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06-07-2012, 12:07 AM #1
The Amazing Spiderman : Game Preview
I've been burned by Spider-Man games before, but The Amazing Spider-Man game Beenox is working on looks, well, amazing. And is all starts with web-slinging. The camera's tighter on Spidey as he swings through the open world New York so you really feel the buildings zoom by, the costume bursts with color, and the way he twirls and tumbles through the air is a stage show in itself.
I have no idea what the overarching story will be for The Amazing Spider-Man, but I don't care. I just want to swing.
Now, this is a movie tie-in game, but so was Spider-Man 2 and everyone loved that title. Rather than retell the flick, The Amazing Spider-Man picks up days after the end of the movie and gives Peter Parker a run for his money with villains such as Rhino and Scorpion (revealed in the exclusive trailer embedded in Up at Noon above). As this is occurring in the movie universe, Beenox is trying to ground the characters in reality and give them outfits that fit the world (hence why Felicia Hardy looks like a real cat burglar in the trailer). It's even coming to the PC.
But I'm getting off track. Playing The Amazing Spider-Man is where it really shines. People flipped when Beenox’s Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions and Spider-Man: Edge of Time didn't feature an open world. This time Beenox is unleashing Spider-Man, giving the developer a chance to have Spider-Man swing around New York -- and like I said, it's awesome, but there's more to it than that.
Beenox gets Spidey. Half of any Spider-Man game worth it's webs pays attention to what's happening when you're not swinging or fighting. Acrobatic aerial moves, swan dives, somersaults, vaults, stylish dodges, they all look great and comic-panel accurate as Peter web-slings his way around the city or beats up the bad guys. If the whole game plays like the demo, we could finally have a successor to the triumph that was Spider-Man 2.
The camera puts you right on Spidey's back, but the moves at your disposal also make you a smarter Spider-Man. You know how in these games you take Spider-Man to the top of the Empire State building and then try to get on the tip of the antenna but inevitably Spider-Man wigs out on the way up or the camera shifts and you start walking the wrong way? How Spider-Man looks like a bumbling idiot trying to get to the tip of a flagpole? Web Rush does away with that.
With Web Rush, time slows down and we get to see possible points Mr. Parker can zoom to -- traffic lights, water reservoirs and more all light up on the screen. You just pick one and Spider-Man shoots over to it. It's an elegant solution to navigating New York like the superhero we all know.
Watching Casey and Greg play Spider-Man for a few minutes made me want to play hours of it. The style and momentum of Peter Parker's swing lets him cover a lot of ground in a cool way. I could do that forever. Also, I guess you fight guys?
And there's a lot of ground to cover in NYC. Comic book collectables are all over the place, and Peter's smartphone acts as the navigation system and calls out the side missions such as police chases and helicopters in need of assistance. Story missions pop up here, too, but the only one I saw was a fight with Rhino. You dodge him when your Spider-Sense goes off. It's not that different from every other Rhino fight in a Spider-Man game except it looks cooler.
However, Spider-Sense isn't the same old thing -- at least in hand-to-hand combat. This time around, it's a lot like the Dark Knight's reversal system in Batman: Arkham Asylum and Arkham City. When an enemy is about to attack, the sense goes off and Spider-Man has the chance to reverse the move. Just like the Arkham games, it's intuitive and made me feel like a badass.
The one combat red flag? Guns. I know Spider-Man shouldn't be running headlong into gun fights, but after I got the feel of combat, that's what I ended up doing and getting decimated. It was frustrating, but I'm pretty sure it's user error. I didn't get a real tutorial for this part, so I was trying to apply the same ideas to a different situation. I'm giving Beenox the benefit of the doubt that -- just like Batman: Arkham Asylum's combat -- I should've been attacking from the shadows or an elevated position.
So, yeah, The Amazing Spider-Man is slick. There could be a bit more detail in some of the environments, it's a bummer the movie cast isn't doing the voices, and who knows about the quality of the story, but I'm still really excited. Tentatively excited. I remember Spider-Man: Edge of Time.