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Spider-Man (Windows)

65
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100 point score based on reviews from various critics.
3.5
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5 point score based on user ratings.
Written by  :  Madotsuki (736)
Written on  :  Nov 07, 2010
Platform  :  Windows
Rating  :  4.17 Stars4.17 Stars4.17 Stars4.17 Stars4.17 Stars

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Summary

Enjoyable game, but watch out for bugs!

The Good

Spider-Man is one of the best games based off of Marvel Comics' legendary web-slinger. It stays true to the original comics with a surprisingly decent storyline and great gameplay. Although the port to PC is fairly infamous for featuring a few almost game-breaking bugs, it remains an excellent game.

The plot begins with Peter Parker attending a science expo given by the "reformed" Otto Octavius (Dr. Octopus), when an impostor Spider-Man takes out the security guards and steals Octavius' new piece of technology. Parker also bumps into Eddie Brock (Venom), making things even more chaotic. Parker, the real Spider-Man, exits and puts on his costume to search for the perpetrator, but gets an unexpected report from Black Cat that a nearby bank is being robbed and the criminals are taking those inside hostage. From here, things get start to get interesting. The story is told with surprisingly well-acted cutscenes, most of which are entertaining to watch. Spidey creator Stan Lee also narrates, and does a decent job.

Before getting to the gameplay, it should be mentioned that the developers added a lot of nice extras to the game. You can unlock costumes for Spider-Man, such as the famous Symbiote suit, each of which has special features making gameplay under those costumes a bit different. Also included is a character viewer (allowing you to view and read about characters featured in the game) and the "Comic Collection", where you can view the covers and info for influential Spider-Man comics (unlocked by finding them in the game's levels). You can also view the cutscenes and storyboards for each one, but not before you complete the level before each scene.

Aside from the campaign, which I'll get to next, there is a training mode with five different scenarios to refine your gameplay skill: "Time Attack", where you attempt to kill as many enemies as you can within 60 or 120 seconds, "Survival Mode", where you try to survive as long as possible with an endless wave of foes approaching, "Speed Training", where you try to web-swing to the end of the area as quickly as possible, "Target Practice", where you shoot your web at famous villains while trying to avoid shooting your friends, and "Item Collection" featuring two gameplay modes with the goal of collecting as many medallions as possible within a set amount of time. These objectives may work to hone your playing skills, but probably won't keep your interest for very long.

Finally, there is the main campaign. It stays very true to the comics, with a fairly accurate recreation of Spidey's New York. The villains also replicate those seen in the comics - the generic thugs aren't far from something that would be seen in the Spider-Man universe, and main foes such as Venom and Scorpion are replicated well. Other Marvel characters such as Daredevil make cameo appearances, and the Fantastic Four's headquarters even makes a showing.

The gameplay is enjoyable and, in typical Spider-Man fashion, features a lot of web-slinging and wall-crawling, as well as punching, kicking, and jumping. Spider-Man can use his web to do different things to attack: he can shoot a web, hurl a ball of webbing, or make a dome of webbing around himself for protection and then break out of it to attack nearby enemies. You can also cover your hands in the white stuff, doing extra damage with punches. Webbing can also be used from swinging to another location (obviously) and to zip-line to whatever is above, such as the ceiling on the inside of a building. You also must collect health to survive and web cartridges to keep a steady amount of webbing along the way. Another item is the rarely seen Spider-Armor, special armor that turns Spidey black and white and adds an extra layer of health.

Graphics and sound are solid. The visuals are pretty well done for 2001, but could have been better. The audio consists of some pretty good music and sound effects which aren't outstanding but get the job done. As I said earlier, the voice acting is well done and the characters sound as they should, with Stan Lee doing some respectable narration.

The Bad

Now, here's what you've all been waiting for: the "almost game-breaking bugs" I noted earlier. There are two: when you reach the Daily Bugle building to fight Scorpion, there is an in-game cutscene where Spider-Man breaks through the window to enter. However, he will fall below and the game returns to the cutscene before. After another in-game cutscene in the game in the level "Catch Venom" where you have to chase Venom to his hideout, Spider-Man falls to his death. Unfortunately, using a level skip code is the easiest way to combat these bugs. Thankfully, these should be the only two levels you might have to skip.

The default controls are awful. However, you can change them, so it isn't much of a problem. Also, the camera only updates its movement after Spidey stops moving. This could create issues for some, but it never really affected the game for me to be honest.

The Bottom Line

Overall, Spider-Man is an entertaining diversion for fans of the web-slinger. It proves worthy of bearing Spidey's name, and despite the bugs in the PC version, it remains a great game.