The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is another licensed game that was released in conjunction with a movie of the same name and it definitely shows while you are playing. Licensed games like this typically aren’t that great for a variety of reasons whether it is the studio wasn’t given enough time because the game had to be released with the movie no matter what, their hands were tied because they had to get permission from the studio over every little thing or something else. One of the problems of The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is it feels like an expansion pack to the original game instead of a sequel. It has the same type of repetitive missions, controls that aren’t tight enough and it looks like they used some of the same animations as well. On the flip side it is still fun to swing through Manhattan as Spider-Man but does that override the problems of this game?
Simply put, no. The story for The Amazing Spider-Man 2 centers around Peter trying to track down a killer and getting caught up in a bunch of other events such as a crisis at Oscorp, dealing with the Kingpin and more. This is an open world game like the previous title but the story is rather short. If you focus just on the main story it will probably take around six to eight hours although if you rush through the missions you might be able to get it done faster. The “problem” for me with these games is I tend to like to do everything so I end up spending much more time hunting collectibles and going through various side missions. Outside of the story there is quite a bit to do and you will spend a bit of time searching the city if you are a completionist. There are three hundred comic book pages you need to find, oscorp crates, races to do and much more. As you progress in the story certain side events will also open up to do where you can invade hideouts to get new Spider-Man suits, for example. Unfortunately the controls make some of these missions a lot harder than they should be and can be downright frustrating at times.
The controls are one of the casualties of having to rush a game out to meet the release date of its movie counterpart. While you can control Spidey easily enough there are many times where the game requires some finesse that the controls simply don’t allow. Whenever I would try and do a web rush it was always 50/50 on whether it would register. If it didn’t then I would have to hold down the R1 button and do it manually. This can be problematic if the mission you are on is time sensitive, such as rescuing civilians from a burning building. These particular side missions could be extremely aggravating as there were many times when Spider-Man would web zip to a ledge I didn’t want him to which would waste valuable time. This particular side mission is a frustrating trial and error experience as you can’t see really well in these buildings on fire and using your spider sense to determine the locations of the civilians can sometimes make it worse. Its realistic that you wouldn’t be able to see very well in a smoky building that is on fire but it can make for some bad gameplay. The timer is a bit broken to as there were instances where I would get someone safely out of the building but I missed the specific spot the game wanted me in by a few seconds and so I failed the whole mission.
When I was swinging around the city there would be times when Spider-Man would stick to a building when I didn’t want him to. When that happens all of a sudden the camera turns to a different angle because it thinks you want to climb the building and you don’t know what is going on and it can be hard for you to change direction unless you come to a complete stop and then do it. It can also completely disorient you and you might end up somewhere you didn’t want to be before you know it. There is also a heroic and menace meter which is controlled by these side quests. If you successfully complete one of these missions (such as rescuing a hostage from a speeding car) then you complete a heroic action and the heroic meter goes up. The problem here is that if you don’t do these side quests then you are put in the menace category simply because you didn’t act and prevent a crime. That means a crime could be on the other side of the island from you and you are busy doing something else and still get penalized because you weren’t there to stop a crime from happening. Why this matters is because if you are seen as a menace then there is a task force that will try and attack you throughout the city. If you are seen as a hero then you don’t have to deal with that.
As you progress in the game and complete actions you will gain XP that you can use to upgrade your powers. My favorite power was where I could sense when a collectible was near my location so I didn’t have to search to much for those comic book pages, for example. Another great one is something you get later in the game where you can disintegrate the armor of an enemy simply by shooting webs at him. You can also improve your web shooting capabilities, your web rush and much more. You will also have a camera that you can use to take pictures and as you are going through the game you will get messages telling you to take pictures of certain things which will get you more experience and help collect information on different criminals.
By now you are probably thinking The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is a pretty bad game. It isn’t a bad game, it is just merely average. I went through the campaign and beat the story so the game is by no means broken or anywhere close to it. It just would have been nice if more time could have been given to give us something that felt like a sequel instead of a DLC pack that could have been released for the first game. Graphically speaking the game looks nice on the PS4 but it can’t stand up against other next gen games such as Killzone: Shadow Fall or Ryse: Son of Rome. I think that has to do with this game merely being ported from the Xbox 360 and PS3 version rather than being developed for the PS4 or Xbox One.
In the end if you are a Spider-Man fan I would recommend giving this game a chance but just be sure to keep your expectations in check. If you enjoyed the first game then The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is more of the same and you will probably enjoy this one as well. If not there are better open world games out there such as inFamous: Second Son for the PS4. For trophy hunters the platinum in The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is pretty easy, it will just take you some time as you have to grind XP to max out all of the different Spider-Man suits. I did have times when I was having fun with The Amazing Spider-Man 2 and I hope that The Amazing Spider-Man 3 (or whatever it ends up being called) can fix the issues I have listed and give us a better game overall.
Originally posted on Gaming Target