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Games : Worth a Look
Ranking:
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Release Date: April 29th, 2014 Movie Release Year: 2014

The Amazing Spider-Man 2

Overview -

Canadian-based developer Beenox is no stranger when it comes to the Spider-Man franchise. Their creative efforts shone the brightest when they strayed from the more conventional story arc with the releases of 'Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions' and 'Spider-Man: Edge of Time.' Since then, they've embraced the movie tie-in with Sony Picture Entertainment's 'The Amazing Spider-Man' film series. 'The Amazing Spider-Man 2' is the latest third-person action-adventure video game that is intended to build upon the story of the previous game, while also giving players an enhanced, free-roaming web-slinging experience. But does this second movie tie-in make for a better overall experience, or do they continue to sacrifice creativity?

OVERALL:
Worth a Look
Rating Breakdown
VIDEO
AUDIO
Tech Specs & Release Details
Video Resolution/Codec:
1080p
Audio Formats:
5.1 LPCM
Release Date:
April 29th, 2014

Video Review

Ranking:

The opening moments of 'The Amazing Spider-Man 2' clearly represent a video game that was developed for the last console generation and likely ported over to the new. After experiencing PlayStation 4 games such as 'Assassin's Creed 4: Black Flag', 'Killzone: Shadow Fall', and even the definitive edition of 'Tomb Raider' it's hard to lower your visual expectations. Of course, how a game looks is just one part of the total package. But, when character features remind you of the PlayStation 3's infancy, you begin to question the budgeting that Beenox set aside for artistic improvements.

That's not to say that all of 'The Amazing Spider-Man 2' was a visual disappointment. The game's titular hero continues to impress from head to toe. When wearing any number of the unlockable costumes, Spider-Man truly jumps from the screen. The details of the individual webbing, the deep red of his mask and silver eyes, are some of the best that I've seen in action. But the detailed visuals end there and it makes everyone else around Spider-Man pale in comparison.

The Amazing Spider-Man

I was also impressed with the consistently smooth frame rate. Spider-Man's acrobatic and fast-paced combat never appeared to put a strain on the presentation; even when surrounded by a dozen or more enemies wielding a variety of weapons and attack abilities. Unfortunately, the same stability cannot be attributed to the unwieldy camera. As has often been the case with other Spider-Man games, fighting the camera occurs almost as often as fighting the enemies. It continues to be an unfortunate side effect of many 3rd person action games. Do yourself a favor when playing this game and avoid tight corners at all costs. You can thank me later.

Audio Review

Ranking:

As might be expected, the actors from the theatrical release of 'The Amazing Spider-Man 2' were 'unavailable' to lend their voices to the development of the game's counterpart. With that said, the voice acting for the game was passable and got the job done. Unfortunately, even the best voice actors could not save the game's story from the tangled mess that it eventually became.

The real audio highlight for me was with the sound effects delivered when swinging through the streets of New York City. Flying between the towering buildings, mere feet above the heavily populated city streets, provided an effect that almost perfectly hit its mark. The whoosh of air that passed through my side and rear speakers from a 7.1 audio surround sound heightened the feeling of flying. The faster you sling from building to building the better the effect becomes.

Final Thoughts

Movie tie-in video games have almost always been hit or miss. Some have been worth the effort, while most become regrettable purchases. Even fewer live up to or exceed the movies they are based on. 'The Amazing Spider-Man 2' falls somewhere in the middle. Although it's a visual let down when considering the console it was played on, the overall gameplay was consistently fun and enjoyable and it mostly accomplished what it set out to do – make the gamer feel like Spider-Man. If you can look past the freshman attempt at telling a good story, and have the patience for repeated loading screens, you may enjoy what the game has to offer.