" All in all, Spider-Man 2 is a good, though not quite great, game. "
Title: Spider-Man 2 by Activision
Format: Movie tie-in Gaming Experience
Reviewing Monkey: Our Ape Masters
The Hype: What is quickly becoming one of the most successful movies of all time wants you to play the video game version, too. This time boasting a free-form design and more Spidey-oriented controls, SM2 thinks it's got the stuff to be the action game of the summer.
What This Monkey Thought...
Graphics: Cut-scenes not withstanding, which are rendered in the game engine (always a bit disappointing), graphically Spider-Man 2 is functional if not awe-inspiring. Enticing at a distance, it is the close ups that kill the effectiveness visually, with blocky models, detail free environments, and clipping errors a-go-go. While not hard on the eyes, per se, and effective in portraying the various characters and ideas the game presents, it would be a stretch to call it advanced, or even up to speed for these "next generation" systems. Still, it won't detract much from your enjoyment of play, though those who are graphically inclined would be wise to choose the Xbox over PS2 version, as there is a marked difference in quality, though the controls are, in truth, better on the PS2. 3 out of 5
Playability: The comparison is inevitable,
so I may as well get it out of the way early. Think of Spider-Man as a sort
of Grand Theft Auto type game. Why? Because the bulk of your playing experience
will involve you swinging around at random and stumbling across crimes in progress
or citizens that need your help. Though not truly revolutionary in and of itself,
this free-form play is absolutely brilliant in correlation with the Spider-Man
license and there is absolutely nothing quite as inspired for a comic fan as
to be swinging down the street and suddenly hear the squeal of a woman whose
purse has been snatched or of a shooting in progress. And speaking of swinging
down the street, the other remarkable opportunity this gives you is just to
tool around, utilizing the fantastic swinging system and physics engine which
embraces the Spidey philosophy like nothing we've seen to date…with, of course,
the exception of the movies that this game is based on.
Once on the scene your job is to utilize the considerable range of combat combos the game includes to pound the living hell out of dozens and dozens of bad guys, chase get-away cars, rescue about-to-fall construction workers, and take injured pedestrians to the hospital. It's a nice, though narrow, range of objectives that are standard Spidey faire.
That being said, there are, unfortunately, almost as many negatives to get your goblin as there are Mary Jane's to arouse your interest. What will become apparent, painfully apparent, within your first few minutes of play is that the game could unquestionably have used some extra development time to work the bugs out. From crippling camera issues to game stopping errors (on both systems), from unintuitive controls to infuriatingly ludicrous mission requirements, and from the severely limited number of different types of crimes to stop and the ridiculous amount of punishment street thugs can take from a guy who can bench-press a semi, SM2 serves up enough frustrations to guarantee you will put down your controller and swear the bloody thing off at least once every couple of hours. Still, once you come to accept the asinine short fallings, you'll find a game that's undoubtedly the best Spider-Man title ever and quite probably one of the overall best super-hero games, period. 3.75 out of 5
Story and Drama: Oddly, the story loosely follows the script of the movie without actually mimicking it. For those familiar with the movie, you'll find much of the same major plot points here but with each one significantly altered for no apparent reason. Also interspersed are a number of video game only issues that primarily deal with setting up the games various cameos, including Black Cat, Mysterio, Rhino, and Shocker. 3.75 out of 5
Multiplayer and Replayability: No multiplayer is present (though the idea of a co-op mode could have been very cool), but you won't hurt at all for replayability. With a whole city to experience and an endless supply of crimes that need your spandexed boot to solve, you'll loose interest long before you run out of game. 3.75 out of 5 The Verdict: All in all, Spider-Man 2 is a good, though not quite great, game. It offers plenty to do, a huge city to do it in, and some of the most true-to-property Spider-Man experiences we've ever seen and that, all by itself, is probably enough to make this game worth picking up.
|All in all, Spider-Man 2 is a good, though not quite great, game. It offers plenty to do, a huge city to do it in, and some of the most true-to-property Spider-Man experiences we've ever seen and that, all by itself, is probably enough to make this game worth picking up.|
The Good: Great Spidey feel, a huge free-form city to explore, and a great swinging system to explore it with.
The Bad: Buggy as hell, often sporting ridiculously designed missions, and precious few different types of missions to participate in.
The Overall Ugly: Not a perfect game, by any stretch, but it's still worth checking out.
What it's Worth: If you can find it on sale for 20 to 30 bucks, I say do it.