Spider-Man 2 (video game)

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Spider-Man 2
Spider-Man 2 Game Cover.jpg
Developer(s)Treyarch
Digital Eclipse (GBA/NGE)
The Fizz Factor (PC)
Aspyr (MAC)
Vicarious Visions (DS/PSP)
Publisher(s)Activision
Producer(s)Bill Dugan[1]
Designer(s)Akihiro Akaike[1]
Composer(s)
EngineTreyarch NGL (Console) Unreal Engine 2 (PC)
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[1]
Mode(s)Single-player

Spider-Man 2 is a 2004 action-adventure video game, open world in various iterations, based on the film of the same name, while incorporating additional material from the comic books. It is a follow-up to the 2002 game Spider-Man, itself based on the 2002 film, and incorporates various references to the events of that game. Published by Activision, the console versions were developed by Treyarch; other versions had different developers. All versions of the game follow and expand on the film's plot, which depicts Spider-Man's conflict with his former mentor, Dr. Otto Octavius, now the supervillain Doctor Octopus, who plans to recreate a fusion power experiment that will inadvertently destroy New York City, while dealing with the personal problems of his civilian persona, Peter Parker.

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, came on Twin Pack cartridge and bundled with Spider-Man: The Movie in 2005. The console versions of the game received critical acclaim, with critics praising the realistic like Manhattan and web swinging mechanics. The other versions received mixed reviews.

The game was followed by Spider-Man 3 in 2007, itself based on the film of the same name.

Gameplay[edit]

The best known version of Spider-Man 2, developed by Treyarch, is a third person action-adventure video game, set in an open world based on New York City and composed of Manhattan and the Roosevelt, Ellis, and Liberty Islands, as well as a mysteriol label on the map over the water claiming "Governors Island" (which was omitted from the final version of the game due to time constraints). 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 also 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 also 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 also far more complex, as it involves carefully timing the player's attacks and dodges; a similar combat system would be used in Batman: Arkham Asylum, which is often regarded as having revolutionized video game combat. 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 similar to previous Spider-Man games: a level based beat 'em up video game. 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 almost identical to the game's predecessor, even reusing locations from that game. It is also a level based beat 'em up, and 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 in the levels set outdoors, where the webs will stick to nothing but the sky, causing Spider-Man to move forward in a straight line; if the player swings too low, Spider-Man will instantly fall to his death. The player can lock their camera onto certain enemies and web them, while the stealth segments from the first game have been removed.

Plot[edit]

Treyarch version[edit]

Two years after the Green Goblin's death, Spider-Man is struggling to balance 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 his father's death. While stopping a museum robbery, Spider-Man encounters cat burglar Black Cat. The two eventually become allies and work together on multiple occasions to fight crime.

Later, Spider-Man defeats the supervillain Rhino, and is challenged by special effects artists Quentin Beck partake in a series of "games" meant to prove he is a fault. 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 soon tracks down Mysterio to his apartment and overcomes another series of challenges, learning that Mysterio is a fraud, despite his escape.

Harry later 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 soon 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 funding, he robs a bank while Peter is there with his Aunt May, and kidnaps the latter, but Spider-Man saves her.

Later, 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 then 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. At the same time, Spider-Man unmasks Mysterio 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. The pair again fight him, and defeat him for good. Later, Spider-Man informs Black Cat that he can't give up on his civillian or superhero life, which she understands, before parting ways.

Meanwhile, requiring the isotope tritium to fuel his reactor, Octavius visits Harry to demand it, who agrees in exchange for Spider-Man, and tells him to seek Peter, who Harry believes is friends with Spider-Man. 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 Peter 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 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.[2]

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 soon 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.

Later, 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 then rams into a gas station, getting knocked unconscious by the explosion. Later, 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 both 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 then subdued by Spider-Man after trying to escape. Later, 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. Spider-Man subdues Rhino by freezing him using liquid nitrogen, but as he leaves the Oscorp building, he witnesses the city being literally torn out of the ground and into the sky.

Discovering that the villain Mysterio is responsible, he pursues and eventually defeats him. Mysterio reveals that he was yet another distraction for Spider-Man and that Octavius is at the subway station, before restoring the city to normal and vanishing, implying that it was all 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 Peter 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. Peter ultimately subdues Octavius, and helps return to his senses. Realizing the error of his ways, he gives his life to destroy the experiment, while Spider-Man rescues Mary Jane (without revealing his secret identity to her).

