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The Amazing Spider-Man Review

By , on July 4, 2012


The Amazing Spider-Man
Download on the AppStore
3 out of 5

PROS

  • Free exploration, open-world; lots of vigilante style justice to dish out between missions.
  • Relatively complex combo system for combat; specialize in melee or ranged or grind and master both.
  • Very few loading screens; mostly reserved for cut-scenes and new locations.

CONS

  • Terrible render speeds; lots of texture popping and low frame rates.
  • Sticky controls; jumping requires holding down, but so does webslinging, causing conflicts.
  • Poor direction on voice acting; otherwise decent performances ruined by a lack of consistency in delivery.

VERDICT

The Amazing Spider-Man doesn't live up to Gameloft's previous efforts when it comes to the cocky webslinger, but those who begged for an open-world system finally have it (for what it's worth).


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Let us reflect for a moment and remember just how great the licensed Spider-Man games have been for the iOS - it's not hard, there has previously only been one, Spider-Man: Total Mayhem. Despite lacking free-roaming it made up for this with tightly controlled combat with multiple fighting 'combos' to master and a cheesy, but near pitch-perfect storyline for the webslinger to follow.

Following up on this effort is The Amazing Spider-Man, a movie tie-in that attempts to pair Gameloft's first attempt at bringing the quip-spouting hero to life with a free-exploration system. Don't expect a high-flying GTA though as the game engine struggles to keep pace with Spidey's speed and ultimately settles in to a mindless series of brawls that require little part on the player to overcome.

When standing still on the edge of a building or taking that first plunge down to the city streets, it's hard not to be stunned at the sharp visuals and fluid motion of Spider-Man's twists and spirals. However, once you start swinging, the facade quickly falls away, leaving players with muddy textures that pop in at the last moment and a frame-rate that becomes problematic when trying to pull off precise maneuvers.

The controls certainly play their role in making things harder than they should be as the web-slinging system kicks in automatically if you hold down the jump button. The problem is, you need to hold the jump button to jump at all, turning Peter Parker in to perhaps the most laughable hero ever when attempting to collect spider-tokens spread throughout the city to spend on boosts in the store (never-fear though, IAP can be used to top up your virtual cash too).

Completing missions and beating up baddies throughout the city will net you experience, leveling you up and presenting you with skill points to unlock various abilities such as extended combos, additional damage and so on. This does encourage players to explore and be the vigilante hero you're supposed to be, but at times it can also leave you feeling weak (but not entirely powerless) if you progress too fast.

The Amazing Spider-Man is a disappointing release, especially when the older Total Mayhem manages to provide more variation in gameplay and content, albeit lacking in free-exploration. Considering the premium entry price this leaves us worried about upcoming movie tie-ins from the developer.

Screenshots

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