Spider-Man 2 (video game)
North American PS2 cover art
Digital Eclipse (GBA/NGE)
The Fizz Factor (PC)
Vicarious Visions (DS/PSP)
|Engine||Treyarch NGL (Console) Unreal Engine 2 (PC)|
|Release||Game Boy Advance, GameCube, Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 2 & Xbox|
Spider-Man 2 is a 2004 open world action-adventure video game in various iterations based on the film of the same name, also incorporating additional material from the comic books. They are follow-ups to the game Spider-Man: The Movie, itself based on the 2002 film. Published by Activision, the console versions were developed by Treyarch, but the other versions had different developers.[a]
The game was released on June 28, 2004 for the Game Boy Advance, GameCube, Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 2 and Xbox before the both N-Gage and Nintendo DS version was released in the same year before PSP version was released on March 23, 2005
It was followed by Spider-Man 3 in 2007.
The Treyarch version of the game allow the player to freely roam around Manhattan, Roosevelt, Ellis, and Liberty Islands. The home console versions were also innovative in that physics-based algorithms simulated Spider-Man's web swinging in three dimensions, creating a new game mechanic unlike the traditional jumping or flying of previous Spider-Man games. The PSP version of Spider-Man 2 was compared to playing the original Spider-Man movie game.
While street thugs only have handguns, machine guns, crowbars and their fists to protect them, the super-villains and their minions have their various unique powers and weapons that they use to either steal, cause terror or defeat Spider-Man. At the end of the game, it becomes possible to unlock a warehouse in which the player can again fight thugs and villains such as Shocker, Rhino, Mysterio, Doctor Octopus, and an additional boss, Calypso, who is not found elsewhere in the game.
The player has the ability to choose either to go on with the storyline or swing around the city. The player can explore Manhattan, Roosevelt Island, Ellis Island, Liberty Island, and a mysterious label on the map over the water claiming "Governors Island" (which was omitted from the final version of the game due to time constraints) with many sidequests for the player to complete. The player can do random tasks to earn "hero points," which must be accumulated to continue with the story.
It takes place two years following the events of the first game after Green Goblin was killed by glider on Queensboro Bridge. Spider-Man is trying to balance his civilian and superhero life, frequently late or absent for school, work, and leisure time with his friends. Following dinner with Mary Jane Watson and Harry Osborn, Peter thwarts an armed looting of an art museum, and tracks down an escaped robber, the Black Cat. Soon after this, he thwarts an attack in the streets of Manhattan by The Rhino.
Meanwhile, special effects artist Quentin Beck tries to prove that Spider-Man is a fraud by challenging Peter in a series of "games". Spider-Man emerges successful. Consequently, Beck tries to kill Spider-Man, but is thwarted after his cannon overheats. This embarrassment causes Beck to assume the identity of Mysterio, attacking journalists attending his press conference, and commands his "UFOs" to "invade" the Statue of Liberty. Both of these attacks are thwarted by Spider-Man's efforts, with no casualties. Spider-Man then uses a boat to get back to the mainland and finds Mysterio's base of operations inside of an apartment filled with traps.
In the time following, Doctor Otto Octavius attempts to recreate nuclear fusion of that seen in the sun to provide an energy source for Manhattan. To control this fusion, he creates four metal arms which he can mentally control. His fusion creates a strong magnetic field, destroying the lab, killing his wife Rosie, and grafting his metal arms to his spine and giving his arms control over him. After injuring his friend Dr. Curt Connors, he decides to become a criminal in order to rebuild the nuclear fusion reactor. Octavius, now known as Dr. Octopus, kidnaps Aunt May, but Spider-Man saves her just in time from an elevated train.
