Spider-Man 2 (2004 video game)

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Spider-Man 2
Spider-Man 2 Game Cover.jpg
Developer(s)Treyarch
Digital Eclipse (GBA/N-Gage)
The Fizz Factor (PC/MAC)
Aspyr (MAC)
Vicarious Visions (DS/PSP)
Publisher(s)Activision
Feral Interactive (OS X)
Director(s)Tomo Moriwaki
James Fristrom
Jesse Booth (NDS)[1]
Producer(s)Gregory John
Bill Dugan
Nick Doran
Jeremiah Maza
Jonathan Zamkoff
Sergio A. Bustamante II
Ellen Hobbs & Rodney Gibbs (PC)
Designer(s)Akihiro Akaike
Matthew B. Rhoades
Scott Laing (PC)
Jorge Diaz, Jonathan Russell, Jeremy Russo (NDS)
Programmer(s)Michael Vance
Jeremy Parker
Peter Akemann
Jan-Erik Steel, Charles Homic, Michael Scavezze, Alan Kimball, Alex Rybakov, Sunbir Gill, Greg Oberg, Ward Childress, Matthew Conte, Brian Sox (NDS)
Artist(s)Alexandre Bortoluzzi
James Chao
Jason Gary & Scott White (PC)
Brent Gibson, Gap-Yuel Seo, Guillermo la O', Eric Gillam, Nate Hawkinson (NDS)
Writer(s)Matthew B. Rhoades
Rodney Gibbs & Kelly Wand (PC)
Composer(s)
  • Michael McCuistion
  • Lolita Ritmanis
  • Noel Gabriel (PC)
  • Manfred Linzner (DS)
  • Randy Wilson (GBA)
EngineTreyarch NGL (console)

Unreal Engine 2 (PC)

Vicarious Visions Alchemy (DS/PSP)
Platform(s)
ReleaseGame Boy Advance, GameCube, Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 2 & Xbox
  • NA: June 28, 2004
  • EU: July 9, 2004
N-Gage
  • EU: July 2, 2004
  • NA: July 6, 2004
Mac OS X
Nintendo DS
  • NA: November 21, 2004
  • AU: February 24, 2005
  • EU: March 11, 2005
PlayStation Portable
  • NA: March 23, 2005
  • EU: September 1, 2005
Genre(s)Action-adventure[2]
Mode(s)Single-player

Spider-Man 2 is a 2004 action-adventure video game, based on the film of the same name, while incorporating additional material from the comic books. Published by Activision, the console versions were developed by Treyarch, while the others had different developers. The game is a sequel to the 2002 game Spider-Man, itself based on the 2002 film of the same name. The Treyarch versions incorporate a full open world design, being the first superhero game to do so.

All versions of the game follow and expand upon the film's plot, depicting Spider-Man's struggle to balance his civilian and superhero lives. Meanwhile, his mentor Dr. Otto Octavius becomes supervillain Doctor Octopus and attempts to recreate a dangerous fusion power experiment, forcing Spider-Man to stop him before he destroys Manhattan. Tobey Maguire, Alfred Molina, Kirsten Dunst and J.K. Simmons (PSP version only) reprised their roles from the film, as Spider-Man, Doc Ock, Mary Jane Watson and J. Jonah Jameson, respectively, while Bruce Campbell, who played an usher in the doors of Mary Jane Watson's show, narrates the game.

The game was released on June 28, 2004 for the Game Boy Advance, GameCube, Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 2 and Xbox, followed by N-Gage and Nintendo DS versions, both released later in the same year. A PSP version, which uses the same engine and graphics as the first game, was released almost one year later, on March 23, 2005. The Game Boy Advance version, developed by Digital Eclipse, was re-released on Twin Pack cartridge and bundled with Spider-Man: The Movie in 2005.[3]

The console versions of the game were positively received, with critics commending the realistic Manhattan setting and web swinging mechanics. It has been called one of the best superhero games of all time, with some crediting the game for helping revolutionize the open world genre. The handheld versions received mixed reviews, while the PC version received largely negative reviews. The game was followed by Spider-Man 3 in 2007, itself based on the film of the same name. The other game titled, Spider-Man 2: Activity Center, is also based on the film and was released in the same year.[4]

Gameplay[edit]

The console version of Spider-Man 2 is a third-person action-adventure video game, set in an open world based on New York City and composed of Manhattan, Roosevelt Island, Ellis Island, and Liberty Island. Players take on the role of Spider-Man and complete missions—linear scenarios with set objectives—to progress through the story.

