Spider-Man is a loving homage to all things that make Spidey great
If you had to close your eyes and think about Spider-Man, you'd think of an awkwardly fun character, dressed in red and blue, swinging around in New York, fighting crime. It's the most basic thing that makes the webbed hero who he is and this game manages to nail this and a lot more than any Spider-Man game before it.
The events in the game occur after Spider-Man has established himself as a superhero in New York by taking down most of the supervillains. He has the support of the cops and the love of the citizens — at least most of them; J Jonah Jameson is still not a believer.
In contrast, the life of Peter Parker could not be more of a mess. He is perpetually broke, Mary Jane Watson is no longer his girlfriend and he is branded chronically tardy. His unsure, quirky interactions with people are the opposite of his superhero alter ego who confidently jokes around while fighting criminals.
It's the perfect representation of the character we have known and loved for so many years. The deep understanding of the character can be seen in the story as well. As far as progressions go, this one will have you at the edge of your seat, with some significant plot twists in what we can say is an amazing Spider-Man story.
Swinging around the city is the real highlight of this game. It is possibly the simplest mechanism for something that is so complicated. It is so much fun that we often found ourselves swinging vast distances even when fast travel was unlocked. It was almost therapeutic to swing from one building to the next.
The game is also packed with goodies and unlockable stuff — the more experience you earn, the better and stronger Spidey gets. Along the way you can earn points and unlock skills, new gadgets and costumes. The new suits are also brilliantly integrated: some you can buy by fighting crime, others require you to complete certain tasks.
There are more than 25 suits that you can unlock, each equipped with a power that unlocks with the suit. After unlocking, you can use the power with any suit you prefer. The selected suit design also gets integrated everywhere, including the loading screens and the in-game cut-scenes. The whole thing is seamless.
The game is based in an open-world recreation of New York. There's lot of petty crime and small tasks around the city that you can handle. These earn you tokens that can be used to unlock the goodies. Crimes in New York are surprisingly high and frequent, which means, at some point, you might have to start ignoring the petty stuff, so you can focus on the big picture.
A lot of work has also gone into the music, to make it grand, almost movie-like (it might even sound like a distant cousin of The Avengers soundtrack). Swinging around in New York begins to seem more cinematic. You will probably enjoy that for an hour, after which you will question the sanity of having the music on all the time. Most of the time you just want to lazily swing around the neighbourhood while the music tries to force you to earn its approval by fighting crime. Once we muted the music, the city just came alive.
It was unfortunate that the developers chose to shut out the city noise with the music. We also had an issue with the camera angles; unfortunately, there was no easy fix for that. The camera was designed to zoom in when we were in a tight space, which is great in most cases. However, if you manage to land in a tight crevice somewhere in the heat of battle, the camera angle is going to be the reason you probably die.
It's not a game-breaking flaw, but it does mean you might have to play some boss fights all over again. Spider-Man is a great game with an excellent story that's packed with plot twists, classic villains and smooth web-slinging. The few flaws that the game does have, while annoying, aren't exactly deal-breakers. If you are looking to sink your teeth into an exciting new game this week, Spider-Man is perfect.
Price: Rs 3,999
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