Spider-Man is an action-adventure starring Spider-Man, first released in August 2000. The game was originally developed by Neversoft for the Playstation using the Tony Hawk's Pro Skater engine, and was eventually ported to Nintendo 64, PC and Dreamcast by various other studios. A side-scroller, entirely different from the other versions except for its story, was made for the Game Boy Color by Vicarious Visions.
The game features an original storyline based on the comic book franchise, and has no connection to the 2002 movie Spider-Man, which would receive its own game adaptation.
When Doctor Octopus finds himself reformed from his past criminal ways, he also finds the public happy to respect him as a scientist again. Presenting a scientific demonstration, someone impersonating Spider-Man appears. The real Spider-Man, out of costume as Peter Parker witnesses this, as he is attending the presentation. The fake Spider-Man steals the experiment and leaves but not before he shatters the camera belonging to Eddie Brock who believed it to be the real Spider-Man and was taking pictures. As Brock becomes angry, the Venom symbiote attaches itself to him. The entire party of people at the presentation believe that Spider-Man was responsible for the theft and the police immediately start a manhunt for him.
As Peter leaves, he foils a bank robbery as Spider-Man and then saves J. Jonah Jameson from the Scorpion who blames Jameson for his transformation. As Spidey defeats the Scorpion, the police arrive, and Spidey escapes, with Jameson crying out that he still doesn't like Spider-Man. After being chased throughout the city, the Black Cat approaches Spider-Man warning him of two problems: The Rhino is attacking a power plant, and Venom has kidnapped Peter's wife, Mary-Jane. Spider-Man deals with the Rhino, but suddenly Black Cat is kidnapped by an unknown party. Spider-Man searches for but cannot locate him until the psychotic villain makes his presence known. Obsessed with Spider-Man since the presentation Venom leads Spider-Man on an absurd chase through the sewers.
Finally catching Venom, Spider-Man first rescues Mary-Jane, and then convinces Eddie Brock that he has been framed. Venom and Spider-Man team up, looking to find whoever is responsible and start their search in the Daily Bugle offices.
Whilst at the office, Venom senses Carnage, his symbiotic offspring, and immediately abandons Spider-Man. Throughout the building, Spidey finds symbiotes infesting the building, and learns who the imposter is: Special Effects guru, Mysterio. Spider-Man engages in an intense battle with Mysterio who reveals that his boss plans to conquer the city with his army of symbiotes.
When Spidey follows Mysterio's directions to a warehouse, he discovers a secret underground base where symbiotes are being manufactured. Spider-Man discovers and frees Black Cat and progresses further into the base where he finds Carnage and Doc Ock, who only pretended to be reformed. With Venom's help (who has suddenly reappeared), Spider-Man defeats both Carnage and Doc Ock. But suddenly the Carnage symbiote fuses with Doc Ock's arms which proceeds to create a giant 'CarnOck' which destroys the base. Venom and Spidey make it out of the base, just in time. All the villains are left in the hands of the police, in prison and Spider-Man's name is restored.
Development and Gameplay
For story sequences, the Nintendo 64 version uses captioned freeze-frames in a comic book style, whereas the PlayStation, Windows, Dreamcast, and PC versions have FMV cutscenes. This is mainly due to hardware limitations.
If the player enters the code 'GBHSRSPM' within the game, they can activate a separate mode called What If? mode. Based on the What If? series of comics that acted as a proposed alternative events throughout Marvel Comic's history, the What If? mode acted much the same way, becoming an alternate version of the standard game. The game itself remains the same, although there are minor changes in scenery and audio tracks. Also, similar to the comic books, when players begin a new game, the character of The Watcher appears and explains that things are not as they seem and are different to how they once were.