The story is divided into multiple chapters, each with its own set of objectives, such as purchasing upgrades for Spider-Man, or acquiring a certain number of hero points from completing side missions. These side missions are given by random pedestrians across the game's map, and mainly consist of battling criminals, stopping speeding cars by jumping on top of them and punching them, taking injured people to the hospital, or saving construction workers from falling to their deaths. Each chapter includes at least one story mission related to the main plot.

Players are able to web swing, crawl walls, and fight enemies using a variety of combos. They can use Spider-Man's "spider sense" to slow down time and dodge incoming attacks, including gun fire. This version of the game was considered innovative at that time due to its physics-based algorithms that simulate Spider-Man's web swinging in three dimensions, creating a new game mechanic unlike the traditional jumping or flying of previous Spider-Man games. Combat is far more complex, as it involves carefully timing the player's attacks and dodges. After the completion of the storyline, a warehouse is unlocked, where the player can fight waves of enemies and bosses from the main storyline, as well as an additional one: Calypso.

PC version[edit]

The PC version of Spider-Man 2 is a level-based beat 'em up. The player can use several combos and web-based attacks to fight enemies, as well as a power move that causes Spider-Man's fists to glow and deal extra damage; it is charged up by defeating enemies. In addition to wall crawling, web swinging is also featured in the levels set outdoors, though the player can only attach webs to glowing orbs that float in the sky.

PlayStation Portable[edit]

The PlayStation Portable version of Spider-Man 2 is similar to the game's predecessor, reusing locations from that game. A level-based beat 'em up, it uses a scoring system that covers more aspects, such as the time taken to complete a level or the number of combos used. The player can crawl walls and web swing, though Spider-Man is only able to move forward in a straight line. They can also lock their camera onto certain enemies and web them. The stealth segments from the first game have been removed.

Nintendo DS[edit]

The Nintendo DS version of Spider-Man 2 is a 2.5D side-scroller beat 'em up. Players can control Spider-Man, the Touch Screen allows to use power-ups by using the R Button, the time takes to complete in every mission. They can also use Spider-Man's "spider sense" by pressing the L Button to slow down the time and dodge incoming attacks, including Obstacles and object that can fall down during missions.

Plot[edit]

Console version[edit]

Two years after the Norman Osborn/Green Gobin's death, Spider-Man is struggling to balance his double life, frequently being late or absent for school and leisure time with his friends: his crush, Mary Jane Watson, and best friend Harry Osborn, who blames Spider-Man for his father's death. While stopping a museum robbery, Spider-Man encounters cat burglar Black Cat. The two become allies and work together on multiple occasions to fight crime.

Spider-Man defeats the supervillain Rhino, and is challenged by special effects artists Quentin Beck to partake in a series of "games" meant to prove he is a fraud. After Spider-Man prevails, an embarrassed Beck assumes the identity of "Mysterio" and leads attacks on both an opera and the Statue of Liberty, which Spider-Man foils. He later tracks down Mysterio to his apartment and overcomes another series of challenges, learning that Mysterio is a fraud, despite his escape.

Harry introduces Peter to Dr. Otto Octavius, a nuclear scientist who is trying to make a fusion power experiment, sponsored by Oscorp, which would provide an unlimited source power to Manhattan. Octavius befriends and begins to mentor Peter. While handling hazardous materials, Octavius wears a harness of powerful robotic tentacle arms with artificial intelligence. During a public demonstration that Peter and Harry attend, a power spike causes the fusion reactor to destabilize. Octavius refuses to shut down the reactor, which goes critical – killing his wife and burning the inhibitor chip blocking the arms from his nervous system. Peter, as Spider-Man, shuts the experiment down, destroying it in the process. Later, the arms' AI begins to influence Octavius, who becomes the villain Doctor Octopus after a confrontation with his former friend and colleague, Curt Connors, and aims to recreate the experiment. To get the necessary funding, he robs a bank while Peter is there with his Aunt May, and kidnaps the latter as a distraction, but Spider-Man saves her.

