Title: The Amazing Spider-Man
Game Type: PlayStation Vita
Download: 3.3 GB
NA Availability: Digital Download | Retail
EU Availability: Digital Download
PSTV Support: Yes
When you think of video games that are based on movies, well, you normally don’t have your hopes up terribly high. Most games based off of movies are bad, dull, and just all-around bad. I remember the NES days when movie games had virtually nothing to do with the actual movie they were based on, other than characters. However, every so often, there is a movie game that shines above the rest. Sometimes, it’s not great, but it can be good. The Amazing Spider-Man is a movie game that turned out good.
Originally released for nearly every other console, the game has finally made it’s way to the PlayStation Vita. How does the game stack up? Is it good? Terrible? Let’s find out.
The plot of this game is actually set after the events of the movie. In the reboot movie, Peter Parker gained his powers through cross-species experimentation and accidents, along with Dr. Conners becoming The Lizard. In the end, Spider-Man cured Conners but the Dr got sent to a mental hospital for trying to assault Manhattan.
In the game, we see a setting several months later, where Gwen Stacy and Peter Parker infiltrate Oscorp, only to find that the cross-species experiments did not stop when Conners was put in the nut house. A massive outbreak occurs and the entire city is becoming infected with a virus that is turning people into Person-Animal monsters, Cross-Species Mutants. Gwen, herself, is infected and is quarantined. Spider-Man then has to race against the clock to contain the damage to the city and find a cure for the virus, with Dr. Alister Smythe concocting his own plans outside of just the infection.
An interesting part of this storyline is that they show Rhino and Scorpion in the game, but in this version of the Spider-Man mythos, they were originally animals who became mutated from a Cross-Species Virus.
The story is good, but not great. I think it would be a pretty decent plotline for The Amazing Spider-Man 2, and I would definitely watch it, but I wouldn’t say it’s the best Marvel has ever come up with for Spider-Man.
The first thing I should mention is something a lot of people care about these days. Length. When I beat the game, I had done a bit of side-mission stuff, but mostly stuck to the main story-line. Going through the normal difficulty, the game took me a little over nine hours to beat. Tied with all of the extra stuff I still haven’t done, I would say that game will probably net you at least 15-20 hours if you want to do and unlock everything, much more if you do multiple playthroughs for different difficulties..
The main premise of the game is based on web-slinging your way around a huge free-roam Manhattan and get to locations and completing goals. Once you do get access to the city, you can pretty much go anywhere you want, but you may want to stick to Story Missions for awhile, since you won’t really be able to do very much until the first few Chapters of the game are finished.
After that, though, you gain access to a lot of side-quests for the game. These include performing actions or duties around the city as they pop up on your map. The sidequests can vary, from protecting citizens whom are getting mugged, taking infected citizens to hospitals or mental patients to police departments, taking photographs for the local media station, or even having a one-on-one clash with Rhino in a Police Parking Lot. Once you get far into the game, there is an immense amount of side-quests you can do.
When you do any of these tasks, or simply attacking and defeating enemies during Story Missions, you gain Experience and can level up, enabling you to get points to Upgrade your character. These upgrades could include resistance to gunfire damage, new web-based abilities, or longer reach for your Web Shots. As you play through the game, you will also unlock new abilities and upgrades that you can level up and maximize to make the game that much easier to play.
Other unlockable items in the game are costumes and Character Biographies. Costumes allow Spider-Man to don a different suit when you’re playing through the game. Some costumes unlock when you progress through the Storyline, whereas others are unlocked through side-missions or other tasks. Also note that costumes can be torn and shredded as Spider-Man takes damage, so if you want to look sharp, you’ll need to go back and re-equip the costume. Character Bios are basically just information for you so you can learn the backstory behind the characters involved with the game’s plot.
Actual Combat relies on the Web Rush system. This is basically a way for Spider-Man to slow down time for a moment and be able to zone in on a target to either use it or attack it, if it’s an enemies. This is something that you will have to use throughout the entire game. It can also be used to easily access new areas with your webbing without being constantly stressed about enemies being right on top of you.
