Before I tell you how fun it was swinging around the streets of Manhattan collecting comic book pages, a word of advice: do not play this game before you see the newAmazing Spider-Man movie with Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone. As for if they should avoid it for any other reasons, unless you're only interested in competitive gaming and not a fun if sometimes repetitive, you'll enjoy this game. After all, everyone loved Arkham City. Every spoiler imaginable is in this game's story which takes place after the movie. It's great that gamers are given a completely new story and not a shot-for-shot retread of the movie, but gamers need to be warned that if they don't want spoilers they need to avoid this game until after seeing the movie. The story revolves around Spider-Man trying to stop several mutated creatures that escaped from Oscorp, and is running against the clock to not only cure infected citizens but also Gwen Stacy, who's time is quickly running out. The story is not unique, but the biggest downside is very few of Spidey's iconic villains make appearances. Only the Lizard, Rhino, Iguana and Vermin (the last two who even I haven't heard of despite being a comic book nut) appear in the main story., and none of those villains ever talk during battle meaning they are nothing more than warm bodies to warm. Black Cat makes a quick appearance in the story, but you only talk and fight here in a side mission, a bank robbery which does not even mention her appearance unless you go and do the seemingly pointless side quest – which there are a lot of. The only three side quests that get tedious because they pop up often are getting the infected back to hospitals, getting escaped mental patients back to police stations and taking pictures. The first two are both your clichéd search, retrieval and return missions. You may enjoy it the first time, but after the tenth it can get quite tedious, but the only real reason to do them is to get 100% completion, which not every gamer wants to do. Taking photos, while in canon for Spider-Man being he is Peter Parker, is completely unnecessary and does effect the flow of the game play – after all, what's snapping pictures worth compared to web-swinging and fighting? This doesn't mean gamers should not do any side quests. The game is a lot shorter if you are only following the main storyline, and the other side quests are surprisingly fun to do. You can participate in car chases. These are entertaining, quick and race against the clock moments that get even more fun when there are more cars to catch. The petty crimes are also fun if you're in the mood for some straight forward action. Another perk the game has that will have you playing it longer are the collectables. There are comic book pages scattered all over the city, and when you complete a certain amount you will get a comic book. Not just some art, an actual, fully reproduced digital comic book. Almost all of which are pretty much impossible to afford since the comics you can collect include the first appearance of Black Cat, the Lizard, and of course Spider-Man, as well as many others casual readers have probably never heard of. You can also collect Spider-Man's other costumes by finding logos across the city (which are very well hidden if you're not looking), and get one when you complete the game (which felt like a bit of a cheap reward for saving the city). Gamers will enjoy the game play. The controls are easy to master. One simple button and Spidey's swinging around the city. To make you feel even more in control of his swinging, and the only way to get through other situations, "web rush" was created. With a quick button press and hold, time slows down and Spider-Man goes wherever you point him to. This slow down makes the game even easier, especially since there is no bar restricting it's use. If that was added, the game would have been more of a challenge. Despite the lack of a challenge, web rush is a great new feature that makes the player feel like they have more control over Spider-Man. The best is when you slow down the scene during a shoot-out and can see the bullets slowly gliding towards you. The game itself is not extremely difficult thanks to this control scheme and web rush, unless you go barreling into a fight. You can even regenerate health by finding a place to stay still or simply web-swinging around (which you may find yourself doing tediously if you aren't careful). Also, the game can be very hand holding – or, web holding. Anything you need to figure out, if you don't figure it out fast enough a character will say a hint or a button will pop up on the screen instantly solving the problem. But there is one thing about the combat and how some of the missions are set-up that unmistakably feels like I am playing Batman: Arkham City. The control scheme is very similar combat-wise. But the most striking resemblance is actually something more in Batman: Arkham Asylum than City. A few times, Spider-Man is confined in small rooms and must take out thugs without being seen. This usually involves web slinging them up to the ceiling, exactly the same as when Batman took thugs into his cowl and tied them to the ceiling. But it has often been pointed out that Batman: Arkham Asylum stole from Spider-Man. Regardless, the results are two fun games and I'm not complaining. What I will partially complain about are the boss battles. With no back talk and similar takedown tactics many of the boss battles featuring mutants feel the same. The boss battle with Smythe, a great psychotic set-up very well in the storyline (the only real benefit of the story) is especially boring and quick. But, despite the boring mutant battles and the disappointing Smythe defeat, Smythe's robots are not only creatively designed but trying to defeat them is the most fun you will ever have in the game. Be warned, though, these usually result in a lot of button mashing. However, like everything else in the game, these battles are extremely fast-paced and you need some fancy foot work – or, rather, web-work – in order to survive, which still isn't all that difficult. Still, very, very fun, but holy copyright Batman! As for the voice acting, it's good but also a missed opportunity. The voice actors do not correspond with their movie counterparts. Gwen Stacy is not voiced by Emma Stone. Spider-Man isn't voiced by Andrew Garfield. Gamers may have been able to make more of a connection with the actors if they saw the movie and then heard them in the game. But Gwen and Connor's voices do sound similar to the movie actors voices. Spider-Man's voice sounded similar too, until I recognized it. Ironically, I realized it when Spider-Man was making one of several genuinely funny puns down in the sewers about the TMNT – made all the more funny by the fact that Spider-Man is voiced by Sam Riegel, the voice of Donatello in the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle TV show from early 2000s'. Believe me, once you realize that you will never get Donny's image out of your head whenever you hear him talk. So, other than 100% completion being tedious, boss fights that are somewhat unfulfilling and an un-revolutionary storyline, this is a fun game with all the extras making for great replay ability. If you are a fan of Spider-Man in any way or just like to game casually without a lot of difficulty, this is a great game to choose – and I always forget it's technically the dreaded "movie game." It's a casual gamers Arkham City.
An all-around nerdette, I’m a comic book connoisseur, horror aficionado, video game addict, anime enthusiast and an aspiring novelist/comic book writer. I am the head of the comic book department and the editor-in-chief of Entertainment Fuse. I also write and edit articles for Comic Frontline. I am also an intern at Action Lab Entertainment, a comic book publisher at which I edit comic book scripts, help work on images in solicitations and help with other comic book related project. My own personal website is comicmaven.com.