Spider-Man learns that Mary Jane is getting married to John Jameson and reunites with Black Cat, who tries to convince him to give up on his civilian life to be Spider-Man full-time. The pair work together to track down the Shocker, who escaped from prison during Beck's initial competition with Spider-Man, and defeat him, but he escapes. Later, Spider-Man confronts Mysterio at the Mini-Mart as he tells him that he has trifled with his power for the last time and he will face his doom, punches him to unmask him and takes photos of him for the Daily Bugle, only for his boss, J. Jonah Jameson, to make it look like he and Spider-Man were partners. Enraged by this, Spider-Man decides to confront him, but is stopped by Black Cat, who informs him of Shocker's return. Following Shocker's defeat and capture, Spider-Man tells Black Cat that he cannot give up on his civilian or superhero life, which she understands, before parting ways.

Requiring the isotope tritium to fuel his reactor, Octavius visits Harry to demand it, who agrees to help in exchange for Spider-Man, and tells him to seek Peter, who Harry believes is friends with the hero. Octavius locates Peter, tells him to find Spider-Man, and captures Mary Jane. Spider-Man confronts Octavius and battles him on top of a New York City Subway train. Octavius sabotages the controls and leaves Spider-Man to save the passengers, which he does at a great physical toll. Spider-Man falls unconscious, allowing Octavius to deliver him to Harry. As Octavius leaves with the tritium, Harry prepares to kill Spider-Man, only to be shocked to see Peter under the mask. Peter convinces Harry to direct him to Octavius' lair, as bigger things are at stake. As Peter arrives at Octavius's waterfront laboratory and attempts to rescue Mary Jane discreetly, Octavius discovers him, and they battle while the nuclear reaction swells. Peter ultimately subdues Octavius, reveals his identity, and helps Octavius return to his senses. Realizing the error of his ways, he gives his life to destroy the experiment, while Spider-Man rescues Mary Jane, who is now aware of his secret identity.

On her wedding day, Mary Jane abandons John at the altar and runs to Peter's apartment. She confesses her feelings for him and says that she will be fully supportive of his double life. As they hear police sirens in the distance, Mary Jane encourages Peter to go help as Spider-Man.[5]

PC version[edit]

Two years after the Green Goblin's death, Peter's friend Harry Osborn introduces him to Dr. Otto Octavius, a nuclear scientist who is trying to make a fusion power experiment, sponsored by Oscorp, which would provide an unlimited source power to Manhattan. Octavius befriends and begins to mentor Peter. While handling hazardous materials, Octavius wears a harness of powerful robotic tentacle arms with artificial intelligence. During a public demonstration that Peter and Harry attend, a power spike causes the fusion reactor to destabilize. Octavius refuses to shut down the reactor, which goes critical – killing his wife and burning the inhibitor chip blocking the arms from his nervous system. Peter, as Spider-Man, shuts the experiment down, destroying it in the process. Shortly after, the arms' AI begins to influence Octavius, who becomes the villain Doctor Octopus and aims to recreate the experiment.

Spider-Man follows a mysterious van to prison, where a riot broke out. He defeats some of the escaped inmates, before Rhino makes his escape, but is caught in a laser cage set up by the police. Spider-Man fights Rhino, who rams into a gas station, getting knocked unconscious by the explosion. Peter accompanies Aunt May at the bank, when Octavius and his goons rob it, in order to fund a second experiment. Spider-Man beats the goons and saves several hostages, before fighting Octavius inside the vault, but he manages to escape with the money, whilst his remaining goons attempt to make off with May, whom Spider-Man rescues.

