The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014 video game)
|The Amazing Spider-Man 2|
High Voltage Software (3DS)
Windows, 3DS, PS3, PS4, Wii U, X360
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is an open world action-adventure video game based on the Marvel Comics character Spider-Man, and the 2014 film of the same name. Developed by Beenox and published by Activision, it is a sequel to 2012's The Amazing Spider-Man, and is set in the same continuity, different from that of the films. The story loosely follows the plot of the film; while most of the villains featured are also present in the game, the focus shifts towards new threats for Spider-Man to face, mainly crime lord Wilson Fisk, who poses as a respectable businessman and creates a private police force and other villains to eliminate him, and serial killer Cletus Kasady, who considers himself a dark reflection of Spider-Man.
The game was released on April 29 in North America and May 2 in Europe for Microsoft Windows, Nintendo 3DS, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Wii U, and Xbox 360, to mixed reviews. The Xbox One version was released alongside the other platforms digitally while the release of physical copies was delayed by two weeks. Gameloft also released a mobile version on April 17 for iOS and Android devices as a paid game. The game was also localized in Japan as a Sony-exclusive title. This is the last Marvel video game (and by extension, the final Spider-Man video game) to be published by Activision, and also the last major Spider-Man video game to be released for the non-Sony platforms, as the license for Spider-Man games was passed to Insomniac Games, which developed the Marvel's Spider-Man series, starting with the 2018 game Marvel's Spider-Man.
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is a third person action-adventure video game, set in an open world based on Manhattan. Players take on the role of Spider-Man and complete missions—linear scenarios with set objectives—to progress through the story. The missions are structured in a linear manner, but the player is free to explore the game's map in between missions and engage in various side activities. Players have access to all of Spider-Man's superhuman abilities, including web swinging and wall crawling. The Web-Rush bullet time mechanic from the game's predecessor also returns and has been expanded, now allowing players to also do critical strikes, dodges, and rolls. The combat is similar to the predecessor, featuring a freeflow design and counterattacks, and allows Spider-Man to incapacitate enemies for a few seconds by various means, such as throwing interactable objects at them, and then subdue them for good by webbing them.
Players are able to upgrade Spider-Man's web shooters and unlock new abilities, such as ionic webbing, which destroys metal objects, including the armors of certain enemies, or vibro blasts that incapacitate enemies for a few seconds. In addition to the armored enemies, more enemy types have been introduced, such as Brutes, which can be defeated only after weakening them with vibro blasts, and Speeders and Glider riders, which can be attacked only after pulling them towards Spider-Man. Save for the Brutes, all of these enemies can be easily taken down during stealth segments, just like normal enemies.
The game's side missions include stopping petty crimes, car chases, and gun fights in the streets, throwing bombs into the ocean, transporting injured civilians to the hospital, and saving people from a burning building. The game introduces a new morality system, where completing these side missions will increase Spider-Man's reputation and cause him to be seen as a "Hero" by the general public, and failing to respond to certain crimes in time will result in Spider-Man's reputation decreasing and him becoming a "Menace". When the latter happens, Enhanced Crime Task Force officers will be deployed across the city, and will attack Spider-Man on sight; they will disappear once Spider-Man rebuilds his reputation as a hero.
The game's map has been expanded compared to its predecessor, and now also features a subway system that allows the player to travel to Peter Parker's home in Queens, which serves as a hub. From where, players can replay story missions and equip alternate costumes for Spider-Man, unlocked from investigating Russian Hideouts or via DLC. Players can also use Spider-Man's smartphone to access the map, which provides the player with information of activities taking place in the area at the time, or to manage in-game messages and upgrades.
Missions have been altered to fit players' play style. Most of them now take place in the game's map or an outdoors location, and feature different approaches, allowing players to either engage all enemies in a certain area, or take them down in using stealth. The stealth segments have been improved since the game's predecessor; players are now able to take down enemies from a distance and from any surface they are on: the ground, a wall, or the ceiling. They can also repel from their webs and perform inverted takedowns on enemies.
