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Review: The Amazing Spider-Man 2 – The Bastard Child of Forgotten Games

by on May 9, 2014 11:00 AM 41

There’s something special about the release of a new game. You’ve heard about it for months, you’ve counted the days down until the developers release a trailer, and when they do, you just stand there in amazement. Even when a game isn’t high on your list, a new release overall makes you pretty darn happy.

When you finally get that new game, something magical happens; it’s a bond that can never be broken, it’s etched in your memory…forever.

Amazing Spider-Man 2 The Game

When I finally got my hands on The Amazing Spider-Man 2, I was like a kid in the candy store — wide-eyed, full of hopes and dreams. Nothing could take away this special moment. So I put that bad boy in my Xbox 360 and let it go.

As the hours became days, my smile of happiness slowly dissolved into tears of confusion and a lifetime of regret; I just did not understand what happened. It’s 2014. This is not supposed to happen.

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 starts off with disappointment from the beginning. When I first started the game, it took forever to load. I would compare it to waiting on lines at Comic-Con, dying of thirst and hunger but you know if you get off that line you’ll never make it to any of the panels you’ve waited for hours to see. Yes it’s that bad. Cue The Hunger Games’ whistle. However, if you happen to have the patience of a solider (Black Ops division) then you’ll discover the magical world of bad graphics and the overall feeling of emptiness as your childhood is destroyed before your very eyes.

Bad isn’t the proper assessment and for this I apologize. It’s as if none of the money was spent on graphics, to be “bad” would require somewhat of an effort. During my gameplay, I experienced Spider-Man fighting on the shoulders of a villain (unintentionally), fighting the air and most oddly right through opponents (watch out X-Men, Spider-Man’s coming for y0ur powers). There is absolutely no excuse for a game to glitch like the 90s in 2014. This took away from the experience of the game so much so I was brought to the brink of tears.

From the start of the game you’re thrown into the world of Manhattan on your own with basic combat moves, web-slinging abilities and your trusty camera to take pictures of crime scenes and bad guys in all its poorly designed glory.

Despite the atrocious graphics there seem to be some fleeting redeeming qualities; unfortunately this is just a facade. This game is heavily based in consequences. Complete a task and you’re rewarded with praise from the media; fail and you’re hated by the police and the public. You’ll start off as Peter Parker with the basic combat moves but this game treats you like a toddler so expect a lot of hand holding. It’s important to mention that everything is based on timed counters and since the game is glitched, timing was like losing your virginity — nothing was in-sync.

However, the more successful you are in combat the more you get to upgrade Spider-Man. Another positive is that unlike The Amazing Spider-Man, this sequel is visually brighter, which is very helpful when being chased by and defeating foes. It’s especially helpful when the game’s camera is unable to keep up with your moves and literally hinders you from completing certain tasks, like rescuing people from a burning building, because you can’t see what you’re doing.

As you web-sling across the city (which will take some mastering to do but happens to be one of my favorite non-glitchy part of the game) you’ll be able to perform some of Spider-Man’s rather impressive repertoire of three moves, as you conquer flying robots and rescue people from moving cars. You’ll also be able to climb on the sides of buildings and discover the joys of free-falling (make sure you take pictures).

While you’ll be swinging through the air and stopping crime, after about 30 minutes all the magic and newness of the game is sucked out like a black hole. What was once fun ends up becoming a repetitious chore. Everything and everyone starts to look the same. Unlike the Spider-Man that we know from previous games, this one has zero personality. The jokes aren’t funny, the person used to voice him is rather annoying and the storytelling is downright boring. Even Aunt May, and I love Aunt May.

Just as it appears no one cared about spending money on the graphics, no one cared about the execution of the game. In between each task, I had to wait what felt like an hour for the game to load — heaven forbid if I died for that would be another 10 minutes of just waiting.

