As a long time fan of the Spider-Man games and movies, it’s been a long wait for The Amazing Spider-Man 2, a wait that almost wasn’t worth it.
Beenox has been handling the Spider-Man franchise over the last few years to varying degrees of success. The release of The Amazing Spider-Man back in 2012 was well received and left many fans looking forward to what would come in the future.
Unfortunately, whilst the bar was set pretty high with their first outing in the new series, The Amazing Spider-Man 2 doesn’t quite match up to its predecessor. The story is without a doubt a mess that seems to have been clobbered together without any reasonable thought for character development or any sense of meaningful story telling.
The plot is a little loose in it’s story telling, with a seemingly clobbered together plot. It’s not ideal nor is it particularly great, but it gets the job done and gives you a sense of purpose as you swing your way around the city, beating down on the bad folks.
Whilst the story may not be of a high standard, it’s a nice touch to see some fan-favourites make an appearance, as well as characters from the movie. However, any and all characters from the movie are not voiced by their on-screen actors which isn’t the biggest thing in the world, but it would help maintain some sense of continuity.
Graphically, The Amazing Spider-Man 2 isn’t what you would expect from the powerhouse machine that is the PlayStation 4. There are glimpses of what it could be, but for the most part it’s just another last-gen port with a few minor graphical upgrades that aren’t all too noticeable to the average consumer.
That’s not to say that swinging your way around the fantastically re-created New York city isn’t fun, it’s a hell of a lot of fun. The web-swinging mechanics have had an overhaul, resulting in a much more satisfying rush when you’re flying between skyscrapers or swinging down as low as you dare into oncoming traffic. The city looks great with it’s lavish buildings that draw the eye from afar, the iconic yellow cabs ferrying their passengers along the bustling New York City streets, the city’s inhabitants moseying about their own business, it all looks good, from afar.
It’s when you get up close and personal that things take a dive, you’ll notice straight off the top that buildings are as detailed as you’d think they would be and character models look a little rough on closer inspection. With all that said, it’s still a pleasure to throw yourself off the top of a building and fall into a graceful swing as you arc around a corner at speed, it’s those moments that make you feel like an absolute legend.
There are some downfalls though, whilst the web-swinging may be a satisfying feature, the web-zipping leaves much to be desired. On more than one occasion I found myself on the point of snapping my Dualshock 4 controller due to the downright frustration that comes with the web-zip feature, hindered in no small part by the dodgy camera. The camera wasn’t the best in the The Amazing Spider-Man but it was serviceable, this time around it’s just a bloody mess. Trying to navigate through a building? You’ll spend a lot of time trying to get your bearings as the camera either gets stuck on a wall behind you, or just straight up has a spaz attack and leaves you looking straight down at Spidey like it was GTA 2.
A redeeming quality for The Amazing Spider-Man 2 lies in it’s combat. The already fluid combat seen in the previous entry has been re-vamped, bringing some fresh animations that really are as fluid as you could wish. Spidey’s actions seem believable as well as the bad guys reactions when you land a kick straight in the suckers chest. There’s a ton of combos to pull off, but the real challenge is mastering the flowing combat, it’s all too easy to mash the buttons but to do so flawlessly without getting hit once; priceless.
Despite the negatives, The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is still a decent game by anybody’s standards and it does offer a lot of replay value in the form of collectibles, as well as a nod towards Spider-Man creator Stan Lee who has more than a walk-on part in the game, a nice bit of fan-service on Beenox’s part.
If you, like me, are a long time Spider-Man fan then this is an essential purchase, even if it is just to play as Spider-Man once more, but be prepared to encounter some serious issues with the controls, and don’t expect it to be a graphical showcase of what the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One are capable of, it looks good, but it could look a lot better. If it’s a deep and engaging tale you’re looking for, you’ll be left hungry come the stories conclusion. All in all, it’s an average game that has moments of brilliance, plighted by numerous graphical issues as well as some of the poorest storytelling the series has seen.
Have you played The Amazing Spider-Man yet? What were your thoughts? Let us know down in the comments section below.
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