The Amazing Spider-Man 2 PS4 Review
Publisher: Activision Developer: Beenox Genre: Action Players: 1 Age Rating: 16+
Other console/handheld formats: PS3, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Wii U, 3DS
In recent years, Spider-Man games have regressed to the times before Spider-Man 2, in which the web magically attached to the sky as opposed to buildings, which meant that the titular character had seemingly found a way to latch onto clouds. With The Amazing Spider-Man 2, developer Beenox has brought back the need for a building or tree to be nearby to swing from, but sadly, in some ways, the game itself isn’t quite up to the standards of the original.
Like the first game, the storyline takes place outside of the The Amazing Spider-Man film series. This means that there are characters here that aren’t present on the latest film, while the characters that are shared don’t have the likenesses or voices of their cinematic counterparts. The game tells a serviceable enough story, although, with everything going on it does feel a little cluttered at times.
People asked for it apparently, and Beenox have delivered, as this time you get to play as Peter Parker himself. Yes, the unmasked Spider-Man has been given a face this time around, and you’ll get to see the game from his perspective as well. The thing is, Parker’s playable sections are largely dull, and, like most I would imagine, I really wanted to get back to playing as the title character. If anything, they do break up the Spider-Man sections, but most fans of the character probably wouldn’t want such a break anyway, certainly when it comes to playing as the character in any case.
At least for the majority of the time, we do actually get to play as good old Spider-Man himself, and the most important thing is that it feels good. Swinging around the Big Apple, firing webbing out of each individual hand, and jumping energetically through the air is a joy, and is as fun to watch as it is to play.
The innovation that is the Web Rush mechanic also makes its return, allowing you to once again quickly get around the environment, which means that the web swinging is an absolute joy when it all comes together and the character is soaring with great momentum through the New York city skyline, and it certainly gives you plenty of control and options.
As for the combat, little has really changed from the original game. It once again takes inspiration from the Batman Arkham games, but it doesn’t have the careful timing of those games, and lacks the satisfaction because of this. It’s still a lot of fun though, and Spidey is certainly well animated during such fight sequences.
The game also has stealth sections, or sometimes even gives you the option between combat and stealth. The stealth is basic, but there are some nice animations when it comes to Spidey’s takedown manoeuvres, and as you can swing and crawl around the place, there’s also plenty of options to keep things varied.
This time around a hero and menace system has also been implemented, although it soon becomes more of an annoyance than anything else. When you are in the city, crimes pop up, which are basic side missions, and keeping on top of these will have the New York citizens viewing Spidey as a saviour. If you don’t complete the mission before it disappears off the map, then a meter will start depleting, and Spidey will be seen as more of a failure and menace to the city he calls home, and the army-like Task Force will be sent after him eventually. It’s a good idea on paper, although the repetitive side missions that have you rescuing people from burning buildings, tossing bombs into the Hudson River, taking out a gang of enemies and so on soon begins to grate.
The game does have various other side tasks that have no bearing on the above system. These include unlocking additional suits, snapping photos and more, although some more interesting diversions certainly wouldn’t have gone amiss. Still, the races are certainly a lot of fun, while collecting the comics that are littered all over the place will unlock actual Spider-Man comics for you to read, which is certainly excellent fan service.
It’s a shame that the main storyline is rather brief, and it does seem to be over in no time at all. This is one of the main reasons as to why the side distractions needed to be more interesting than what they actually are.
Visually, The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is a disappointment in terms of it being the first Spider-Man game on next generation consoles. There’s just an overall lack of detail in the New York surroundings and also some very noticeable pop-up.
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is a fun game that stars a character that should be fun to play as, and, with the hyper swinging and the flashy combat, that’s something that Beenox has certainly managed to achieve. The poor side missions and the short story do let the game down somewhat though, but Spider-Man fans and lovers of high speed action games will still enjoy this one.