A Sneak Preview of The Amazing Spider-Man Video Game

Sony’s The Amazing Spider-Man is roughly three months away from being released, and it’s possible a few of you are already wondering what you’re going to do with your time while waiting for the sequel in 2014. Maybe? A few of you? Just me? Okay, that’s fine.

Good news is that we may have an answer for you, because on Wednesday, SuperHeroHype was given a chance to check out the new tie-in game from Activision being developed by Beenox, whose studio head Dee Brown came down from their headquarters in Quebec City to give a brief demonstration and answer some questions about what we can expect from it.

The video game follows the events in the movie, so you’ll see Gwen Stacy and Curt Connors, but the story, written by Kevin Fahey is exclusive to the game. Unlike the last couple of Spider-Man games, this one returns Spidey to Manhattan and revives the open world format of “Web of Shadows,” although the environment is also far more detailed and textured than other games.

As important as it is to tell a story that stands up to the movie, they’ve also spent a lot of time evolving the gameplay from previous Spider-Man games to give players the experience of being Spider-Man rather than just watching or controlling him. A lot of that has to do with the camera angles and having the camera much closer to Spider-Man than ever before, while also making everything more detailed, particularly the new ridged costume from the movie which gives the character a very distinct look in the game. We were told that as Spider-Man gets into fights, the costume will start to show wear and tear, again adding to the realism, and they’re using controller vibrations and sound FX–they boasted you could hear Spider-Man breathing as you play–to enhance that experience.

Our demo started with Spider-Man high up on the rooftops and we could see how the camera was much closer, almost directly on his shoulder looking out, and there was a cross-hair in the center of the screen, which we’d learn more about over the course of the demo. We then watched Spider-Man dive straight down off the building catching himself at the last minute to do a bit of webswinging through the streets of New York. Because the camera stays closer to him and swings around him to get the best angle, it looks a lot more precarious, much like the webswinging in the movie and it’s quite a rush to see how much quicker it is than in previous games.

After swinging and climbing up walls, collecting “comic pages” scattered around the buildings, Spider-Man landed in the center of what was clearly designed after New York’s Times Square and when the camera viewpoint swung around 360 degrees, you could see the amount of detail used to create this environment.

Speaking of rushes, the new thing that Beenox has invented for this game is something called “Web-Rush,” which is an intuitive way for players to move Spider-Man around whether it’s while on the New York streets or while playing the story. In this mode, we switch to a first person view through Spider-Man’s goggles, and you can look around to see dozens of Spidey silhouettes, each of which gives you a different option of where to go and what to do next. While out and about on the streets of the city, this gives you another way to get around besides manual webswinging; you just click on any of the silhouette icons and Web-Rush figures out the easiest way for Spider-Man to get there using his acrobatic skills.

As with most open world games, Spider-Man can interact with the inhabitants of the city, who call things out to him as he swings by or approach him if he’s on the ground, and they’ve added a faux social messaging aspect to the game where we see messages from people around the city as the story progresses. Spider-Man can also play side challenges and take on petty criminals, and we were shown one such challenge as Spider-Man has to chase and stop a getaway car using Web-Rush on the environment to catch up to the car and using his webshooters to web the car to a building.

Once Spider-Man gets into the story by entering various buildings, we get to see how the fighting in “The Amazing Spider-Man” differs from Beenox’s last few Spidey games, because you have a lot more options. You can hide in the shadows and take down enemies using a stealth mode similar to the Spider-Man Noir levels of “Shattered Dimensions” or you can be brave and jump into the fray with large groups of baddies using normal combo combat. The two can be combined in ways we haven’t really seen in many video games, and Web-Rush can be used in all these situations to attack enemies or pick-up and throw objects.

One of the Spidey villain bosses that’s been announced so far is the Rhino and we got to see some of that boss battle and how Web-Rush plays into it, allowing you to choose a number of options. This fight takes place in an underground power plant and using the Web-Rush, you have to spread web between electrified poles and then trick the Rhino to charge at you and get stuck in the webbing.

The game will mainly focus on Spider-Man, although Peter Parker does make at least one appearance, and his camera is always handy to take and save pictures of the open world environment. Another big difference with the new game is that Spidey’s mechanical webshooters can be upgraded over the course of the game, although Spider-Man will have to find different pieces in order to do so.

Beenox hasn’t announced whether Andrew Garfield or any of the actors from the movies might provide their voices for their game, but we have to assume that’s the case since this is a movie tie-in game and Sony is involved.

“The Amazing Spider-Man” video game will be available for the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Wii, Nintendo 3DS and Nintendo DS on June 26. Expect more announcements about the bosses, voice cast and more between now and E3 in early June. You can watch the latest trailer, featuring Iguana, using the player below!