Spiderman: The Movie
Those who played the first Spider-Man game will probably have been impressed by its comic book exuberance and irked by its tricky camera and general simplicity. It was a good game but beset by a few niggly problems. So, have they fixed it for this, the unofficial third game in the series? Almost.
For starters, don't even consider buying this if you don't have an analogue pad with as many buttons as a PS2's. They've made the camera controllable this time, but at the expense of adding more keys, and trying to control everything via a keyboard is just plain impossible. Mouse support is included, thankfully, and a lot of fiddling around with the default keys eventually produces something a little more comfortable, but it still lacks that console pad precision it was so obviously designed for.
And yet, if you can get past this you can admire a game that complements the movie effectively while improving on its predecessors. Gone, primarily, is the graphical fogging, replaced by a broad view of New York City's streets, which is splayed out before you as you swing around on a much more manoeuvrable webline. Difficulty levels have also been improved with new fight combos to discover and a points-purchase secret-system to lengthen play.
While it's a great game in theory, it still needs a little bit more tightening in the technical and control departments. Getting past that, though, I still found the wall-crawling action enjoyable. It's a game that often feels like it's been put together with enthusiasm, and that can only reflect well on the player despite its faults.
Download Spiderman: The Movie
If you are laboring under the delusion that Spiderman resembles a shooter, think again. The bad guys have guns, you don't. But you got da moves! To call it a third person fighting game on steroids would risk understatement. The web dimension changes the way the player moves, fights, and thinks. Walk forward into a wall and the next thing you know, you are climbing up it. Escape an enemy's attack by zipping up and sticking to the ceiling. Before you know it, you are climbing and zipping yourself all over New York, while the villains scratch their heads and reload.
As the story progresses, you learn to combine keys like punch, kick, and jump into combo moves that help vanquish the baddies. Besides basic fighting methods, there are also unconventional methods of attack like spraying your enemies with web to immobilize them. The environment contains many breakable and interactive objects like furniture, propane canisters, and automobiles, which may all be thrown'yes, even the cars'at adversaries.
The Achilles heel that keeps cropping up long after you've been drawn into the game is the camera control. You assume that the camera will sort of follow around in back of you, but it seems to fly all over the place uncontrollably when you turn. The resulting disorientation may give a foe an underserved advantage.
Besides being a nice complement to the Spiderman movie, the game will positively have you climbing, jumping, and bouncing off the walls. At times it feels like a low altitude flight sim. Yet, there is reason for anyone to be acrophobic or arachnophobic about this game. Despite the numerous hand-to-hand combat scenes on the ground, the game never turns into a Virtua Fighter. Activision has fulfilled their 'great responsibility'? of bringing this much-loved character to the PC gaming arena with the excellence that Spiderman deserves.
Activision's Spiderman is an all around success, but fails to achieve greatness in any specific category. Spiderman takes you through a plot driven game that showcases many elements from the film, as well as showing off Spidey villains that didn't make the silver screen cut. Played like Tomb Raider crossed with, well, Spiderman, this game comes off as extremely fun' at first. Get a little gameplay under your belt, and you'll see why it missed the cut.
Built around a little bit of stealth, and a lot of fighting, you'll be picking up powerups to keep your health and web-fluid filled, and also get little spider icons that let you learn new combat moves, many straight out of the comics. Overall lack of enemy AI, as well as many boss fights that look cool but are completely unbalanced, end up leaving the combat in this game somewhat stale.
In addition, while web slinging is cool, especially in the film, it looks absolutely comical in this game. You will find yourself swinging from building to building using nothing but the air above you. This might be picky, but I'd at least like the illusion of disbelief here. Another item of particular note was the camera, which needs to be manually readjusted with the C pad. More than annoying, this led to unfavorable situations many, many times whilst I played.
On a more positive note, the game is really pretty. Lots of great shots of New York City, and some interesting interior level designs make it fairly attractive, if lacking in much detail. On top of that, it sounds great, owed in part to plenty of voice acting on the part of Tobey Maguire and Willem Dafoe, straight from the film. Ignore the hokey plot, focus on how cool being able to wall-crawl is, and get your kicks tossing thugs from rooftops if you plan to get any serious enjoyment from this title.