soap's The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (PC) review

The not so amazing Spider-Man 2

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is not a great game, let's get that out of the way early, and after 2012s surprisingly ok ‘The amazing Spider-Man’ it is both a disappointment and a definite backwards step for the series.

The combat is visually flashy but void of any real depth.

The first major complaint that can be put against the game is that even on a high end PC the frame rate is constantly choppy, with visual screen tearing and seemingly random frame rate dips even when nothing to crazy is happening in game. The combat retains the style defined by 2009’s Batman Arkham Asylum but still doesn't manage to match its finesse and quality, making it no more complicated than wailing on a single button before dodging the odd attack and carrying on with the button mashing. I managed a 42 hit combo in the very first encounter of the game and as I'm not even particularly good at this type of action that's got to count for something.

Each of the many repetitive side missions are accompanied by this short and frankly pointless new bulletin cut-scene.

The biggest grievance that can be had with the game however is its increased focus on what has always been the worst aspect of the series. The random side quests that require you to beat up some thugs, stop a shootout or rescue a hostage from a car have all returned. Rather than being optional like before, ignoring them adds to a karma style meter. Let it get too out of hand and special task force agents will actively hunt you across the city, stopping you from enjoying even the simple act of swinging around picking up collectables at your own pace for too long before you are forced back into more of the same side activities. Even when you finish the game there appears to be no way to switch this off meaning few will have the patience to see through collecting the 300 comics, multiple checkpoint races or many costumes.

On the subject of the swinging Beenox appear to have listened to fans of 2004s Spider-Man 2, with webs now requiring a building to stick to. Each of Spider-man’s arms is also controlled by the left and right triggers respectively and while not a terrible system in theory it leads to a lot of awkward situations in which you have very little control of the action while Spider-Man cycles one of a very short list of sarcastic quips about how webs need a building to stick to. It's almost as if he is mocking you for the control system fans asked for and how impractical it is to use.

It's not all bad though, the story while a bit slapdash is filled with a rogues gallery of villains from across the series and has some interesting moments and even some good twists. Collecting the suits is also still a draw and will bring out the inner comic book geek in almost anyone.

Overall the amazing Spider-Man 2 is a disappointing sequel, inferior to the first game in almost every way it smacks of something that had to be out in time for the release date of its theatrical counterpart and it's a shame. With a bit more time and a bit more thought I still think Spider-Man can have his Arkham Asylum moment.

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