Two years after the previous game's events, Spider-Man continues to be New York's protector, but decides to resume his search for Uncle Ben's killer, Dennis Carradine. Although Spider-Man eventually tracks him down, Carradine is murdered by a serial killer known as the "Carnage Killer", who is targeting other criminals. While responding to an attack on Oscorp and battling both the Russian Mob and a rival gang led by Herman Schultz (one of Carradine's contractors that Spider-Man had interrogated on his whereabouts), he rescues electric engineer Max Dillon, who idolizes him, and encounters Schultz again, now sporting a pair of vibro-shock gauntlents and calling himself the "Shocker". Upon defeating the Shocker, Spider-Man learns that all prominent gangs in the city are trying to steal Oscorp technology to gain an advantage in the turf war they have engaged in.
With the growing threat of the Carnage Killer and the gang war, new Oscorp CEO Harry Osborn and billionaire Wilson Fisk join forces to fund the Enhanced Crime Task Force, a privatized police force meant to contain criminals, as well as vigilantes like Spider-Man. After Harry refuses to sell Oscorp to him, Fisk decides to wait until Harry dies from the same genetic disease that killed his father Norman and then take over the company. Meanwhile, Spider-Man encounters Kraven the Hunter, who came to New York to hunt Oscorp's failed cross-species experiments, and offers to mentor the young hero. The pair subsequently work together to track down the Carnage Killer, using the Russian Mob as their main lead. Along the way, Spider-Man foils their plot to assassinate Fisk at a fund-raiser, and dismantles their operations at the city docks.
Eventually, Spider-Man and Kraven find the killer, Cletus Kasady, who claims that he and Spider-Man are very alike. After Spider-Man defeats him, Kasady is taken to the Ravencroft Institute for the Criminally Insane, where is experimented on with a red substance code-named "Venom", originally meant to cure Norman Osborn's disease. Following Kasady's capture, the gang war comes to an end, allowing a new crime lord known only as the "Kingpin" to take control of all organized crime. While responding to a museum break-in, Spider-Man encounters former bank robber Felicia Hardy, now calling herself "Black Cat", who reveals that Fisk is the Kingpin and that he bailed her out of prison, only to give her super-powers through genetic experiments at Ravencroft and order her to kill Spider-Man, though she was reluctant to do so. Fearing that Fisk will come after her, Black Cat declines Spider-Man's help and escapes to go into hiding.
Later, while meeting with Harry to learn more about Fisk's activities, Peter learns that his old friend is dying, and that he believes Spider-Man's blood can help him. Afraid of the possible side effects, Spider-Man refuses, but Harry continues to search for a cure. Spider-Man also discovers that Kraven is working for Fisk and defeats him. Using the information provided by Kraven, Spider-Man finds Fisk's hideout, defeats him, and hacks into his computer for incriminating evidence, but fails to retrieve anything before Max Dillon, now "Electro", cuts the power in Manhattan. Confronting Electro, Spider-Man learns that he gained super-powers after a freak accident and was imprisoned at Ravencroft, where the doctors expermineted on him, until he escaped to seek revenge on Spider-Man for abandoning him. Spider-Man defeats Electro, restoring power to Manhattan and inadvertently killing him, and vows to stop the experiments at Ravencroft.
Meanwhile, Harry injects himself with Richard Parker's spider venom in an attempt to cure himself, only to become disfigured and insane. Donning an experimental armor and weaponized glider, he becomes the "Green Goblin" and attacks Oscorp. When he comes to investigate, Spider-Man finds his former friend and reluctantly fights him, until the Goblin is fatally stabbed by his glider in a failed attempt to kill the web-slinger. Later, Spider-Man responds to a riot at Ravencroft and rescues Harry's assistant Donald Menken, who informs him that Kasady has gained control of the symbiote he had been injected with and infected other inmates with it. Spider-Man ventures into Ravencroft and defeats Kasady, but he fully bonds with the symbiotes and becomes "Carnage". He manages to burn the symbiote off Kasady, but refuses to let him die, claiming that they are nothing alike. Kasady is subsequently re-incarcerated and the symbiote completely removed.
