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Publisher: Aspyr Media    Genre: Action
Min OS X: 10.2.8    CPU: G3 @ 700 MHz    RAM: 256 MB    Hard Disk: 1000 MB    8x CD-ROM    Graphics: 32 MB VRAM

Spider-Man 2: The Game
November 18, 2004 | Matthew Stoton

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Who could have thought that a man in a full-body spandex suit could spawn two block-buster movies, countless comic books, animated series, and some of the most unique gaming experiences? Not to mention the highly praised Spider-man 2 console game. Much to the bewilderment of gamers this Spider-man 2 is not a port of the console game but of the completely different PC game. So not only is it forced to live up to the franchise itself, it is also expected to be the same caliber of a game lauded as doing whatever a spider can with enough freedom to satisfy a Grand Theft Auto fan.

Gameplay: Most of what a Spider can do
I would like to start out by saying I've tried my best not to compare this game with the console version. They are two completely different beasts and as you'll see they have precious little in common.

Gameplay is fairly simple: you control Spidey from a third-person view quite like the other Spider-Man games. Right off the bat you notice the lack of freedom. It does not let you swing anywhere you please. Instead there are "swing points", represented as small web icons, scattered around the map. I didn't find this to be as large a detractor as you might think since exploration is not necessary or even allowed. Should you quickly tire of that you can also "zip" directly to any point within a short distance presuming you have a clear path. Still I marched on knowing that much to my delight I could still crawl on any surface like any good spider–I was wrong. Crawling is the weakest point in an otherwise ho-hum experience. Not only is it difficult to actually get on a wall or ceiling but the camera focuses on the character. I cannot express how disorienting and utterly useless that is. To compensate you can press a key to go to a first-person view (only when on a surface) where you can aim and fire although not move. Suffice to say I spent 90% of my time running around on terra firma.

Combat has to be the one feature that can redeem nearly the worst tripe if executed well. It works much like in the console game: you can do a variety of punches and kicks in a very comic-book-ish fashion. Depending on where you aim you can also do three web attacks either by aiming at their eyes, body, or weapon (if they have one). For some reason bosses and stronger enemies can only be webbed in the eyes, presumably because they're so buff you wouldn't even think of immobilizing them. Enemies themselves are generic thugs, some with strange electric-blob-guns, mostly dim-witted and easily dispatched. You do have a combat meter that once filled up allows you to open a serious can of whoop-ass by doing a variety of one-hit attacks. This system gets rather monotonous after awhile but its simplicity within the limits of a mouse and keyboard.

Story: Filling it out
The story is mostly scenes from the movie stitiched with some rather pointless missions in-between resulting in a final boss-fight with the big man himself: Doc Oct. The missions taken from the movie are actually quite good compared to the rest of the game. Most of the others felt disturbingly like filler and were not much more than something to do while waiting for the story to advance. These in-between missions felt very pained.


Archives  Reviews  Spider-Man 2: The Game