If you knew anything about me, you would probably notice that I am a huge Spider-Man fan. I have multiple posters in my room, multiple Marvel movie ticket stubs, and heck, I’m even sipping from a Spider-Man mug right now. Needless to say, I was very excited to play Beenox’s latest Spider-Man game, The Amazing Spider-Man 2 for Xbox One. Usually I worry about playing a movie related game, but he is my favorite hero. Even if it’s an average game, you should be able to see past its flaws, right? After playing the fairly short campaign, I have to say that this Xbox One iteration of the web-slinger should have been squashed.
When you first meet in the game world, the opening sequence is a summary of Uncle Ben’s death from the first movie. Of course, it can be difficult to recognize who the characters are just by how different they look from the source material. Here, Peter Parker looks more like Charlie Day from It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, especially with the jacket they have him wearing. The opening scene is a total filler and adds nothing to the overall story.
Speaking of history, it’s a complete disaster. I understand that it is a movie link, and the developers may not get the full script for the accompanying movie, but at the end of the day, the plot here is too difficult to follow. The movie itself is already taken, but when the game adds its own villains from the comics to the movie, the main antagonists of the movie take a back seat.
My main problem with the main storyline followed by the game is that it completely omits Gwen Stacy from the entire experience. Gwen is Peter Parker’s greatest ally, and in the Amazing Spider-Man 2 movie she plays a huge role. I don’t understand why we needed Uncle Ben, who’s not even in the movie, more than we needed Gwen Stacy. Just a little head scratching, but one of many problems with the intricate storyline.
Once you get used to the scrambled plot, you’ll realize how much fun the dialogue is. Unfortunately, this is not good. What I mean is that the dialogue could have been written by a four-year-old. My favorite exchange is when Peter Parker first meets dangerous hunter Kraven in his posh New York apartment. Kraven explains how he fought an adult tiger and how angry he is to see endangered animals hunted and killed. Meanwhile, directly behind Kraven is a tiger skin adorning his sofa.
Fortunately, the gameplay itself isn’t that hopeless. Spider-Man moves with incredible agility and the launch of a web is now assigned to the left and right triggers. There are minor issues, like the need to be precise while traveling, but the game’s ‘Web Rush’ mode helps with that. The city feels more alive than in previous Spidey games, but ultimately it’s still a poor man’s GTA. Honestly, the most fun I had with the game was not the combat, I just moved from one side of the city to the other.
When the punches finally start to happen, you’ll notice how clunky the entire combat system actually is. With Amazing Spider-Man 2, Beenox attempts to copy the outstanding melee combat of Rocksteady’s Batman titles. What you’ll get here is sloppy, broken, and flawed anarchy. I fought the camera harder than any of the bad guys. Even with the clunky views and floating combat, the game was never a challenge. Throughout the short six-hour campaign, I managed to die only once and that’s because my controller’s batteries died.
When you are not busy fighting random gangsters on the street, you will have to face some of the most famous adversaries of the cobweb thrower. During boss fights, you will rarely have anything to worry about with its mechanics. It all comes down to mostly dodging the incoming assault, then hitting the attack button until you win. Of course, like Arkham City, once you defeat a boss, you will unlock new gear for your hero. Ionic grids and seismic blasts to be exact, both abilities are just ways to defeat cannon fodder later in the game and both are incredibly boring.
If the story and combat weren’t enough to make you shut down your console, the heinous in-game visuals could. While playing the game on Xbox One, I felt this game was more on par with a PlayStation 2 launch title. Mouths are out of sync, clothing has fewer pixels than Pong, and the environment looks like something out of Rampage on the Nintendo. 64. The visuals don’t usually make a game great, but when the other aspects of this title are so bad, the confusing graphics builds up on top of the other problems and the result is a game that is, in a word, garbage. The first Amazing Spider-Man game that came out in 2012 looks better than this game running on Xbox One!
Like I said earlier, this game is a movie link and we can’t expect GOTY material from it, but with a starting price of $ 60, I can’t find any reason to justify the price. The only positive thing I can say about The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is that the game includes a ton of unlockable costumes for Spider-Man and there is a fairly diverse selection. Since developer Beenox is only making a really useful Spider-Man game, it might be time someone else took over. Stay away from this Xbox One title.