Spider-Man will let you play hero for a day, but be ready to fight with the game's weaknesses as well as its villains.
Once bitten, twice the guy. Thanks to the bite of an irradiated spider, budding boy genius Peter Parker suddenly finds himself turned into a superhuman with the powers of a spider. The rest is comic book history. As the Marvel Comics superhero Spider-Man, Parker has been entertaining legions of fans for 40 years through a string of comic book titles and animated series. If the Spider-Man game is any indication, the general love affair with all things Spidey burns as brightly as ever. Originally developed by Neversoft, the developer behind the hit Tony Hawk's Pro Skater series, Spider-Man first swung its way onto the PlayStation, and soon leapt to the Nintendo 64, Game Boy Color, and Dreamcast. Now the third-person action-adventure game has come to the PC to make true believers out of computer gamers. Along the way, though, it's run into a few snags that often dampen the game's more entertaining aspects.
The story, told through cutscenes, voice-overs, and in-game dialogue, opens at a conference held by the renowned Dr. Otto Octavius, who's preparing to demonstrate his latest invention. While the good doctor pontificates about the virtues of progress through technology, Spider-Man suddenly leaps onto the stage and makes off with Octavius' device before the assembled crowd. Since the real Spider-Man, Peter Parker, stands among the members of the press taking photos for the Daily Bugle newspaper, it can only mean an imposter is at large and ruining Spidey's already tenuous reputation. Parker's jealous journalistic competition at the Bugle, Eddie Brock, also witnesses the shocking event. The fact that Octavius is really the supervillain Dr. Octopus and Brock plays host to an evil alien symbiote named Venom can only mean more outlandish trouble for our wall-crawling hero. This game takes classic superhero melodrama and unashamedly runs with it.
After the game's mysterious opening sequence, you begin your heroic adventures in New York City. You start by foiling a bank heist and then move up to greater challenges like evading a missile-firing police helicopter that chases after our framed hero. Later, you'll fight swarming lizardmen on top of a rushing subway train and battle alien symbiotes in the Daily Bugle. All told, there are eight main locations, like Manhattan's rooftops, a high-rise bank, and the New York City sewer system, making for around 30 3D levels in all. Gameplay primarily revolves around platform jumping, a little stealth, and beating up lots and lots of bad guys. During your adventures, you'll meet fellow heroes like Daredevil, Black Cat, and the Human Torch who'll offer tips and villains like Scorpion, Rhino, and Venom who'll beat you to a pulp if you're not quick with your webshooters.
No matter how smartly you play, be ready for some hassles--the game uses a save point system instead of letting you save when you choose. Game designers seem to ignore the fact that in the real world, not all gamers have the luxury of playing for long, uninterrupted stretches until they can reach a save point or the end of a level. At least you can tackle the game on four different difficulty levels, including a "kid mode" that simplifies the controls and gameplay for the younger set.
To foil villains and save the day, you'll employ around 18 moves. For simple problems, a number of simple solutions are on hand (or foot): You can jump, grab, punch, and kick your way out of the game's lesser binds. Thanks to that fateful spider bite, Spidey can perform all these moves with extraordinary strength and agility. These core moves can be linked into combos, like jumping punches or the "grab and kick," where you sneak up behind a villain, grab him, and then unceremoniously give him the boot.
- Player Reviews: 29
- Game Universe:
- Spider-Man (N64, PS, GBC, DC, PC, GEN, GEN, GG, SMS),
- Spider-Man: The Movie (PS2, GC, PC, XBOX, GBA),
- Spider-Man 2 (PS2, XBOX, GC, PC, GBA, NGE, PSP, DS, MAC),
- Spider-Man / X-Men (GB, GG, SNES),
- Ultimate Spider-Man (XBOX, DS, GBA, GC, PS2, PC, MOBILE),
- Spider-Man 3 (X360, PS3, DS, PS2, PSP, WII, GBA, PC),
- Spider-Man: Battle for New York (DS, GBA),
- Spider-Man: Friend or Foe (PC, PS2, PSP, DS, X360, WII),
- Spider-Man: Web of Shadows (PC, PSP, DS, PS2, X360, WII, PS3),
- Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions (X360, PS3, DS, WII, PC)
- Number of Players: