When Spider-Man's Uncle Ben is murdered he devotes his time to tracking down his killer however he soon learns that someone else is hunting down, and killing, criminals. The city is gripped with fear and Spider-Man learns about a far greater evil in the city.
When I said in the opening paragraph that we had some trepidation with this title there was a glimmer of hope as the developers, Beenox, also gave us the rather entertaining Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions a couple of years ago. Unfortunately The Amazing Spider-Man 2 game misses the mark on several levels and ultimately is one of, if not the, most disappointing PS4 release to date.
The biggest issue with this game isn't the generic fighting sequence, or the pretty bland and basic boss battles, but the web slinging through Manhattan. Spider-Man uses both his left or right hands (through L2 or R2) to attach to buildings and swing however the need to target these buildings, and some horrible camera work makes it near impossible not to slam into skyscrapers around the city.
Combat too is pretty generic and basically consists of either attacking enemies or hitting the triangle to dodge their attacks. Sure, there are some special movies, and you can use a Spidey-sense to locate enemies or important objects in the room. As you progress through the game it's possible to upgrade Spider-Man's abilities with new moves or increased powers however this is done by collecting ermm, well, we think their sprockets or nuts in tool boxes. All-in-all the combat is pretty generic and unspectacular.
Then there's the new Hero and Menace system which works similar to inFamous good and bad karma only that this meter just changes according to if you help civilians or ignore pleas for help. The problem being that so many of the side-missions are so dull and repetitive that you'll just want to bypass them and, well just become a Menace. It means nothing in the grand scheme of things and is just a waste of time in the game.
In all honesty I never expected this game would look great - certainly not up to the stunning visuals we have seen in Sucker Punch's inFamous: Second Son on PS4 - but this game would look average on last generation hardware. Of course the PS4 game runs at 1080p but it's a dog to look at. Texturing is poor, the camera often struggles when Spider-Man moves around and slams into buildings, character models are bland and there's just a complete lack of "oh wow" to it. Even if this PS4 game was running on a PS3 the same disappointments would apply - it's not even up there with the 2008 release of GTAIV - of course Rockstar's title had a mammoth budget but you get what I'm saying. What adds even more insult to injury is that despite the very generic and bland visuals, the game still only runs at 30fps but at least, unlike the XBox One version, Sony's version is free of screen tearing!
Sonically I think you can guess what we're going to say here - it's another disappointment. As we just mentioned the dialogue is poorly written and delivered while some of the lines being shouted out by enemies, or Spider-Man truly are horrible. I mean at one point Spider-Man basically tells you, the gamer, off for not knowing that there is a hyphen between Spider and Man. Sigh... Music and effects are a little better, but only just while the surround sound channels do get a bit of a workout. Still, it's yet another aspect of this title that disappoints.
Besides a cameo appearance by Stan Lee himself there is little to really love about this release - the visuals are sub-par, the audio is mixed at best, and the gameplay is something we would have been disappointed about a decade ago. How Beenox can go from the entertaining Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions in 2010 to this in a couple of years is disappointing and we do hope Activision let Beenox work on the franchise with freedom, and not tie into movie release dates. PS3 owners, hunt out Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions instead, PS4 owners, go buy the infinitely better inFamous: Second Son instead.
Review By: Dave Warner