The Amazing Spider-Man 2 review (Xbox 360, PS3): 'Nothing amazing about this at all'

 

Let's not get too precious about the source material. Over the past 50 years Spider-Man has at various times been killed off, cloned, reimagined as a pig (called, ahem, Spider-Ham) and generally messed about as much, if not more than any of his spandex-clad colleagues.

Still, it seems a shame that, especially in the five years since the release of Arkham Asylum, unless your name's Bruce Wayne you've got about as much chance of starring in a decent video game as you do making it 10 years without being part of a rebooted movie franchise.

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 uses the recently released movie of the same name as a starting point, but it's so devoid of atmosphere or character it could easily been any of the four Spider-Man games developer Beenox have released over the last four years.

You swing around New York. Every minute or so you have to beat up a group of bad guys, or disarm a bomb. Story missions involve similarly repetitive challenges but with some cutscenes interspersed. It's pretty much exactly what you'd expect from a non-Batman superhero movie tie-in.

Combat is dull, and, while the web-swinging mechanics have a certain, pleasing flow to them, zipping around such a lifeless and poorly rendered city grows old pretty quickly. Trademark quips aside, it also feels like the game lacks a certain authenticity – especially in the bizarre sections where you can speak to real-life Marvel creator Stan Lee in a comic book shop. Not so much breaking the fourth wall as breaking any sense of the developers getting to grips with their gaming universe.

Hardcore Spidey fans may well find enough here to keep them interested for a two or three days. But there's nothing Amazing about this game. Quite the opposite.

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