We all knew a new Spider-Man game was coming, it was inevitable for two reasons. The first is that Beenox and Activision have managed to release an annual Spider-Man title for the last two years, so it made sense that another was coming. The other reason is that it is almost an unwritten law that for every super-hero movie there must be a video game tie-in. There is a new Spider-Man movie coming out this summer on July 3, so somebody had to do it.
If there is strange group of people that have an oddly specific love for game adaptation of movies, well then in general you have our sympathy. But we have some good news.
The upcoming Amazing Spider-Man game was on display last week at GDC, and while much of it was still under wraps, there was enough to justify a decent level of excitement. Thankfully the game is being developed by Beenox, who have been at work on the movie tie-in for over two years, since before even Shattered Dimensions was released. They know their Spidey, and the demo being shown gave us an idea of what we can expect.
In many ways the game looks like an evolution of the Spider-Man 2 movie adaptation which debuted on the last generation of consoles. That game was fondly remembered by many, mainly because of the ability to roam through the streets and buildings of Manhattan, and simply swing free. If you took the time, you could climb the highest buildings, then freefall for several seconds before using your webs at the last possible moment to send yourself flying over the city. It was an excellent mechanic that was worth the price of the game alone. Which was good, because the rest of the game was meh.
Beenox is bringing back that idea, and once again Spidey will have free reign through the city. Of course, there will be a great deal more to the game. The story will be complimentary to the movie rather than a direct adaptation, but most of that is still being kept quiet. The mechanics were what was on display, and so far they look great.
Spidey will be able to travel through an open-world Manhattan that features multiple side quests and mini-missions, as well as plot-based missions that will be available as the story dictates. To activate these you head to the assigned areas, but that will generally allow you to roam and swing through the recreated city as much as you want.
Along with the free range Spidey, the combat will be somewhat akin to Batman’s fighting style from the Arkham games. Spidey will have the ability to hide in corners and on the ceiling to initiate a stealth attack, or he can get in the middle of a group and brawl. There will also be a handful of environmental objects Spidey can use to his advantage, like hanging crates that are conveniently placed above the heads of enemies. The web shooters will also play a role and as you may have seen in the movie trailers they will be mechanical, which will create certain specific gameplay features that will be revealed later.
The demo also gave a brief glimpse at one of the enemies, The Rhino, and another was just announced, The Iguana. How these two fit into the story is still a mystery.
The game won’t be released until June 26, so the version we were shown is not a finished product. Much of what is going to be in the final game is still being kept under wraps. The good news is that the combat system seems to be an evolution of the work Beenox has already shown, and it will be reminiscent of Batman—and this is a good thing. The other thing is that Manhattan will once again be open to exploration and to simply travel around in as it was back in the Spidey games of yore. We’ll remain cautious about this movie tie-in game, but so far Beenox seems to be on top of it.