Amazing Spider-Man Review: This Open World Action Adventure Is Good, But Not Great
|App Name:||The Amazing Spider-man|
|Release Date:||June 28, 2012|
When I heard that Gameloft was producing a new Spider-man game, I was optimistic. Gameloft previously produced the excellent Spider-Man: Total Mayhem, and I thought this game would be a lot like that one. The Amazing Spider-Man is not the same game as Spider-Man: Total Mayhem, though. It’s an open world questing game, and while it doesn’t play out as well as the previous Spider-Man game did, it’s still a fun way to spend a couple of hours with your iPhone.
The Amazing Spider-Man is a movie tie-in, and not the first such license Gameloft has done (not even the first superhero license – remember Iron Man 2?). As such, the game shares the design, Spider-man costume, and basic plot with the film coming out next week.
Instead of a level-based game, this is an open-world quest game built largely like Gameloft’s Gangstar 3. You won’t be progressing through harder and harder levels and facing off against a rogue’s gallery of Spidey villains, as you did in Spider-man: Total Mayhem; instead, you’ll be swinging from waypoint to waypoint and quest to quest, accomplishing tasks, beating up a whole lot of thugs, and stumbling upon other thugs committing crimes as you go.
The open-world design is actually my favorite part of the game. I loved swinging around this recreation of a city center, loved jumping around and crawling up buildings, loves doing running somersaults over taxiabs. The city setting is actually a star in this game. I just wish that swinging were a little less chaotic and easier to control, especially on the small iPhone screen; but after awhile I got practiced enough that is wasn’t an issue.
I do wish the plot hadn’t been so constrained by the movie tie-in, though. I would have much preferred a more action-oriented romp through the rogue’s gallery, or at the very least some more intimidating thugs like AIM or Hydra or Skrulls, than I did this street-level foiling of thugs and goons, over and over again. Some interior action would also have been nice, instead of everything happening outside on a sunny day in the streets of Times Square got a little bland.
Also a little bland is the combat. The basic engine appears to be taken from Spider-man: Total Mayhem, but here many of the combos are executed automatically, or conditional on certain situations. You’ll mostly be mashing one attack button, with the occassional tap of the Spidey Sense (dodge) or Web Slinging buttons. Between the continuous use of street thugns as bad guys and the rather mindless nature of combat, the game does feel a bit grindy at times.
I really liked how this game looked on the iPhone 4S. The Spider-man skin looks phenomenal and tightly detailed, and when you’re swinging through it, the city really looks great (don’t examine some of the textures too closely, though). The incidental bad guys and random citizens look pretty generic, though, and you’ll quickly notice that there’s only a handful of skins liberally reused.
All in all, this is not the better Gameloft Spider-Man game, but it is by no means a bad game. In terms of movie tie-ins, it’s perfectly playable and gives you a chance to sling some webs on your iPhone or iPad. I don’t know that I like the $6.99 price point, however; this one might be worth waiting for a sale.
Our Score: 3.5 out of 5
Today's Best Free Apps
Do you know that dozens of highly rated paid apps briefly go free every week? Discover the best of daily free apps on our Best Free Apps page.