This is the basic premise of gameplay. You can explore the city, do side-missions and Story Missions.
You also have a base of operations, normally your apartment, where you can change your costume, talk to NPCs, replay old Story Chapters, or go back to the city.
The controls of the game are very easy to get used to. There aren’t any forced Touch Controls. While some things can be controlled with the touch screen, such as the Zoom feature on your camera, you can also use button inputs for that. In this example, you can use the Left Analog Stick to zoom in and out with the camera.
The Left and Right Analog control Spider-Man’s walking and camera, respectively. I do believe that is pretty standard for a 3D Vita game. The D-Pad controls a few things. While the Up D-Pad button doesn’t do anything, the Left button enables the camera you acquire in the game, letting you take pictures for the local media. The Right button resets the camera directly behind Spider-Man, and the Down button uses the Web Retreat, which lets you web-sling immediately to an area away from where you’re at. This is mostly used for when you’re surrounded by enemies and are running into trouble.
When you get into a fight, you’ll mostly be using Web Rush and punching. The Web Rush Mode is activated by holding down the L button and you can move the camera to find an object to interact with, whether it be an enemy to attack, a wall to cling to, or a dumpster to toss at a group of enemies. If you’re on the ground, though, Square handles punching and kicking the enemies, while you can tap Triangle to dodge out of the way of incoming attacks. The X Button isn’t used that much in combat, but it’s used to have Spider-Man jump. Lastly, you can hold down the R button to start to web-swing. You can do long swings and slings if you;’re out in the city, whereas the swinging is shorter if you’re inside an enclosed area.
All in all, the controls are not very hard to get used to. Not having any forced Touch Controls is nice, and I never felt awkward, trying to hold the Vita and play the game.
Visuals are an area where the game does both well and not-so-well. You see, it does some things great, but other things not as great as they probably could have been. So, to start off, the character models for most of the major characters look wonderful. Spider-Man, himself, looks really polished and nice. Maybe not as nice as the PS3 version of this game, but he looks pretty. This is overshadowed, partially, at the graphics of the open-world city. The models for cars and buildings look a little less-polished. Spider-Man looks to be in the high-end PS2 category for visuals, whereas the city looks more low-end.
Another thing the visuals cause a problem with is the frame-rate. Now, the game runs smoothly, for the most part. However, in the opening sequence and many cut scenes, you will notice the game’s visuals stutters and jumping every once in awhile, not running so smoothly. This doesn’t happen terribly often, but it happens enough to be noticeable. It can happen in gameplay as well, if there’s a lot of enemies on screen at once. This happens far less than in scenes, but it does happen and it is a bit of a frustration to see, when it does happen. Not enough to break your concentration, but as before, enough to be noticed.
As far as sound and music are concerned, they are pretty balanced out. The music doesn’t drown out the sound effects or voicing and vice-versa. You hear various effects, such as web shooting from Spider-Man’s web shooters to lasers from giant robots that you have to fight in some boss areas. The music, in particular, really fits the superhero game role. It sounds kind of like music I would expect to hear in a movie. While there are some sections that don’t have loud music, I did enjoy listening to the game, as I played it.
As far as replayability is concerned, I am not sure what I can say, other than what I have already said in earlier sections of the review. Trophies, obviously, are a reason for replayability, with trophies for beating the game under each difficulty.
Other than that, there are the side-missions. Rescuing Civilians. Taking photos for the media. Car Chases. Bank Heists. Infected Civilians in need of Medical Aid. Rhino and Scorpion running rampant. There are so many different things to do there that you could take hours of your day just trying to do all of the side-missions on the map. Those are all still there when the game is finished and you can free-roam and do whatever you want.
The most replayability you will get will be doing those side-missions with unlockable abilities, trophies, and costumes as the incentive for wanting to do all of that.
In conclusion, The Amazing Spider-Man is a fun game that takes quite awhile to play, while offering decent replayability. It has some issues with framerate from time to time, but overall, it plays well and gives the Vita a fun free-roam game for quick web-slinging actions.
The PS Vita Review Network rates The Amazing Spider-Man a 7.5/10