The Amazing Spider-Man Demo Impressions (3DS)
Spider-Man has a bit of a checkered past when it comes to the world of video games; from what many people claim to be the pinnacle of the franchise, Spider-Man 2, to some of the lesser loved games like Spider-Man: Friend of Foe. Developers have tried many things with the webbed hero. The one thing everyone really wants from a Spider-Man game is lots of open-world web swinging and some solid combat. Will The Amazing Spider-Man be what fans are looking for or will they have to wait a little longer? A demo for the game is available through the Nintendo 3DS eShop and we’re going to take a look at it today.
The first thing I noticed after downloading the demo, it’s the first game that does not allow you to run it 30 times. You’re going to be limited to playing through the demo ten times before it’s no longer available. Not sure why Activision chose to do that, but in the end it doesn’t really matter.
The demo opens up with Spider-Man witnessing a bank robbery in progress. The mastermind in charge is Felicia Hardy, a.k.a. The Black Cat. She’s got a gun pointed at a bank manager and after she takes him towards the vault, Spider-Man leaps into action. You’re immediately thrown into the combat and things start off pretty good. The combat feels very fluid. It reminds me a lot of the combat from a game like Batman: Arkham Asylum. Most of it is done through a single attack button. However in the middle of battle you have a number of different options through the use of the touch screen and face buttons. Spidey’s spider-sense will start to tingle and you have a brief instant to dodge with the touch screen. Hit that and Spidey will acrobatically dodge the attack and then counter. You can also jump up using his webbing and launch attacks from above. Holding down the X button will let you enter Web Rush mode where you can target enemies or objects in the environment that you can use as weapons.
The combat is very smooth and dynamic. There are a limited number of animations I saw Spider-Man going through but they were mixed up enough that it never felt repetitive. It always seemed like he was appropriately attacking or dodging and using the environment in a number of different ways to keep the combat interesting. The simple, one button mechanic makes fighting very simple to do and you can use many different attacks to mix things up and keep the fights fresh. I liked what I saw. It was a good use of the style that’s become popular in the superhero games, but adds a little bit of the Spider-Man touch.
The dialogue was snappy and I don’t recall very much in the way of repetitiveness. Baddies would comment when they saw Spider-Man take to the ceiling or if he got too close trying to be stealthy. Felicia and Spider-Man have a bit of flirtatiousness back and forth between them that doesn’t feel forced in any way. It all felt very natural and the voice acting seemed pretty solid.
Visually, the 3D effect added some nice touches. Objects felt very solid. You get a nice sense of depth when crawling around on the walls and ceilings. The camera can be fully controlled through the d-pad and the left and right rotation can be done with the shoulder buttons. Luckily when you’re in combat, Spider-Man does a good job of facing enemies so even if you can’t see enemies you’ll know where they are just by looking at him. The environments inside the bank were a little drab with not a lot of extra things like paintings on the wall or even citizens running around. The few NPC characters that you weren’t supposed to fight all maintained static poses and felt more like statues than people. Hopefully that’s something that will change in different parts of the game.
Overall the one level of the demo gives you a pretty good idea of what the game is going to be like. I enjoyed the combat sections of the game, and there were plenty of those to try out. The combat feels good and gives you a good mix of options that make you feel like Spider-Man. The environments themselves are a bit cramped and you never really get a chance to try out Spidey’s more acrobatic side, which is a shame. There are a couple of bigger rooms that let you swing around in them. At one point I was able to Web Rush a robber from an adjacent room, which was awesome to do. I didn’t think I could, but it worked and I loved it. After playing through this I’m pretty excited about the full game. I hope there are some more chances to really explore and swing around the city. Some new combos and fighting options will be nice as well, but this is one game I’ll keep my eye on now.
The Amazing Spider-Man is set to be released on June 26th, 2012 for the Xbox 360, Playstation 3, Nintendo 3DS, Nintendo Wii, Nintendo DS, and PC.
Screenshots from the 360 version of the game as I could not find any for the 3DS.