The Amazing Spider-Man 2 Mobile Runs a Little Short on Webbing
There is a very distinguishable line between fun and frustrating, and with the mobile app for the Amazing Spider-Man 2, it is sad to see that the famous wall crawler is finding it a little hard to stay on top of his game. Ambitious is the key word we would use to describe this game. The mobile app combines free-flowing combat (heavily inspired by the one used in the Batman Arkham game series), an open world of Manhattan that can be explored by using web swinging mechanics, and plenty of various randomized events for players to get busy with. Execution, however, is how this game sends the spider down the drain.
Looking Good New York
From the cityscape to the evening lights, the digital version of Manhattan is a sight to behold in-game -and we are talking about real time graphics here, not pre-rendered scenes. Everywhere in the game, from the rooftops to the city streets, players will find themselves surrounded by a visually rich city teeming with plenty of details. Spider-Man himself gets a combination of cel-shaded and normal textures in order to bring him to like. This is why this game just happens to be so screenshot worthy -everything looks amazing.
It is pretty obvious that most of the game's processor usage goes into rendering the visuals of the game -which is great, but a little too much for a mobile device. On a console or PC platform, this game may have run pretty smoothly, but with the hardware limitations of the mobile there are plenty of drawbacks to having an open world look this good. First off are the unbelievably long loading times. It takes pretty much forever to get from one event to another since the load times in between take several minutes. Since mobile games are usually designed to be played in short bursts, expect this to eat up your free time pretty quickly in the most boring way imaginable: waiting to play.
The second catch is that since all the details went to the visuals, everything else cam second. And that includes the overally gameplay. Control responsiveness and camera angles take a major blow in this category. We would have certainly settled for a slightly less graphically impressive game if it meant that everything else functions normally.
Internet Connection Required
There is not much point expounding on this other than the fact that it is pretty annoying (if not entirely alienating) that a paid single player game will require you to have an active internet connection before you get to play. This means that those of you who are actually eco-friendly enough to turn off the modem when it is not needed will be severely punished by the game.
For those wondering, the net connection checks your game account for any in-app purchases that should be activated. And this is quite badly implemented, considering that the game is already a paid app, the fact that there are still so many IAPs makes one feel as if the general grinding curve has been rigged by a pay-wall. Continue Reading
Release Date: 17/04/2014
Learning to Web Swing
It must not be an easy thing -web swinging that is. Sure, the additional enhanced senses and reflexes (and spider-strength) will certainly help, but we tip our hats off to Peter Parker for making the whole thwip-thwap-swish combo look so natural. In the game, web swinging is done pretty much in a straightforward manner, though the graphics have not been fixed to show you actually connecting webs to buildings. In many cases, Spidey ends up swinging across empty open air spaces (which does not make sense at all).
That however is minor issue compared to learning how to do the rest of Spider-Man's moves. Attacking is a simple matter of spamming the punch button over and over again, but carefully controlling the camera, and dealing with the quick time events for boss fights takes on a whole new level of frustrations as the controls simply do not respond properly. What suffers the most is the idea of the free flow combat system which is not implemented properly at all.
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 cashes in heavily on the movie tie-in, and with its' impressive graphics, we can see that the game was designed to draw in fans who just want to play a Spider-Man game. Too bad that the rentention quality is quite lacking since the frustrations are more than likely to disappoint and discourage players. The game has good roots and the plans were done with the best of intentions. But the developers should have reigned in their steps towards making a game look good and should have went in the direction of making a game play good instead. Gameloft may have developed a game too far ahead of the available hardware, which is a shame since this one had plenty of potential.
We give the Amazing Spider-Man 2 a score of:
The Amazing Spider Man 2 is developed by Gameloft.