FROM awkward brawlers to titles where he played a supporting role in the wider Marvel universe, Spider-Man’s gaming legacy was a decidedly mixed affair until 2004 and the release of Spider-Man 2. With open world gameplay set in Manhattan and - at long last - enthralling swinging mechanics, it rightly won over a legion of fans who could finally enjoy a rich, faithful representation of the comic books alongside excellent gameplay mechanics.
Game review: Amazing Spider-Man 2
Platforms - Playstation 4 / Xbox One / Playstation 3 / Xbox 360
Score: 4.5 / 10
Since then, numerous developers have largely abided by the same formula to diminishing returns. Amazing Spider-Man 2 is no exception, offering the same Grand Theft Auto-lite experience in a familiar cityscape. Its redesigned controls, placing an emphasis on the use of the triggers, make for one enjoyable revision, but elsewhere the game offers little that has not been seen in the intervening decade.
Following the narrative of the film of the same name, the title’s focus is on the kind of combat that has been loosely inspired by the recent Arkham trilogy of Batman titles. Spider-Man, unfortunately, is bereft of the variety and impact displayed by Rocksteady Studios, with his arsenal is frustratingly limited. Fights almost invariably descend into a mash of attacks and dodges, a sequence that makes use of just two buttons.
The action never quite achieves a satisfying pace and even when it threatens to muster some fluency, a series of superfluous and grating menus and cutscenes hamper proceedings. Entering and exiting a door, for instance, requires a button press, but even then the game insists on presenting a menu asking you to confirm your decision.
imilarly, the numerous instances of petty crime scattered throughout the city which Spider-Man is tasked with breaking up are followed by near identical television news reports. These do not impress or inform the narrative the first time around; by the time you are viewing the same scenes for a tenth time, it borders on the preposterous.
This is not the only aspect of the title where familiarity breeds contempt. Other mini challenges designed to complement the main quest are an exercise in monotony. The car chases, for instance, deploy the same quick time events with the only variation being which window of the fleeing vehicle you must target first.
Other fundamental flaws include collision detection faults which has Spider-Man clip buildings when web slinging, even when he is a good few metres away from them, and even worse, the odd occasion where the Marvel icon falling into office blocks altogether, only to reeemerge unscathed a few seconds later. Ten years ago, such faults were forgivable, but we should expect more in 2014.