Could the new Spider-Man game beat the curse of the movie tie-in?

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Okay so this is going to sound insane… but could the new Amazing Spider-Man 2 game for PS4, which is being made to tie in with the new film, actually be pretty good?

Now don’t get me wrong – I love Spider-Man, but as a rule games being made to tie-in with films are pretty much always terrible (Goldeneye on the N64 being the honourable exception that proves the rule). So you’d be forgiven for being very apprehensive about a game that directly ties in with the new film… especially given the rebooted films themselves are – in essence – completely unnecessary (what’s wrong with Tobey Maguire?)

But check out this gameplay footage posted by Sony yesterday, which shows off some of the web-slinging action… it actually looks pretty fun.

Spider-Man, Spider-Man, does whatever a… umm… Dark Knight can.

The game is clearly taking an awful lot of inspiration from the Batman: Arkham series – almost to the extent that if I were in charge of Wayne Enterprises, I’d be on the phone to the legal department. But for gamers, that’s no bad thing – as the Arkham series (which, consistent with the movie rule above, is not actually directly based on any Batman film) is great, when you ignore the most recent of the three, Arkham Origins.

In the video, the developer explains some of the key game mechanics. Essentially, it’s a sandbox game set in New York City, and Spidey can swing between buildings, firing off webs with the left and right trigger – using a smartphone to help navigate to the next objective.

There’s even an annotated “heads up display” type mode for identifying enemies – which in this instance is obviously spidey-sense mode.

Even combat has an Arkham familiarity – with groups of thugs able to be taken out with ranged takedowns, whilst hanging upside-down (just like Batman!), or with good old fashioned street fighting. Like the Batman games too, finishing moves will be slightly more cinematic. Watch the video though – and try and tell me you weren’t a little bit excited when you saw Peter Parker pull the guard up with a web and smash his face against the wall.

One thing that is new and unique is multiple suits – each with their own power-ups and special abilities, which should make gameplay a little more varied.

So it is okay to get excited? The previous game in the series has a lukewarm 66% on Metacritic but this… looks like it could be rather nice indeed.

James O’Malley
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