The cutscenes were pointless and really didn’t tell you anything new about the story. The storytelling is downright clunky, and if you don’t complete a task accurately the police will loathe you and they don’t just loathe; they will hinder you from completing certain tasks. What’s worse is that it’s not entirely your fault you couldn’t complete the task the first time because you’re dealing with a game that reacts slowly despite requiring precision and a useless camera.

Speaking of storytelling, there’s a moment in the game that literally makes no sense. The game allows you play as Hero or a Foe and those who like to spice things up will mostly likely play as foe. The genius I thought the game was going to accomplish was the ability to show the ultimate consequence and chaos that would result from playing as Foe.

However, once again this was a letdown, for at the very end you’re forced to right your wrongs, mindlessly repairing the damage. What true villain sees the light? I’m betting the developers didn’t have the budget or just didn’t care to create an alternative ending. Instead of watching the world burn you’re punished by having to spend more tedious hours with this game.

While it’s very easy for me to blame the movie, since this is technically a tie-in game, I can’t even use that excuse. This game has absolutely nothing to do with the movie. It’s as if they skimmed the movie script and just put in random parts. For example Electro is randomly introduced as Max Dillon and then later you’re fighting him as Electro without any explanation whatsoever. On top of that Electro looks nothing like the movie version. Maybe he was confused and just walked into the game?

In all honesty The Amazing Spider-Man 2 should have never been released. It really doesn’t have anything going for it and while video games based off movies generally suck that’s simply no excuse. Spider-Man brings joy to the lives of everyone; he’s fun, nostalgic and full of life. Even with games I couldn’t stand, there was at least something I truly enjoyed that wasn’t ruined in less than 30 minutes. This was like watching a dying animal in pain, waiting to expire.

Where’s the inspiration? The time and care for the love of gaming and gamers? The disaster that was NBA Live 14’ should have been a warning for all developers.  Or maybe, just maybe, Spider-Man games are dead. There’s nothing left to say. The Amazing Spider-Man 2 should be buried next to Uncle Ben, never to be resurrected again.

rated rating-4.0
Review: The Amazing Spider-Man 2 – The Bastard Child of Forgotten Games
  • The Amazing Spider-Man 2
  • Xbox 360
  • Beenox
  • Activision
  • April 29, 2014
  • $59.99
  • Review copy provided by the publisher.

Join the Discussion

  • Anime10121

    Its sad considering Spidy’s my favorite Super Hero (always has been), that good games starring him are so hard to come by :(

    Maximum Carnage
    Separation Anxiety
    Spiderman 2 …

    • Buff Troll Baby

      Don’t forget Ultimate Spider-Man, that game was great.

      • Anime10121

        Never played that one, so I didnt know it was classified as one of the good ones…

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  • truthtellerdealwithit

    I hope after batman Rocksteady give Spiderman a go

    • Mus1ckFPS

      i agree with you, i think if they gave spiderman a go it would come out better

    • Delsin Rowe

      what ? first, batman and spiderman are a different thing. batman is for DC and this useless hero (cough. spiderman) is for the marvel.lol
      i know , you mean they go and make a game for marvel. but i don’t think dc and his beloved hero/villan would let them go
      beside, come on, dc’s story is much better than marvel. :D forget them

      • Anime10121

        Opinions…everybody has them, and I happen to disagree with yours :/

      • Jack Joyce

        I agree, it’s the same as people wanting Rocksteady to make a Superman game.

        If anything they should make a Deathstroke or Green Arrow game.
        They understand the dark feel of the Batman universe and have always stated that they’re huge Batman and DC fans.

        They’d never do a Spiderman game, thank god. They’ll hopefully keep DC video games alive.
        Maybe even help WB Montreal with a few tips on the Suicide Squad game they’re making.

        • Delsin Rowe

          finally , we agree on something.
          i want a deatstroke or green arrow game. more likely deathstroke. i love that person.

          • Jack Joyce

            Dude…I can’t hate a fellow DC fan, in this day and age. Can’t turn on each other.