Spider-Man eventually teams up with Black Cat, who leads him to the Shocker, who escaped during Beck's initial competition with Spider-Man. Despite outmatched, Shocker manages to escape. Spider-Man finds Mysterio robbing a Speedy Mart and defeats him with one punch. Peter takes a few photos of Beck as Mysterio, and J. Jonah Jameson uses these photos to make it appear that Spider-Man and Mysterio are in cahoots. Enraged at this, Peter decides to give Jameson a "piece of his mind" as Spider-Man, only for Black Cat to stop him, revealing that she has tracked Shocker at an abandoned Oscorp laboratory. Although Shocker uses an experimental propulsion system to enhance his powers, he's defeated and apprehended. After defeating Shocker, Spider-Man saves Mary Jane from a bunch of robbers. Black Cat then leads Spider-Man to an illegal weapons trade, where she tries to convince him to permanently become Spider-Man, but he rejects the idea, saying that he cannot stop being either Spider-Man or who he really is. Black Cat then encourages him to talk with Mary Jane.
Dr. Octopus kidnaps Mary Jane Watson and steals tritium from Harry Osborn to repower his nuclear fusion in exchange for Spider-Man. A long battle on top of a moving train leads to Peter being delivered to Harry. Harry unmasks him, and is greatly shocked that his best friend is Spider-Man but nevertheless tells him where Dr. Octopus is located. While trying to free Mary Jane, Spider-Man is attacked from behind by Octavius, revealing his identity to him and Mary Jane. After shutting down all the switches, Peter sees that the fusion reactor is still on and all of them explode, causing Dr. Octopus to lose his protective shield. Peter defeats Dr. Octopus, pushing him into a switch, shocking him. This allows Otto to regain control of his mind and sacrifice himself to destroy the fusion reactor permanently by demolishing the warehouse.
The next day, Peter gets a surprise visit from Mary Jane, who tells Peter that she cannot live without him, and wants to offer her full support to his life as Spider-Man and kisses him. With his confidence renewed, Spider-Man continues to defend the city from evil.
The plot of the PC game differs drastically from the main console versions. It first starts out with a short cutscene from the primary console game that introduces as to how Dr. Otto Octavius became Doctor Octopus with his fusion reaction experiment. The PC version then diverges from the console versions with a tutorial, (narrated by Bruce Campbell) telling the player how to play as Spider-Man, (i.e. web swinging, wall crawling, fighting, etc.).
The storyline for the game starts off with a cutscene of a gray van being chased down by the police before it crashes, and out come two crooks. Spider-Man dispatches the crooks quickly, but the van drives away automatically. Spider-Man follows it to the New York Maximum Security Prison where a large group of thugs are causing a riot. Spider-Man defeats many crooks and escaping prisoners before Rhino busts out of the prison. He briefly fights Spider-Man before he tries to charge away, but he is caught in a laser cage set up by the police. Deciding to let the undefeated prisoners escape (whom he can later find in alleys and hidden areas), Spider-Man goes after and defeats him. Rhino escapes the laser field, but he accidentally rams into a gas station that blows up and knocks him several blocks away from the explosion, where Doctor Octopus takes his unconscious form. Spider-Man lets Doctor Octopus get away with Rhino while he douses the fires caused by the explosion and then demonstrates a new power punch by defeating three crooks (these power punches are gained when defeating normal enemies, not bosses, and once they are gained, they drain out during combat, which quickly defeats enemies with a single punch).
Later, Peter Parker, Spider-Man's alter ego, is with his Aunt May at the bank, and goes to the bathroom just as Doctor Octopus and a gang of his robbers hold the bank hostage. Spider-Man pummels his way through the robbers and saving the hostages, including Aunt May, until he reaches the basement of the bank where he confronts Doctor Octopus. They fight, but Doctor Octopus gets away with his stolen cash. Spider-Man once again lets him get away in order to save Aunt May from a band of three robbers who kidnap her and take her into their van. Spider-Man stops the van, dispatches the robbers and saves Aunt May.
