Always popular in video games Marvel’s Spider-Man has graced consoles for many years but of course it wasn’t until the dawn of PlayStation and Saturn et al that the spandex-clad super-hero was born in 3D. 2002’s Spider-Man based upon the movie of the same name was once the most successful offering but that all changes with Spider-Man 2 Activision’s next 3D-action game based on the Sam Raimi movie sequel.
Effectively starting from scratch developer Treyarch has ridden Spider-Man 2 of the bugs and glitches that sometimes plagued the series’ immediate predecessor both in a visual sense and in terms of gameplay.
Spider-Man 2 again sees players assuming control Peter Parker’s alter ego as he fights for the cause of good yet again but this time there are several fundamental changes the most important of which lies in the game’s free-roaming approach. Where the previous Spider-Man outing was linear beyond belief Spider-Man 2 adapts a feel more reminiscent of Rockstar’s Grand Theft Auto. If they so wish players can forget super-hero missions for while instead choosing to potter around the virtual city of Manhattan in order to familiarise themselves with a virtual New York.
It’s a nice option to have but players wanting to progress through the adventure are charged with completing an array of missions in order to reach deeper stages of the game. These generally comprise of cliched ‘end a police shoot-out’ or ‘save the damsel in distress’ tasks but its typical Spider-Man gameplay that’s thoroughly enjoyable.
Completing these crucial missions and a variety of side-quests earns players Hero Points which can then be used to ultimately reach the end of the game. Additionally missions are now predominantly outdoors ridding Spider-Man 2 of claustrophobic environments and a clunky in-game camera. This is a good thing and makes combat much more enjoyable.
Combat hasn’t changed a great deal and players will still be faced with the usual plethora of gang fights and boss battles but this aspect can be made easier through a levelling up system that sees Spider-Man grow in strength and agility as he defeats more enemies.
Overall Spider-Man 2 is a vast improvement on a successful predecessor. Roll on Spider-man 3.——
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