PSP version[edit]

After explaining how he came to be Spider-Man, Peter reveals that he is currently 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 his father's death. One day, while patrolling the city, Spider-Man spots several thugs attempting to rob a bank and stops them. Later that night, 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 civillians 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, while defeating all the crooks.

Harry later 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 soon 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.

Later, 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, only to discover that someone is holding everyone in attendace hostage. Infiltrates the museum as Spider-Man, he rescued hostages and defeats Mysterio, who is one of the recently escaped villains. 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 Ocavius.

Not long after, 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 (although it wasn't intentional, as he was supposed to break only Shocker out). 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.

Meanwhile, requiring the isotope tritium to fuel his reactor, Octavius visits Harry to demand it, who agrees in exchange for Spider-Man, and tells him to seek Peter, who Harry believes is friends with Spider-Man. 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 Peter 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 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 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 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.[3] 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.[4] Fristrom demonstrated the web-swinging system to Activision executives, including company COO Ron Doornink, who approved the system for use in the game.[3]

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.[5]

Reception[edit]

Reception
Aggregate score
AggregatorScore
Metacritic(Xbox) 83/100[6]
(PS2) 80/100[7]
(GC) 80/100[8]
(PSP) 67/100[9]
(GBA) 65/100[10]
(DS) 61/100[11]
(N-Gage) 61/100[12]
(PC) 42/100[13]
Review scores
PublicationScore
Edge6/10[14]
EGM7/10[15]
(PSP) 6.33/10[16]
(DS) 4.83/10[17]
Eurogamer(Xbox) 7/10[18]
(PSP) 5/10[19]
Game Informer8/10[20]
(PSP) 7.25/10[21]
(GBA) 7/10[22]
(N-Gage) 6.75/10[23]
(DS) 6/10[24]
GamePro4.5/5 stars[25]
(GBA & PSP) 3.5/5 stars[26][27]
(DS) 2/5 stars[28]
GameRevolutionA−[29]
(Xbox) B+[30]
(PSP) C−[31]
(DS) D+[32]
GameSpot(GBA) 7.3/10[33]
(GC/PS2) 7.2/10[34]
(PSP) 6.9/10[35]
(DS) 6/10[36]
(N-Gage) 5.2/10[37]
(PC) 5/10[38]
GameSpy4/5 stars[39]
(DS) 3/5 stars[40]
(PC, N-Gage & PSP) 2/5 stars[41][42][43]
GameZone(PS2) 9.2/10[44]
9/10[45][46]
(GC) 8/10[47]
(N-Gage) 5/10[48]
IGN(Xbox) 9/10[49]
(PS2) 8.8/10[50]
(DS) 7.5/10[51]
(N-Gage) 7.1/10[52]
(PSP) 7/10[53]
(GBA) 6.5/10[54]
(PC) 4.5/10[55]
Nintendo Power(GC) 3.8/5[56]
(DS) 3.5/5[57]
(GBA) 3.4/5[58]
OPM (US)3.5/5 stars[59][60]
OXM (US)8.6/10[61]
PC Gamer (US)25%[62]

The console versions of Spider-Man 2 received general positive reviews. 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 as one of the best Spider-Man games made.[63][64][65][66][67][68][69]

IGN gave the game a score of 8.8 out of 10 for the PlayStation 2 and Nintendo GameCube versions,[50] 9 / 10 for the Xbox version,[49] 7.1 / 10 for the N-Gage version,[52] 7 / 10 for the PSP version,[53] 7.5 / 10 for the Nintendo DS version,[51] 6.5 / 10 for the Game Boy Advance version,[54] and 4.5 / 10 for the PC version.[55] 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 to positive 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 the ScrewAttack top ten 'Top 10 Movie-Based Games' Spider-Man 2 came in eighth.[70]

Sales[edit]

Upon launch, the game had shipped more than 2 million units in North America by July 7, 2004.[71] 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.[72] By 2005, the game had grossed $110 million in sales revenue in the United States.[73] The game's PlayStation 2 version received a "Platinum" sales award from the Entertainment and Leisure Software Publishers Association (ELSPA),[74] indicating sales of at least 300,000 copies in the United Kingdom.[75]

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