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The Amazing Spider-Man PC

The Amazing Spider-Man PC

The real problem with The Amazing Spider-Man isn't that the stealth system is a little boring once you've realised you can jump to any surface in a room though. No, the real problem is...well, there are actually a series of real problems.

Firstly, there's the web-swinging. Everyone seems to have their own ideas of how web-swinging in Spider-Man should work; some people want it to be about maintaining rhythm while others want it to involve actually aiming webs at buildings. Personally, I've always wanted a version similar to how free-running works in InMomentum.

What I don't think anyone wants is a version where swinging from buildings comes down to just holding SHIFT and RMB, because that's as boring as walking. Frankly, when travelling across the entire city just holding those two buttons, my fingers cramped.

The second problem is Spider-Man's banter. Personally, I've never liked the quote-unquote wit of Peter Parker - it always seems like it's just there to fill the silence - but even if by more lenient standards The Amazing Spider-Man would struggle to win approval. Not only is it repetitive, but it's also vacuous; put a tracer on a radio antenna for a side mission and Spidey will remark 'Yes! Antenna-time!'

The Amazing Spider-Man  The Amazing Spider-Man PC
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Antenna-time? Is that a thing? Did someone pay for those words?

The next major problem are the levels, which come only in Sewer or Crate-filled Lab flavours and are all far too long and claustrophobic to suit a hero who's power-set is all about agility and movement. There are admittedly plenty of missions which take place on the city streets or in the air above them, but these are mostly repetitive side-quests - punch this one guy or complete this quicktime event. The story missions are meanwhile mostly set in labs or sewers.

Quicktime events are a staple of The Amazing Spider-Man, by the way. Most of the bosses and big set-pieces involve the game telling you to get into a certain position, then launching a pre-determined animation once you're there. Press Q to Not Die is practically the subtitle for the game.

The Amazing Spider-Man  The Amazing Spider-Man PC
Click to enlarge

What ends up really grating about the much-delayed PC release of the game though is that it's not even undergone basic improvements for the platform. The graphics, for example, are uninspired and blocky - a far cry from the appreciable variability of Shattered Dimensions. Buildings are all flat-sided blocks too, while on the city streets it's tough to ignore that one in five people are identical.

And, again, this is mostly just the surface-level stuff; but delve deeper and things don't get any better. This is a surface-level game, with nought but it's veneer to protect or redeem it.

Ultimately, that veneer does have a little bit of shine to it - the open-world, the animation, the story - but it's chipped enough to reveal the shoddy structure beneath.

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