The next day, Peter is walking with Mary Jane Watson through the city when they both spot MJ's car getting stolen. Peter tells MJ to wait where she is while he calls the police. Then Spider-Man follows the car to a garage where he confronts the villain Puma and a band of his crooks in a warehouse. Puma leads Spider-Man on a chase throughout the warehouse while Spider-Man pummels his way through Puma's cronies, and their initial fight takes place in a small room. After Puma takes some beating, he takes the fight outside to the rooftops, at a water fountain and finally to an unfinished construction site. There, Puma finally surrenders in his fight against Spider-Man, but gleefully tells him that he was merely a distraction for Spider-Man while Doctor Octopus kidnapped Mary Jane. In a cutscene, Puma tries to get away but Spider-Man webs him up and finally defeats Puma. He calls Mary Jane, but Doctor Octopus has kidnapped her.
Later, Doctor Octopus and his cronies attack OsCorp. Spider-Man goes to OsCorp to foil the heist there, defeating many cronies and saving countless civilians and scientists, as well as disabling the eight bombs Doctor Octopus placed in the building. Spider-Man is then confronted by Rhino in a room with six generators which Spider-Man makes the brutish villain ram into and electrocute himself, but Rhino is not done yet. He confronts Spider-Man for a third time in a room with four liquid nitrogen tubes that Spider-Man destroys and leaks the gases in the tubes, quickly freezing the room. But Spider-Man escapes the room before it freezes and Rhino is frozen with it, finally defeating him. Then Spider-Man leaves OsCorp through an elevator to continue his search for Doctor Octopus on OsCorp's rooftop before he finds himself in a New York literally torn out of the ground and into the sky by the machinations of the supervillain Mysterio, who has done this to further Doctor Octopus's plans.
Spider-Man destroys the generators that seemingly hold New York in the sky, as well as fighting through Mysterio's numerous robots, before fighting and chasing a flying Mysterio himself, which Spider-Man fights back by throwing meteors at the villain that the latter throws down from the sky to defeat the superhero. But Mysterio is not done yet; he tries to kill Spider-Man again with a giant laser gun on top of the Daily Bugle, but Spider-Man destroys it and defeats Mysterio. Mysterio tells Spider-Man of Doctor Octopus's plans and disappears, reverting New York back to normal.
Spider-Man takes the final fight to Doctor Octopus through the subways, fighting past the remainder of Doctor Octopus's cronies, saving Mary Jane and battling Doctor Octopus in a final showdown at his fusion reactor. Spider-Man pummels enough sense into him to make Doctor Octopus realize the error of his ways and he sacrifices himself by pulling his machine in with him into the river (much like the movie), and Spider-Man escapes with Mary Jane without revealing his identity to her.
Development on Spider-Man 2 began at Treyarch shortly after the financial success of the first Spider-Man game. 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. 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. Fristrom demonstrated the web-swinging system to Activision executives, including company COO Ron Doornink, who approved the system for use in the game.
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.
The console versions of Spider-Man 2 received critical acclaim. Critics noted that the realistic and life-sized Manhattan, 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 and fans as one of the best Spider-Man games ever made.
The other versions of the game have also received generally positive reviews with the exception of the PC/Mac version, which was "dumbed down" for a young audience and thus featured more simplistic and less challenging gameplay. Many reviewers argued that the PC version should have received a port of the console versions instead. Other complaints included that advertisements for the game made no indication that the PC version was different from the console version, and then recent changes to PC Game return policies made getting a refund difficult.
IGN gave the game a score of 8.8 out of 10 for the PlayStation 2 and Nintendo GameCube versions, 9 / 10 for the Xbox version, 7.1 / 10 for the N-Gage version, 7 / 10 for the PSP version, 7.5 / 10 for the Nintendo DS version, 6.5 / 10 for the Game Boy Advance version, and 4.5 / 10 for the PC version. IGN stated on the PS2, GameCube, and Xbox version to "call it Grand Theft Spider-Man. And call it damn fine." The version even got 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 also received generally positive reviews. Gameplay and graphics were praised, while the bad camera angle and the length of the game were criticized.
Upon launch, the game had shipped more than 2 million units in North America by July 7, 2004. 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. By 2005, the game had grossed $110 million in sales revenue in the United States. The game's PlayStation 2 version received a "Platinum" sales award from the Entertainment and Leisure Software Publishers Association (ELSPA), indicating sales of at least 300,000 copies in the United Kingdom.
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