The Amazing Spider-Man 2
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 isn't a complete disaster, and I can easily see fans of Spidey enjoying it at a deep discount. It's just a shame that Beenox somehow got worse at making Spider-Man games over time, and that the powers that be insist on rushing them as movie tie-ins. Somehow, someway -- we will get our Arkham of Spider-Man games again. Until then, you can just pick up a used copy of 2004's Spider-Man 2.
After four years with the license, Beenox has yet to deliver a truly ground-breaking Spider-Man experience. Yet, despite not having that "Arkham" effect, this latest movie tie-in is still worth a punt. It may be a little rough around the edges and could have done with more substance, but it's still fun for a good few hours and ideal for younger gamers.
You don't need to be the clairvoyant Madame Webb, who first appearance was Amazing Spider-Man 210, to know that Amazing is anything but. The various game crashes, audio glitches, and unceasing loading make up an additional catalog of do-not-want, but it's really just how diminished Spider-Man is that hurts. The anemic plot and the oft-repeated zingers give us a pencil sketch of the great Spider-Man, when he deserves to be inked and colored.
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 continues to swing with energy, but you can see some of the strain peeking out of his suit. Between the glitches from rushed development and some unnecessary gameplay segments (go…away…Peter!), it's not nearly as good as Beenox's other efforts. Here's to hoping that for the next game, Activision lets this team run wild on something inventive and new. Certainly couldn't hurt this web-slinger's chances.
Let me put it to you this way. I actually stopped playing The Amazing Spider-Man 2 to do some other work. I'd play a mission, decide I couldn't take any more and go do something else instead, just to get away from it. Quite frankly, that's the opposite of what a game should be.
While a lot of The Amazing Spider-Man 2 fails to impress, there is a decent amount of potential to be had in this Beenox product. It is clear that Beenox is a talented developer, but being forced into developing a movie-game that has a predetermined release date is a near impossible situation for anyone. Here's to hoping that brighter futures are in front of Beenox. If not, there will most certainly be a new Amazing Spider-Man heading our way in a few years.
After some of the forward progress made by Beenox themselves, The Amazing Spider-Man 2 feels like a step backwards for the franchise and for the viability of open-world superhero games in general. It's not really a game that's broken, and at times, it's quite beautiful, but it's also far too happy with itself being so astoundingly average. Those who absolutely need their web-swinging fix may find themselves with just enough web-fluid to see it through. But for everyone else, they may find themselves walking away from a Spidey-suit-filled trashcan, whispering, "I'm Spider-Man… no more."
Amazing Spider-Man 2 does little to dispel the negative reputation that licensed video games have garnered over the years, coming across like a project that was kicked out of the studio doors to coincide with the movie's release. Swinging freely around New York feels liberating, but without engaging combat and missions to back this up, the game feels like little more than another half-baked cash-in.