The Amazing Spider-Man
Platforms: Wii, Wii U, 3DS, 360, PS3, PC
When it comes to superheroes, Spider-Man is probably about the only one who actually had some notably good video games prior to 2009's Batman: Arkham Asylum setting the bar for superhero games a whole lot higher.In fact, The Amazing Spider-Man was clearly "influenced" by the Dark Knight's Arkham outings. But hey, that's not a bad thing. If you are making a video game based on a popular superhero, that would be the game series to take from. In other words, if you are a Spider-fan who has dreamed of an Arkham style game starring Marvel's wisecracking webslinger, your dream has come true.
The game as the title suggests was released as a tie-in to the 2012 summer blockbuster of the same name. Like all the best movie tie-in games, the voices in this game were done by....people that aren't the actors from the movie. And Nolan North, because you can't make a game these days without him voicing one of the characters. Well okay then. But minus that little blemish in presentation, the voicework overall was fine and the actors do give decent enough performances.
Despite the game being a tie-in, the story in it takes place sometime after the events of the movie. Hell, even the way it opens is reminiscent of Arkham Asylum. You start off as Peter being taken on a tour of a new branch of the Oscorp facility by Gwen and some Oscorp staff, complete with a scene with Rhino hassling the facility's security before being in the same way Killer Croc did in the opening of Arkham Asylum. Anyway it turns out the facility is continuing the experiments of Dr. Curt Connors by injecting animals with human DNA and creating creatures in the process called "Cross-Species". As you would guess things inevitably go wrong and the Cross-Species all go berserk and escape and now they are loose in the city and it's up to Spidey to stop them while investigating Oscorp's suspicious new head director.
The reason why I keep bringing up Arkham Asylum is because The Amazing Spider-Man is so similar that I really could not help but be constantly reminded of it while playing. In the game, Batman's "Detective Mode" is replaced by "Web Vision" which allows Spider-Man to scan a room using Spider-sense for enemies, as well as to help him parkour better. Also ASM has a similar system for upgrading abilities and gaining new ones.
But the similarities between The Amazing Spider-Man and Batman Arkham are the strongest in its combat system. The combat system is literally identical (albeit slightly rougher around the edges) to the Batman Arkham Freeflow Combat system. Basically during a fight with a crowd of enemies you mash the attack button over and over while pressing the Counter Button when you see the cue appear above Spider-Man's head (though I guess it makes more sense for Spider-Man to be able to counter enemies from unseen angles due to his Spider-sense). Getting consecutive hits will increase your Combo Count number and after a while of keeping the combo going Spider-Man can pull of special finishers.
There are also segments in the game just like Arkham that are very Stealth-oriented where you have to sneak around the room taking out enemies one-by-one using stealthy takedowns. If you get caught, you have to use your web to swing around the room until you confuse the bad guys and they lose track of you.
ASM is an open-world sandbox style game, so if you want to take a break from the story there are plenty of side missions and quests to complete around the city as is standard with open world games.
Graphically the game looks pretty okay. Could have been better with better textures but it gets the job done. My only complaint is the pop-ups. I suppose that's bound to happen in any open world game especially one featuring a massive sandbox but sometimes the pop ups can be pretty bad. I've had it to where buildings did not appear until I was practically touching them so it can be somewhat glitchy in that regard.
All in all though the game is a pretty good time for what it's worth (though it does seem slightly overpriced at the moment in my opinion). It's probably the fact that it took pages from the best superhero game this generation is where most of the enjoyment stems from. Regardless of whether you loved or hated the reboot, the game should prove to be a treat if you are a Spider-Man fan or just want a good Batman Arkham-esque game....to keep you busy until Arkham Origins.