Is it really Amazing?

The Amazing Spider Man 2 a sequel to the game adaptation of the reboot of a major comic icon.

When Spider-Man’s Uncle Ben is murdered he devotes his time to tracking down his killer however he soon learns that someone else is hunting down, and killing, criminals. The city is gripped with fear and Spider-Man learns about a far greater evil in the city.

The storyline and missions in this game are completely separate from those in the film. That’s good in terms of not providing spoilers and allowing Beenox some creative license when crafting the story – but it’s one which is told so poorly and simply that it’s hardly a selling point at all – although, compared to the quality of the other components it’s actually one of the highlights. Still, the bulk of the back story is told through hidden collectable items such as cassette tapes around the city so getting the most of the story will take some time.

At first the game seems to be doing well, with perhaps the best ever simulation of web-swinging. Zipping around New York now requires a modicum of real skill, since webs no longer magically stick to thin air and you have to have at least one anchored to a building in order to get anywhere. No other game gives you that same sense of freedom and exhilaration while getting from one place to the next. The slinging mechanic has been updated, and I think it’s the best it’s been since 2008’s Spider-Man: Web of Shadows. You use the right and left triggers to shoot your web, with each trigger controlling an arm.

The rest of the gameplay is quite mediocre. Combat is a half-assed attempt at ripping off the Batman: Arkham series, and the missions fail to take advantage of Spidey’s unique skill set. Instead of missions that encourage you to swing through the city and get into crazy aerial combats, players are once again forced to play inside abandoned buildings, factories and compounds. It’s as if Beenox studios have no idea what makes Spider-Man fun. Throw in a highly unstable camera and dodgy wall-crawling mechanics, and these segments quickly start to feel like a chore. Thankfully, Beenox have made levels short and quick to play through, and the game can be painfully easy, especially the boss battles.

Side missions are quick and easy, but get repetitive quite fast. My favorite activity was taking out Russian gang hideouts, which rewards you with a shiny new suit for Spidey to wear.

Much like the games visuals, the sound is equally forgettable. The voice acting is grating and a little too over the top. The sound effects are nothing special and the music soundtrack remain largely unchanged from previous Spidey games. It’s an all-around lacklustre effort in the audio department.

I wish I could say Spider-Man’s debut on the PS4 was a rousing success. I wish I could say web slinging in between sky scrapers and taking down enemies never felt so good. I wish I could say I enjoyed The Amazing Spider-Man 2. Unfortunately I didn’t. This Spider-Man entry feels rushed, remains largely unchanged from previous Beenox Spider-Man games and the new web slinging mechanic zapped the fun out of arguably the most enjoyable things about Spider-Man games. I am confident the next entry will be vastly improved but for now you need to move along.

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Despite their vastly different power sets and personalities the game is obsessed with copying as much as possible from the Batman games, including interior stealth missions that are hindered by the fact that it’s never entirely clear when you can and cannot be seen. Although all that is far preferable to the feeble collection of other side quests occurring around the city, including rescuing civilians from fires, stopping bank robberies, defusing bombs, and – as Peter Parker – photographing suspicious activity.

The only collectibles of any real interest are the alternative costumes, not just because they’re good fan service but because they slightly alter Spider-Man’s powers and abilities. Although they can only be powered up by completing randomised missions and filling up your ‘Heroic meter’.

Although early trailers of the game painted Kraven the Hunter as a primer mover in the plot he’s really just one amongst many, and the idea of behaving like a traditional superhero or a more selfish anti-hero is never properly explored. All that happens is if you don’t successfully complete a random mission – the same ones used to fill up your Heroic meter – then you get judged a menace, which hardly seems fair.


Formats: PlayStation 4 (reviewed), Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Wii U, Xbox One, PC, and 3DS
Price: £59.99
Publisher: Activision
Developer: Beenox
Release Date: 2nd May 2014
Age Rating: 16