The Amazing Spider-Man PS3 review – Not actually that amazing
It’s playing something like The Amazing Spiderman that makes you realise and appreciate just how good Batman’s Arkham games are. The Dark Knight’s shadow looms large over this: from counter-based combo building combat, to the hero’s gradually disintegrating suit (which ends up revealing way too much Peter Parker flesh in the process BTW).
But while the mechanics of the gameplay are similar there’s a lack of crispness here. It’s enjoyable to swing around Manhattan but uninspired missions and poor variety mean the fun on offer is more of a distraction than all consuming passion.
Things start off… well, oddly. I had an idea the game might begin with you swinging through the city – welcome to Spider-Man: here, go be all Spider-Man-y. Instead you get a first person on-rails section as you’re given a tour of Oscorp’s labs. It’s a long, not very exciting opener where Gwen Stacey talks at you while you look at mutant man-animals being transported and robots being tested. Wait a minute, this is the opening to Deus Ex Human Revolution!
In fact it takes a good while to start the game proper. There’s a mutant outbreak, a bit of fighting indoors and then you leave an infected Gwen at Oscorp to seek out a cure. It’s not really a tutorial, more an extended playable prologue. All of which happens indoors, leaving you feeling less than amazing as you run about a bit and punch people.
This is a movie tie-in that actually takes place after the events of the film so once it’s established the ‘cure Gwen’ plot, you break out Dr Connors (the Lizard) for help and the game really begins – you’re let loose in Manhattan and things finally take off with an open world and a capably rendered city to hurtle through.
Swinging around the buildings and streets is an immediate thrill, although it’s let down by repetitive animation and an on-rails swinging system. Your webs don’t really go anywhere other than ‘above’ and the only real concession to a realistic connection with the world is that you’re kept below the tops of the building. Essentially you’re flying in looping arcs rather than actually swinging.
It can produce some great effects – an early boss battle against a giant robot has you swooping and soaring between buildings as you dodge attacks and battle to reach weak spots. The sense of speed and urgency as you swing around is one of the best bits of the game. There is however a level of safe predictability to it all that over time dulls the thrill. You can’t fall, miss-swing or anything like that. Just hold down R1 and point in the direction you want to go.