Another year, another Spider-Man game.
Though this is the first since 2007's Spider-Man 3 to be tied a movie.
And the first since 2008's Web of Shadows to be open-world.
And whilst I enjoyed Shattered Dimensions (Gave Web of Time a pass) I'm glad to return to this format.
Spider-Man games shine when they provide large, open environments in which to swing about in.
And swinging about Manhattan is probably the most fun thing to do in this game.
Which makes it a little weird that the open-world serves as little more than a hub to all these in-door levels in which swinging around is not so emphasised.
In addition to swinging the "web-rush" is another form of transportation and is a bit more useful indoors. It's made appearances in prior Spider-Man games, though this time you can sort of hold it down to aim it better and it slows time whilst you search for a target to web-rush too. Whether that be a place to perch, a wall to climb on or a bad-guy to punch in the face. When used in the open-world it also doubles as a sort of "watch Spidey do cool shit as he makes his way to your targetted destination!" mode as he'll swing on flag-poles, over traffic lights, run along walls as he makes his way to the highlighted area.
This is a little disappointing because whilst I can't recall which game it was exactly, these were things you could do in a previous Spidey game and it wasn't just some "hit the button and watch him go" kind of mechanic, it was something that actually took skill and it was what made the swinging and traversing so much fun. It's still fun here, but it feels a little dumbed down.
Another large part of all Spidey games is the combat and it isn't any exception here.
It feels largely the same as the past couple, though with some simplistic "Arkham Asylum-ness" laid over it.
Largely you'll hammer the X button to punch a guy and when your Spider-Sense tingles you'll hit dodge to perform an evasive action. Get a dude sufficiently beat up and you can web them to the ground. Or you can just keep beating them until they don't get up I guess.
In keeping with the "Arkham Asylum-ness" there's also the potential for stealthy Spidey action.
You don't have gargoyles to perch on, but any old wall or ceiling will work just as well.
If a dude is in stealth attack range he'll glow purple and you can hit it to sneakily drag him up to the ceiling and web him there. Aside from a specific line of side-missions that revolve around infiltrating Oscorp Research Labs and such I never really went of my way to be stealthy, no matter how large the group I found it generally pretty easy to manage just beating them up and didn't feel the need to pick them off one at a time.
Aside from beating up on basic goons some classic Spidey villains make an appearance.
Well known faces like the Rhino, Black Cat and Scorpion show up.
And then there's generic giant robots which are equally fun to swing around and beat up.
The boss fights are probably the most satisfying enemy encounters in the game and they're sprinkled fairly liberally throughout the game.
Whilst the majority of the game's missions take place inside there are still somethings to do in the city.
There are muggings to end, car-chases to halt, Bruce Campbell in a blimp providing race challenges and such. Also of course collectibles. Plenty of collectibles. Like at least 700 comic pages to collect, which will unlock actual comics for you to read which I suppose is nice.
Visually the game is at the very least a change up from the comic book-esque appearance of the first game, providing a "realistic" look inspired by the movie it's set after. The game does the Arkham Asylum thing of having Spidey look progressively more beat up as you play, but a quick visit to your apartment will fix the suit as good as new. Which I suppose is kind of cool.
There are some graphical glitches. The most notable that springs to mind being cars clipping through each other in the aforementioned car-chase side missions. It's really quite off-putting.
While talking about glitches there were also a couple of instances of events not triggering when they were meant to.
For instance there was a section where you had to go through this specific door. And the door wouldn't open.
And there was another instance after you beat the Black Cat. I carried her over to the elevator, went in and the elevator SOUNDED like it was moving. But I waited like five minutes and it just... Wasn't. It was endlessly going down. I reloaded the last check point and it triggered that time, Black Cat spoke some dialogue that wasn't there before and the elevator ride was nowhere near as long as I waited.
Audibly the game is also fine. I don't know if any of the stars of the flick actually do voices for the game, but whoevers doing them did a fine enough job. Spidey sounded about how I'd expect him to sound. Dudes getting punched sounds like dudes getting punched. The music is typically as heroically bombastic as you'd expect from a Superhero game.
I finished the game in a good 10 hours.
This includes the story and all the side-stuff that didn't involve collecting things.
For true completionists I'm sure you could squeeze at least a few more hours out of it, but for me I'd say 10 hours is a fine enough length.
The game is pretty rough in spots and the combat quickly becomes repetitive, making pretty much any encounter that isn't a boss fight feel like a bit of a chore. But despite being somewhat simplified swinging around the open-world as Spider-Man is still ultra satisfying. I wish there were a bit more to do in said world, but for as long as it lasted I had a great deal of fun with it.