E3 2012: The Amazing Spider-man looks good, but how well it plays is still a mystery

Spider-man does not regularly do everything a spider can in his video game outings. The guy can’t really spin a web any size, just a series of pre-determined sizes mixed in with a bunch of punches and kicks. That pretty well describes Beenox’s games like Spider-man: Shattered Dimensions and Edge of Time. The E3 2012 demo of its latest game based on this summer’s movie The Amazing Spider-man is more liberal with how much it lets you engage in spider activities though.

Dee Brown, the studio head of Beenox not the diminutive Boston Celtics legend, walked Peter Parker through his paces during the E3 demo, discussing how the game is intent on making the player feel like Spider-man rather than a guide pushing around a game character with a controller. The camera hugs Spidey so closely as he swings around the game’s open Manhattan that it’s almost uncomfortable, but the proximity does make for a potent connection to the character.

The game’s “Web Rush” feature also helps give the game a more authentic feel. Past sandbox-style games like Spider-man 2 approximated swinging on a web from a building well but not the acrobatic litheness of Spidey himself. Web Rush meanwhile lets you move around the environment swiftly, targeting parts of the building highlighted with specific maneuvers. Don’t just walk over to a building, check it out in Web Rush and then seamlessly flip over in a series of wall runs and jumps. Stringing these together seems to be the game’s best quality.

It’s tough to say how well controlling the game feels though since Activision wasn’t letting people play the game at E3 2012, pretty unusual considering the game releases on June 26th. Without knowing just what the game’s objectives or how well it controls, it’s difficult to say that The Amazing Spider-man is a very good looking game that seems like it captures the kinetic pleasures of the character.

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