            Well honestly they’d be awesome doing a Deathstroke or Batman Beyond game.

            With what they’ve learned doing Batman. They’d kick ass at it.

      • Batnut1992

        Ugh Fanboy.

      • Ron Tal

        3 things-
        THE MOVIE=FINE
        THE GAME=TERRIBADD
        YOU=FANBOY

    • Heavenly_King

      Beenox just need to learn of the structure of Arkham games. Sub missions need to be like the ones in Batman, with their own sub-story and boss encounter. And the random events that are in the game known as the “sub-missions” should be just random events because they are soooo LAME and repetitive.

      And for the combat they need to just play Marvel Vs Capcom to see how Spideman should fight.

  • Professor Fate

    Dana’s review is spot on, I bought it for the PS4 and the load times are almost as bad. the graphics are the worst I’ve seen since the early ps3 days, it’s that bad. peter parker has to go to a black tie affair in the game but he’s still wearing the outfit he wears throughout the game- an edgy hoodie and jeans. why? laziness I’m guessing on the developers part. the only thing that looks half good is the sky and Spidey’s suit, but that’s just not nearly good enough. shame on you beenox for releasing this turd. if I buy another spidey game from you it will be a used copy from GameStop at half price. I’m done.

  • Delsin Rowe

    lol. move it along marvel. you and your stupid heroes are really useless. lol both in cinema and video games.

    thanks for the review.

    • dana

      You’re welcome

    • heisenberg_fan

      fanboys -_-

      • Delsin Rowe

        it’s a fact.

        • Batnut1992

          It is not a fact fanboy.

    • Ron Tal

      sucka punchhhhhhhhhhhh

  • Pedestrian

    wow, i was thinking this game sucks, now i have to say i guess it’s really sucks.
    i wasn’t gonna get this anyway because i never cared for movie games or game movies for that matter.

  • Mellow_Butch

    I don’t understand what happens with these games. Typically the actual 3D assets mostly look “AAA”, but then the gameplay sucks. I really wish Rocksteady or SuckerPunch would do a Spiderman game or three.

  • Wildboots

    Dana, you’re a better person than I. I would have given this game a 1, due to everything you said, and that god awful aiming. Ex. in the game you have to fight a boss and his minions, to stop the boss rampage you use a charge shot, to weaken the minions, you need webs. For some reason, the game does not allow you to select your targets, so you end up targeting those closet instead of the one getting ready to attack.

    Whoever thought that was smart should be fired and banned from the gaming development community forever.

    • dana

      The aiming was pretty atrocious but it worked 10% of the time. That’s better than 0% :D

      • Shane Bryan

        10% of the time it works every time?

  • Ritsujun

    rocksteady should be the next Spidey VG developer.

  • SaiyanJedi_Trunks

    I have this for the PS4 and I’m enjoying it.

    • heisenberg_fan

      ik I enjoyed it a lot. Beat it twice and still playing.

  • Tony Polanco

    You’re slowly becoming my favorite reviewer on the site, Dana. I’m glad you pulled no punches! This was great.

  • GrimSword513

    This is such a shame. The screenshots look so good, almost good enough to give the game a go. Though I know it will be a waste of money. Thanks for the review.

    • dana

      you’re welcome

  • Shane Bryan

    such a shame. spidey games always fall flat :( this one also looks like it was made by work experience kids or interns using assets from older games and a 10 year old version of Renderware.

  • Budgiecat

    oop

  • Spyder

    Overall I agree

    But I do have to say, you misinterpreted the “Hero/Menace” mechanic. You aren’t supposed to play as a good guy or bad guy. You are supposed to play as a good guy, and you are punished for failing at that. Which is actually kind of brilliant, and exactly what happens to Spidey. He is a good guy, but New York doesn’t always see that.

    I had fun enough with it, but overall yeah, fairly bad game…

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