written by Justin Prince (@prince_justin)
ED NOTE: I reviewed the PS4 version of the game
Sometimes you have to take movie-tie-in games with a grain of salt. It’s a proven fact that video games developed to cash in on movies never sit at the top of any gamer’s list of best games, but sometimes you can turn off your brain to enjoy something. Spoilers… but even with your brain turned off, I can’t image you enjoying The Amazing Spider-Man 2. Now you must be asking me, “why would you even play it?” Call it optimism, call it hope, call it masochism. But if you were a gamer during the PS2/Xbox era, there was a very good movie tie in game, ironically it was Spider-Man 2, based on the second Spidey film in the original trilogy. So, I guess I was hopeful.
Based on the movie with the same name, the game doesn’t seem to follow the events of the movie at all. It starts with Peter Parker experiencing the death of his Uncle Ben and the tutorial missions involve chasing down his killer. The narrative is this mixed up mess of events involving far too many villain cameos and horrendous voice acting. Spidey name-stays like Kingpin, Kraven the Hunter, and even Black Cat make an appearance. But much like the film (which boasts a disappointing 54% ROTTEN rating on RT) multiple villains seem to bog down the game more than help it. New York is enthralled in a gang war involving two separate factions stealing Oscorp tech, all the while a serial killer dubbed the “Carnage Killer” (yes it is who you think it is) leaves a string of dead criminals peppered all over the city.
The combat proves that sometimes imitation isn’t enough to make a good mechanic. Spidey fights very much like Batman in the critically acclaimed Arkham series of games. One button is used to attack while another (thanks to the hero’s spidey sense) allows you to dodge and counter attack. While racking up a combo in the double digits is difficult and rewarding in Arkham, hitting a 20+ combo is far too easy and overall sloppy in The Amazing Spider-Man 2. Battles are boring and while enemy variations do force you to tackle different enemy types strategically, it’s never beyond a button mash heaven. This is a cheap and horribly put together knock off of the Arkahm battle system, like finding a PLEATHER Gucci Bag for $20 at a swap meet, except this game is a full priced nightmare.
Every time you enter/leave an area outside of the main open world, a screen prompts you to make sure you want to enter, the first time isn’t that much of a problem but when it asks you every time you enter or leave, it’s like a meek lover always asking you “is this okay honey?” Did anyone even playtest this? Or did the developers decide that cashing in on the property was enough to satisfy their sales quota. The game clearly lacks any sense of polish, The Amazing Spider-Man 2 would look like shit on the PS2 and the fact that this game is available on current/last gen consoles is appalling. It seems like they blew their entire budget on rendering Spidey that in regards to everything else they were like “f*ck it!” It could have been a slight bump in score if the game even LOOKED good regardless if it played good, but everything about this package just screams steaming pile of dog shit I can’t fathom recommending this to anyone.
The only enjoyable aspect of the game is web-slinging. It’s very satisfying to swing around the city as Spider-Man. Each trigger button corresponds to a different web-shooter on the corresponding hand. If this game was about swinging around New York, it would be a 5 in my eyes… but unfortunately that isn’t the case. One good aspect amongst garbage is still garbage.
The developers really missed the mark with this game, and especially with how stellar they have been in the past with the Spidey franchise; it’s disappointing to see such a horrendous game released to the public. I can’t recommend this game, even to Spidey fans, it’s garbage and isn’t even worth the RedBox rental fee
+ Spidey's character model at least looks good
- Too many villains
- horrendous voice acting