The next day, Peter is walking through the city with his friend and crush, Mary Jane Watson, when they spot the latter's car being stolen. After telling Mary Jane to wait while he calls the police, Peter, as Spider-Man, follows the carjacker to a warehouse, where he is confronted by the villain Puma. Spider-Man defeats his goons and engages Puma in a battle across the city, culminating at a construction site, where the villain reveals that he was merely a distraction for Spider-Man, which allowed Octavius to kidnap Mary Jane. He is subdued by Spider-Man after trying to escape. Octavius and his henchmen attack Oscorp to steal a piece of equipment. While Spider-Man rescues several hostages and disarms the bombs Octavius has planted throughout the building, he fails to prevent him from escaping with the device, as he is attacked by Rhino, whom Octavius retrieved after his last battle with Spider-Man. He subdues Rhino by freezing him using liquid nitrogen, but as he leaves the Oscorp building, he witnesses the city being torn out of the ground and into the sky.

Discovering that the villain Mysterio is responsible, he pursues and defeats him. Mysterio reveals that he was a distraction for Spider-Man and that Octavius is at the subway station, before restoring the city to normal and vanishing, implying that everything was merely an illusion. Spider-Man arrives at the subway station and battles Octavius on top of a New York City Subway train. Octavius sabotages the controls and leaves Spider-Man to save the passengers whilst he escapes. Later, Spider-Man finds Octavius's waterfront laboratory and attempts to rescue Mary Jane discreetly, but Octavius discovers him, and they battle. As the nuclear reaction swells, Spider-Man defeats Octavius, and helps him return to his senses. Realizing the error of his ways, he gives his life to destroy the experiment, while Spider-Man rescues Mary Jane.

PSP version[edit]

After explaining how he came to be Spider-Man, Peter reveals that he is struggling with his double life, frequently being late or absent for school and leisure time with his friends: his crush Mary Jane Watson, and Harry Osborn, who blames Spider-Man for the death of his father Norman Osborn. While patrolling the city, Spider-Man spots several thugs attempting to rob a bank and stops them. He follows a van chased by the police to the Queensboro Bridge, where the chase has led to a massive traffic accident. After saving the endangered civilians and cops, he continues his pursuit of the van to a warehouse, where the explosives the thugs were carrying provoke a massive fire. Spider-Man puts out the flames and defeats all the crooks.

Harry introduces Peter to Dr. Otto Octavius, a nuclear scientist who is trying to make a fusion power experiment, sponsored by Oscorp, which would provide an unlimited source power to Manhattan. Octavius befriends and begins to mentor Peter. While handling hazardous materials, Octavius wears a harness of powerful robotic tentacle arms with artificial intelligence. During a public demonstration that Peter and Harry attend, a power spike causes the fusion reactor to destabilize. Octavius refuses to shut down the reactor, which goes critical – killing his wife and burning the inhibitor chip blocking the arms from his nervous system. Peter, as Spider-Man, shuts the experiment down, destroying it in the process. Later, the arms' AI begins to influence Octavius, who becomes the villain Doctor Octopus and aims to recreate the experiment.

Peter learns that a prison riot allowed several supervillains to escape, and is tasked by his boss, J. Jonah Jameson, with taking photos of the gala at the Wax Museum. There, he discovers that Mysterio, one of the escaped villains, is holding everyone in attendance hostage, and infiltrates the museum as Spider-Man to rescue them and defeat Mysterio. The next day, Peter accompanies Aunt May at the bank, when Octavius and his goons rob it, in order to fund a second experiment. Spider-Man beats the goons and saves several hostages, before fighting Octavius inside the vault, who escapes with the money. After a chase through the city, Spider-Man loses Octavius.

Spider-Man foils a bomb threat orchestrated by the Vulture, another escaped villain, who reveals that the Shocker also escaped and is planning a job at a warehouse. Spider-Man goes there and defeats both Shocker and Rhino, the one who broke the other villains out of prison. As he leaves them for the police, Shocker reveals that they were hired by Octavius to steal a piece of high tech equipment, and Spider-Man deduces that he is trying to recreate the experiment.

