Review By: J.
think that with Activisionís previous success with Spiderman
titles, a vastly improved set of hardware to work with, an
incredibly popular license to draw inspiration from, and a
stellar movie on their side Treyarch could somehow manage a
half-decent showing with Spiderman The Movie. Itís a
shame that they werenít up to the task, as this game stumbles
at almost every turn. Lackluster graphics, bland character
models, recycled animation, convoluted controls, a schizophrenic
camera; these are just a few of the technical problems STM
has holding it back. I havenít even gotten to the less glaring
flaws. Sure, every now and then you may come across a genuinely
fun level or a particularly humorous one-liner, but these
moments are fleeting and few and hardly worth the time
investment to discover. All-in-all Spiderman the Movie is
vying for Most Disappointing Release of the Year.
to give the impression that this game is all bad. Itís really
not. It has a few things working in its favor. For one the
number of combos and attacks Spidie can learn is rather
impressive. Aerial combat is a blast, though painfully
under-used. The two stealth-based missions in the game are also
entertaining, requiring players to utilize all of Spidieís
newfound maneuvers, like the updated zip-line or the yo-yo. The
game even boasts a few hidden secrets that might be worth
searching for, like production material from the movie and best
of all the ability to play the game as the Green Goblin,
complete with his own storyline. The dialogue contributed to the
game by Toby Maguire and William Dafoe is just as excellent as
you would expect, while Bruce Campbellís guided steals the
show. His dialogue in this game alone warrants at least a rental
for any fan of the B-movie god.
that we have the gameís good traits aside, how about itís
bad ones? The graphics are highly disappointing; they could
easily be reproduced on a Dreamcast. The controls are a
nightmare; be prepared to spend hours getting use to the many
buttons you have to press to do the simplest task like pull off
a back flip or hang upside down. While youíre at it try to get
use to the camera, which seems to have a knack for facing in
whatever direction thatíll get you killed. Getting killed is
also rather easy since Spiderman lacks any sort of standard
blocking ability and the gameís mindless enemies like to
swarm, so get use to being pounded from all sides with little
defense. Another thing to get use to is being bored to death by
run-of-the-mill mission objectives and level designs, because
for every epic aerial battle Spiderman has to face thereís a
totally lame warehouse or sewer level packed with mindless thugs
that could have been culled from any beat-Ďum-up of yore.
By far, the
most shocking thing about this game is the fact that Spiderman
the Movie actually shares very little in common with the
Spiderman film. First of all the Spiderman in this game is
almost a foil of the one in the movie. This Spiderman is the
cocky, brash, trash-talking web-head weíve all come to know
and love from the comic books and animated series, while the
filmís Spiderman is a quiet, unsure hero whoís being pulled
in opposite directions by his loyalties and his emotions. While
this difference between the two isnít necessarily a bad one,
it certainly does help to divide the feel of the game from the
feel of the film. The gameís story shares very little in
common with the movie as well. Although the beginnings and
endings are similar, the game deviates from the movieís
storyline after the first few missions, choosing to branch off
into a subplot involving the Shocker and Vulture robbing a bank.
Again, this isnít necessarily a bad thing in and of itself,
but it further alienates players who seek a somewhat faithful
recreation of the movie from this game.
to see something with so much potential come up so short. It
almost seemed like something that couldnít have been bad. All
the pieces are in place; they just don't seem to come together.
And to think of all those who will be disappointed by this
failure: the fans of the comic book looking for an interactive
version of their childhood icon, fans of the Playstation title
who seek a new and improved version for their shiny new
consoles, and the millions of people who fell in love with the
movie. Activision has a lot of disenfranchised people on their
hands with this release, and it may only take the digital magic
of Neversoft to put Spiderman back on his feet after this
voice acting, especially Bruce Capmbell who steals the show.
combat is a total blast.
as the Green Goblin is actually more fun than playing as
else in the game.
have money to burn avoid this game; it will leave you with the
sort of empty, unsatisfied feeling you get after trying to kill
hunger pains with a Twinkie.