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Amazing Spider-Man 2: Swinging nowhere

Hayden Dingman | June 2, 2014
Sorry true believers—this Spider-Man game is just as disappointing as all the other Spider-Man games have been for the last decade or so.

Roll film
Where Amazing Spider-Man 2 is not on par with anything worth playing recently is in the actual game part. This is where those "impossible standards" come into play. I'm not going to argue that Amazing Spider-Man 2 is any worse than the original Spider-Man 2. But that's not a high bar.

Amazing Spider-Man 2 has far too much in common with the movie tie-in games of old. Bad camera, bad lip-syncing, bad models, bad mission design--it's all present here.

Side quests are universally abysmal. Many of them are the same rote, quicktime event-infested tedium we've seen in other Spider-Man games--stop the fleeing car full of criminals!--except here you have to load into them. You swing to a location, hit a prompt to start the mission, and then sit and wait for the scene to load instead of having the events trigger organically in the world. You already won't want to do the missions because they're boring, but you doubly won't want to do them when you have to sit through a loading screen each time.

Too bad. You have to do them. If you don't, Spidey's reputation goes down and you're targeted by hit squads that make it an enormous pain to just swing around the city. Apparently "not stopping a crime" is equivalent to "endorsing crime." It's asinine, and makes the game tedious even if you're just there to run through story content.

And the story? For some baffling reason Marvel or Beenox or Activision or whoever decided the story shouldn't really match the story of the film. Maybe they got gun-shy after Amazing Spider-Man spoiled the film for certain players?

Whatever the case, you're left with an utterly forgettable tale that mostly concerns a bunch of iconic villains doing the least iconic things possible. Some of my favorite villains make an appearance in this game, but they're given short shrift by lackluster writing and acting.

Another thing: Apparently this game, despite being an official tie-in, couldn't secure rights to any of the actors. Neither likenesses nor voices are present here. This results in an awkward situation where, for instance, Spidey sounds a lot like Tobey Maguire instead of Andrew Garfield, and Gwen Stacey doesn't even appear in the entire game. It's explained away with so much hand-waving.

No, it doesn't really make sense.

Bottom line
Sorry, true believers. I know you're holding out hope for a great Spider-Man game, but this isn't it. It's good for a few hours of web-swinging entertainment if you need a fix, but by no means does it recapture the magic. (That won't stop me from getting my hopes up the next time a Spider-Man game comes around, though.)


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