Release Date: 9/25/2012
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I’m not sure what it is with the Spider-Man series, but the movie-based versions are always the best. This is usually the opposite with video games, but it doesn’t deny this strange truth with Spider-Man. The best Spidey game, in my opinion, was Spider-Man 2 based on the Sam Raimi movie. The huge open world was unheard of in a game like this back then, and the graphics, at the time, were astounding. It felt high budget, and despite copying the movie, was really amazing. TASM follows suit as well with some tricks up its sleeve.
This game is actually a sequel to the recent movie and is highly entertaining. You play as Spidey and are trying to take down the cross-species that Oscorp created. The bad guy here is Alistair Smythe who runs this place, and this is how the movie ties in. Spidey needs Doctor Connors to create a cure, but he’s locked up in an asylum after the events in the movie. The story is entertaining, but none of the actors from the movie take it apart here which is probably good. The characters resemble the movie characters but look a little different. This is how you do a movie-based game right.
The game is more cinematic than previous entries just by the way the camera is angled. The combat is pretty satisfying with using just one attack button, but the animations are so fluid and entertaining that you won’t care. Spider-Man doesn’t have a health bar but regenerating health. When you take too many hits (he can only take a few) you have to use the retreat feature which has Spidey flying off into a corner away from enemies to heal. Use Web Strike to immediately go right back into the fight which is awesome. Once enemies are stunned you can use special moves, and all these moves are upgraded by finding tech pieces throughout the game. One of my favorite things is the stealth mechanic which is done right for the first time in a Spider-Man game. Crawling on the ceiling shows a purple web radius under you and when guards are on it Spidey will drop down, wrap them up and hang them from the ceiling. The health system makes you use this feature because you can’t dodge enemies with guns. Your Spidey sense will turn red and this means the attack isn’t dodgeable. Use a quick web retreat and try the stealth again. Very satisfying and well done.
Of course, this wouldn’t be a complete Spidey experience without a huge open Manhattan to explore with side quests. Like Spider-Man 2 there are many missions like saving citizens from crimes, various timed side quests, collecting comic pages, police chases, and various others. They are a lot of fun at first but grow repetitive towards the end. Swinging around as Spidey is just so much fun and the well-done animations help this a lot.
The only big issue is that the layout of levels repeats often. Disable this lock, take down these turrets, beat up these enemies, turn this valve. It’s all very mundane, and even the boss fights are really easy with little challenge. Thanks to all the other elements being very solid you can look past this enough to get through the game. At least the graphics are fantastic, especially on PC. Beenox took the time to give PC users higher resolution textures and better-looking everything. This is rare in a movie-based game to see such attention to detail. There are some game-breaking bugs and glitches that were never addressed on PC and that is a real shame.
Overall, TASM is a solid Spider-Man game and probably one of the best yet. This is how you do movie-based games right. The story is entertaining, the combat is solid and fun, and exploring Manhattan is a lot of fun. The graphics are amazing, but I can’t help but feel annoyed by the repetitive level layout and easy boss fights. This is well worth a purchase, and even if you don’t like the movie you will enjoy this.