Requiring the isotope tritium to fuel his reactor, Octavius visits Harry to demand it, who agrees to help in exchange for Spider-Man, and tells him to seek Peter, who Harry believes is friends with the hero. Octavius locates Peter, tells him to find Spider-Man, and captures Mary Jane. Spider-Man confronts Octavius and battles him on top of a New York City Subway train. Octavius sabotages the controls and leaves Spider-Man to save the passengers, which he does at a great physical toll. Spider-Man falls unconscious, allowing Octavius to deliver him to Harry. As Octavius leaves with the tritium, Harry prepares to kill Spider-Man, only to be shocked to see Peter under the mask. Peter convinces Harry to direct him to Octavius' lair, as bigger things are at stake. As Peter arrives at Octavius's waterfront laboratory and attempts to rescue Mary Jane discreetly, Octavius discovers him, and they battle. As the nuclear reaction swells, Peter defeats Octavius, reveals his identity, and helps Octavius return to his senses. Realizing the error of his ways, he gives his life to destroy the experiment, while Spider-Man rescues Mary Jane, who is now aware of his secret identity.

On her wedding day, Mary Jane abandons her fiancé at the altar and runs to Peter's apartment. She confesses her feelings for him and says that she will be fully supportive of his double life. As they hear police sirens in the distance, Mary Jane encourages Peter to go help as Spider-Man.

Development[edit]

Development on Spider-Man 2 began at Treyarch shortly after the financial success of the first Spider-Man. The physics-based web swinging system was conceived by designer Jamie Fristrom, who was dissatisfied with the web swinging system of the first game, which he was on the development team for, and desired a "more realistic" swinging system in the follow-up. He cited the game Rocket Jockey as an inspiration.[6] Although the concept was initially difficult to prototype due to the work involved in manually adding points into the game that web lines could be attached to, Fristrom and programmer Andrei Pokrovsky implemented ray casting into the game as a solution to automatically map infinite points where players could attach webs to swing from.[7] Fristrom demonstrated the web-swinging system to Activision executives, including company COO Ron Doornink, who approved the system for use in the game.[6]

A few months before the game's release, which was set to coincide with the release of the film, the developers at Treyarch were forced to cut a large amount of content in order to complete and ship the game on time.[8]

Reception[edit]

Critical reactions to the console versions of Spider-Man 2 were generally positive. Reviewers noted that the realistic and life-sized Manhattan setting, the large variety of crimes and emergencies to stop, and the game's vivid use of Spider-Man's abilities all combined to make the player really feel like Spider-Man. The most popular aspect of the game was the web-swinging mechanic, where Spider-Man had to shoot webbing at an actual building, unlike previous games where he shot webbing up into the sky. However, small parts of the game were criticized, such as the repetition of some of the side missions. The game has been ranked by critics as one of the best Spider-Man games made.[66][67][68][69][70][71][72]

IGN gave the game a score of 8.8 out of 10 for the PlayStation 2 and Nintendo GameCube versions,[53] 9 / 10 for the Xbox version,[52] 7.1 / 10 for the N-Gage version,[55] 7 / 10 for the PSP version,[56] 7.5 / 10 for the Nintendo DS version,[54] 6.5 / 10 for the Game Boy Advance version,[57] and 4.5 / 10 for the PC version.[58] IGN stated on the PS2, GameCube, and Xbox version to "call it Grand Theft Spider-Man. And call it damn fine". The version even won the IGN Editor's Choice Award for the year. IGN, reviewing the GBA version, credited positively the presentation, graphics, sound, web-zipping and wall-crawling. They only negatively stated that the music loops a lot because of the enormously long levels, "not the tightest combat developed for a Spider-Man game", and stated that the levels are "a big pain in the butt to accomplish".

The PSP version received generally mixed reviews. Gameplay and graphics were praised, while the bad camera angle and the length of the game faced criticism.

The Official PlayStation 2 Magazine ranked the game #80 of the "Top 100 PS2 Games of All Time". In ScrewAttack's 'Top 10 Movie-Based Games' Spider-Man 2 came in eighth.[73]

Sales[edit]

Upon launch, the game had shipped more than 2 million units in North America by July 7, 2004.[74] In the United States, the game's Game Boy Advance version alone sold 600,000 copies and earned $17 million by August 2006. During the period between January 2000 and August 2006, it was the 47th highest-selling game launched for the Game Boy Advance, Nintendo DS or PlayStation Portable in that country.[75] By 2005, the game had grossed $110 million in sales revenue in the United States.[76] The game's PlayStation 2 version received a "Platinum" sales award from the Entertainment and Leisure Software Publishers Association (ELSPA),[77] indicating sales of at least 300,000 copies in the United Kingdom.[78]

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