Does whatever a videogame can.
Gameloft are no strangers to Spider-man, having released the excellent Ultimate Spider-man game on iOS back in 2010, but this time they're taking the web-slinger's latest movie on with Amazing Spider-man. Have they managed to spin a good movie licensed game? Read on to find out.
When you think about good Spider-man games, most people often cite the open world swinging of the PS2 and Xbox game Spider-man 2 as the pinnacle of Spidey's gaming career. While Amazing Spider-man doesn't quite live up to that game, it does a pretty good impression of the open world maps and provides some great moments.
The game follows the early career of Peter Parker and his alter-ego, featuring characters and villains from the new movie in the process. The story moves along at a fair pace, with scientists to rescue and jobs to do before being thrown into the challenging battles with some of Spidey's rogues gallery. The first missions help you learn the ropes, but the game never goes out of its way to explain the movement or fighting mechanics, which can mean that you'll be learning by trying it all out on the spot.
These story elements aren't forced upon you, though and they're selectable at any time, dotted around a big map of New York City. Other missions are also available, either on the map or just by finding them while swinging around. If you're like me you'll be doing the latter a lot. It's impressive just how much space Gameloft have provided to swing around in, but a few sacrifices have had to be made to keep the motion fluid while swinging through the air.
Graphically, the game really does vary depending on what device you own. I've played Amazing Spider-man on an iPhone 4S, iPad 3 and iPod 4, with the latter really struggling to keep up, despite a drop in the quality of the framerate and a noticeably shorter draw distance. The newer devices are far more impressive, though. All version suffer clipping and hastily drawn in detail as you get closer to buildings, but these are forgivable given the enormity of the game area. Pedestrians are also lacking, though there are a few walking around the street, ready to announce their wonderment at meeting you or screaming on cue as you tackle another bad guy.
Random battles are numerous, being pointed out by a slow-mo shot as you swing past, giving you the option to dive in via a quick web-shoot. They're useful for increasing XP points which, in turn, will allow you to upgrade Spidey's powers. The upgrade tree is an interesting addition which gives you a choice of several areas to upgrade, from strength to speed and power, as well as the ability to gain more XP at a faster speed. 'prices' go up as the powers grow stronger, leading to a fair progression which will give you something to keep playing for in between the story elements. There's even a chance to gain the black spider-man suit, though you're going to have to work hard to gain the XP needed for it.
One thing that annoyed me a little while playing is the small buttons used for the web-slinging and attacks. It's all to easy to slip off the control and press an area of the screen next to this instead, missing a crucial blow during battle or watching your Spider-man plummet as he misses a web-swing. It doesn't happen all the time and it's not a major issue, but I'd have liked some flexibility in button placement and slightly bigger buttons all the same.
Generally, though, Amazing Spider-man is a great game which has plenty going for it, not least the ability to swing around New York, taking photos of your actions and trying to reach the highest buildings before playing chicken with the ground.
Amazing Spider-man is a surprisingly good attempt at bringing an open-world web-slinger game to iOS. While the game engine can't always handle the task without the occasional hiccup and controls aren't always responsive in the heat of battle, it still feels as if this is the game Spider-man fans have waited for.
- Sound: 8
- Graphics: 8
- Gameplay: 8
- Longevity: 8
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