Later, Peter visits family friend Stan at his comic book shop, who encourages him to be the man Uncle Ben would have wanted him to be, prompting Peter to resume his neverending battle against crime. In a post-credits scene, Fisk tells the mayor on the phone that he will continue to finance the Task Force without Harry, before the Chameleon arrives, revealing he had been posing as Menken to oversee Fisk's experiments at Ravencroft. When the Chameleon asks what their next move is, Fisk states that "now the real work begins".
Development and release
The game was announced at New York Comic Con October 2013 slated for a Spring 2014 release. Beenox once again became the developer of the game. Beenox originally planned to develop the 3DS version of the game, but dropped due to unknown reasons and was given to High Voltage Software instead.
A small teaser trailer was released at the New York Comic Con in 2013 to support the first announcement of the game. The first trailer for the game was released to the public in January next year. The release date for the console versions was announced in March. The walkthrough trailer was released on 27 March. The launch trailer for the mobile version was released after the release of the game.
|PC Gamer (UK)||55/100|
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 received generally mixed to negative reviews upon release, with most of the criticism aimed at the graphics, story, and glitches. On Metacritic, the iOS version of the game has a weighted aggregate rating of 58/100 based on 14 reviews, the PlayStation 3 version of the game has 57/100 based on 4 reviews, and the PlayStation 4 version of the game has 49/100 based on 44 reviews.
The Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 versions were reviewed as "inferior" to the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One versions, primarily due to the fact that the older console versions suffered from poor lighting, frame rate drops, and poorly detailed textures. The PS4 version of the game received a 5.4/10 from IGN. The Xbox One version of the game received a 5.5/10 from Digital-Tutors stating the biggest issue was "...it just isn’t polished, and based on the many issues we found with the game it looks thrown together in a rush trying to get it out the door in time for the release of the movie". ABC's Good Game hated the game, both Bajo and Hex giving it a 4/10 with Hex saying: "This feels like a poor copy-paste job of The Amazing Spider-Man, with most of the good bits removed".
Eurogamer's Dan Whitehead scored the game a 2 out of 10, saying "it's like a part of me has died". Whitehead was very disappointed in the game because, as he is a big fan of Spider-Man, he felt that the game provided no significant fun for the player, whereas past Spider-Man games at least provided something. Whitehead stated: "Sullied by lacklustre gameplay and trampled by technical shoddiness, this time Spidey hasn't been done in by the Sinister Six, but reduced to a Terrible Two".
Tom McShea from GameSpot scored the game a 5/10. McShea called the representation of Spider-Man "enjoyable", and liked the "satisfying" boss battles, but criticized the controls, side-missions, and combat. McShea summarized his review by saying: "The biggest failing of The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is how familiar it feels. In fact, there have been other open-world games starring Spider-Man that walk a remarkably similar path. So there weren't many surprises, nothing that jumped out and made me take notice. Still, being able to spend time with Spider-Man was enough for me to stomach the various problems, just because he's a fun character to listen to. There's nothing majorly wrong with The Amazing Spider-Man 2, after all. There's just not a lot right with it, either".
Richard Grisham of GamesRadar was more positive of the game, giving it a 3 out of 5. He called the combat "shallow" but "enjoyable", praised the collectibles, and liked the "entertaining, fun" story. He did feel as though the game was a dated experience, and disliked the controls and mission variety.
In his review for Polygon, Justin McElroy scored the game a 6/10 and wrote: "I've accepted that there's probably never going to be a truly great Spider-Man game. If the dispiriting The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is any indication, Activision and Beenox may have reached the same conclusion. There have been many worse Spider-Man games than this. But I can't recall one that's swung so conceptually close to greatness only to let poor execution drag it back to Earth".
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