I picked up Spider-Man 2 yesterday and had a chance to play quite a bit of it last night. All the great stuff you have been reading about this game is true. It’s pretty amazing how all of a sudden developers are learning that a licensed game can actually kick ass. If you had told me even a year ago that some of my favorite games in 2004 would be based off of movies I’d have laughed in your face and then asked you for winning some lottery numbers since you were obviously some kind of clairvoyant.
The game is made by the same people hat gave us the Tony Hawk series and as silly as it sounds, Spider-Man plays a lot like their previous titles. Taking missions from people on the street and completing a list of objectives in order to progress will feel very familiar. There are plenty of little coins and medals to collect but just like Tony Hawk, you actually want to collect all this shit. One of the reasons is because swinging around is so Goddamned fun. I’d say that the swinging is probably the coolest part of the game in fact. There have been times were I found myself just zipping around the city for five our ten minutes before I even thought to try and take a mission.
Visually the game is delicious. They have essentially given you Manhattan and told you it’s yours, go have fun. You can swing from one side of the city to the other and never experience any loading. Tack on to that the open ended game play and the feeling of freedom is just incredible. You can follow up on story points if you want to and that will help you progress through the levels but you can also just swing around the city stopping crime. If I had to make one complaint here it would be that you tend to stop a lot of the same crimes over and over again. It appears that there is a group of men whose sole job in life is to wear orange jump suits and hang precariously from the edges of buildings. You’ll also stop your fair share of armored car robberies and purse snatchings. These sorts of things might get boring except that the combat is a real treat.
Beating the holy shit out of these thugs is awesome and it just gets better as you purchase new combat abilities throughout the game. You can knock a guy up into the air then snatch him with your web and yank him back down into your fist. You’ll be alerted to impeding attacks by your spider sense and a quick tap of the dodge button will not only keep Spidey out of harms way but allow you to counter attack with some awesome moves. You’ve also got a Matrix style slow down effect you can turn on for short periods of time. Obviously this isn’t a new feature by any means but it’s there and it’s cool.
I could keep talking about it but the point it that it’s awesome and you should go and at least rent it. I promise you won’t be disappointed.