Posted by Child_Karl

Zero stars?!?!? Hehe.

I've wanted the first game forever (didn't like the film though) but it never dropped below $25 on steam.

That's exactly my position too. It looked like an HD version of Spider-Man 2 (which is all I really want anyway) but the price never quite dropped low enough for me to justify a purchase on a game I wasn't legitimately going to play anyway.

Edited by WebHead93

@geekbait:

Here's hoping for a Maximum Carnage DLC campaign featuring Eddie and more of Felicia

Posted by GeekBait
Edited by PunyParker

@txman210 said:

Other then the voice for Peter Parker being annoying

Thank God im not the only one not digging Donatello as Pete

@w0ndI am having fun with it. Didn't play the first one. I do fight with the camera a lot. I don't recall fighting with a camera this much in the past games, can't tell if it's because it's too close to me so when i land on a wall it spazzes out. the city is bland, but what ever It's not like I am going to be talking to people in it. His one liners aren't delivered well. I prefer Josh Keaton ( for teenage spider-man) , Neil Christopher Daniel Barnes or even Neil Patrick Harris for adult. As much as people disliked shattered dimensions, the voices in that were amazing

Um......they didn't!
SD is concidered one of the best Spidey games out there!

And Neil Patrick Harris is the best at anything.

Posted by WebHead93

@geekbait:

Make it a little more gruesome, have Peter start off tracking and beating Venom, Eddie escapes to get revenge and frees Cletus in the process. Have some nice Spidey/Venom banter, maybe have the Carnage symbiote bond to Peter at one point and have a level all in his head playing off his insecurities.

I'd buy a dlc like that

Posted by Gurbachhan84

Honestly, I'm fan of spiderman comics, games and movies. I played all spiderman games including the amazing spiderman 2 .what I found ? All games are bad!! I expected more things will be in new game but I just waste $64 dollars !!

Posted by GenesisX

I wanted to try out Amazing Spider-Man, but this second game looks very crappy. Makes me feel like I'm not missing out on not getting either of the games. Besides, since that teamup with 2099 and Spidey, these games have just dropped... Never once did you get to explore the city in their team up. All the Spider-Man games while PS2 was still active were great! What happened?

Posted by andy_117

It looks about as good as I expected. Which means I'll probably be buying it.

Posted by DwRonin

Honestly the best spiderman games were the spiderman for playstation one (not the movie version) and the Ultimate spiderman game! Both was a lot of fun and ahead of it's time, awesome voice acting, venom played a huge part and was shown as an anti hero (you even got to play 50% of the game as him in the later) and there were so many great villains and cameos

In spiderman there was, Blackcat, Daredevil, Captain america and the punisher

In ultimate there was the human torch, who you got to race as spiderman! and wolverine who you fought for your first tutorial match as venom! It was great, you're venom and your learning how to throw things so you throw a motorcycle in a bar, turns out it's wolverine's xD

but anyway! Sony you need to take notes of these two wonderful games, this is what the fans want!

Online
Edited by Danial79

Another review I've seen said they used the same game engine as the last game, which already looked dated at the time, so this game didn't stand a chance graphically. Seems Beenox is phoning it in at this point. I know graphics aren't everything, but when you have open-world games like GTA V that have the graphics AND the gameplay, it makes games like this one stick out like sore thumbs.

Posted by ComicStooge

I'll certainly purchase the game eventually.

Posted by Sighburr_Punk

Its a shame, I was really looking forward to the identity crisis skins.