A Look at Spider-Man 2: The Game!

Ever wonder what it was like to be Spider-Man? Did you ever wonder what it feels like to swing around New York City as Spider-Man? Well, Activision has made those dreams come true with their new game title Spider-Man 2: The Game available on all platforms. They have even broke new boundaries from the last Spider-Man game as there are no boundaries!

If you see it you can go there. Stand on the top of the Empire State building and look around, if you see something you can go there. The most amazing thing is there is no wait time for anything. The game loads as you travel, so if your swinging down one street, the game is loading a couple blocks in each direction and if you jump down or enter a building the game doesn’t stop to load the building. It’s real time 3D. You are never reminded you are playing a game, even their new map system is an overlay, never taking you out of the game. Swinging is amazing, so much better than the first title, the webs actually stick to buildings, light posts… antennas helicopters.. everything. And if you go back to somewhere you have been, the webs are still there.. Activision wanted it to be more realistic. The main thing about swinging is nobody has ever been swinging in real life, and they wanted to do it with this system so when you are actually swinging around, it does actually feel right, Something you can see in the movie, the swinging around feels right and that is exactly what they did. The webs attach to stuff and then once you’re attached, you’re swinging in physics, and that’s the real big key, it took 6 months for Activision to get it right and that swinging really captures what it is like to be Spider-Man. You get the whole Spider-Man experience. The philosophy of the game is to live the life of Spider-Man and in order to do that you have to be able to swing around. You can even use two webs for instance and really get the feel of being Spider-Man.

Seeing the movie twice, I can tell you that they nailed it. Could be the best playing game ever and the best part, not only are you reliving the movie and expanding on it, (the sets on the game are exactly like the film) the humor is so funny you often find yourself cracking up to the real voices of the characters in the game because they got Tobey Maguire back as Peter Parker and Spider-Man, Alfred Molina as Doc Ock and Kirsten Dunst as Mary Jane and of course everybody’s favorite, Bruce Campbell back as the often hilarious tour guide to tell you what to do. Also, you will see a bunch of hidden markers throughout the game and he does voiceovers for all those as well. Wise cracks come from everyone you meet on the street or driving a car.

You find yourself having many missions like in the film, everything from delivering a pizza or beating up mugger, a Spidey villain like Rhino or Electro or simply saving a balloon that a small child has accidentally let go. You can explore the entire city and even if you just followed the missions given to you, you would only have played half the game. The opening shots of the game are very impressive; it’s like the beginning of a movie.

I recently traveled to San Francisco to talk to Activision and found out some details. Two years ago when Activision released the first game, they went to see the movie, and were blown away by stuff they did in the movie, the swinging in particular, especially the parts where you see Spider-Man leaning to swing and particularly the sequence at the end. For Spider-Man 2: The Game, the two things they wanted to do was get THAT FEELING, capture that experience of swinging around as Spider-Man. The other thing they wanted to do was create an open game play system, a non-linear game play, and still have a story, but they wanted to have a full game play system.

Some of the missions include purse snatching, some of them randomly occurring as your swinging around, someone calls for help, and you have to go help them… actually you don’t have to help them, its up to you. If you go to the ground there are people with green questions marks, you go up to them and they might say things like, “hey there is a bunch of gang members fighting over there, go stop them” or “that guys gone crazy, he’s driving a car around, you have to go stop that car.” And of course there is the main storyline missions – these are the natural things that would happen to a superhero and they come in as your playing or living as Spider-Man.

The environment that you swing in is HUGE!

Activision decided to build all of Manhattan, they have central park, beyond that is Harlem, when you go to the top of the empire state building you can see Liberty Island and the statue of Liberty. You can get there by capturing a helicopter with your webs and hitch a ride to Ellis Island. Activision said you can go everywhere but Jersey which got a huge laugh at the gamers in the crowd. The Roosevelt bridge is fantastic, its like a jungle gym for Spider-Man, its wonderful geometry for Spider -Man to swing around, it’s as well as going to the tallest building in New York. Activision thinks is very revolutionary, that its a full 3D game in a sense that everything is 3D and you are actually playing in a 3D volume in the city, all the way from the top of the tallest building to the streets down below.

One of the great things they came up with was a map, because from the top of the building you can see all of the city, they have to have the geometry of the entire city. It’s one of the best features in the game. The whole point is to immerse you, to never take you out of being Spider-Man, this map never does, its not like “Oh I have to pause this and go to my map,” its like BOOM here’s what I am looking for. They have all the hidden markers there, the key locations, the Spidey store, the Daily Bugle, a pizza parlor… When your done with that you get out of the map and BOOM your right there.

The thing Activision tried to do with Combat is that they tried to stick with what would Spider-Man do. One of the stories is that a jewelry store gets robbed and you have to fight the bad guys. The Spidey sense slows down time, you can accurately dodge bullets and execute tasks. The main thing with combat is that they wanted to make it feel like Spider-Man, a lot of web attacks, jump and dodge, tying people up.

Activision integrated the story line of the Spider-Man 2 story line into the game. and expanding it by adding the classic Spidey villains like shocker, Rhino, Mysterio and also Black Cat.

In the city, there are cars and people and you can go into interiors, there are convenience stores, flower shops, that get robbed and you can go naturally into the interiors, there is no break in the game play as I said earlier, that was a big point for Activision. What they didn’t want to do when you are playing the game was that you had to stop when you are going in and out of interiors; the game actually loads several blocks ahead before you get there.

There is also a memorial to the World Trade Center that is spectacular.

All the missions you do are very Spider-Man specific. He’s your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man and they wanted him to do things that were cool, and …friendly. I noticed a couple of things right off the bat with the Pizza missions and Peter Parker rushing to get to MJ’s play that it closely follows the movie, did Activision have a script to work with to tie into the game?

“Yes, we got the script early on so we could tie the game to the movie as close as we could and also the studio has been really good about getting us reference material so the game would have the look and feel of the movie. Some people have played the game that have seen the movie and said it was very similar. Some of the interiors are not open at night, so stores you will not be able to get into because they close at a certain time but if you go back there in the morning they will be open just like in real life.”

Activision also added a cool day and night transition to make it like the real life of Spider-Man.

There really isn’t a bunch of levels like some games but one gigantic city to explore. There are more missions in this game than the last game that are straight storyline. There is challenge markers, pizza missions, there is Mary Jane missions where you have to go meet Mary Jane, a bunch of mission at the Daily Bugle. If you complete these missions you get reward points. The reward system they are using is hero points, if you collect hero points you can go into the Spidey stores more combos, more attacks, web slinging speed.

Spider-Man is not unhurt able either. You can also do damage to Spider-Man, if you jump off a tall building without spinning a web, Spidey lands with a thud with a great deal of damage.

Activision spent a lot of time, sent a lot of their artists over to Manhattan to take pictures and looked at how Manhattan is zoned for residential, commercial and industrial so they could figure out how best to capture that area. Each of the neighborhoods has a unique feel, the buildings, the texture maps. They make New York City look like New York City.

The game is broken up into chapters, as you progress thru the story, you will be able to unlock things you previously could not unlock before. You can even go into Central Park. A great challenge for Activision. When they were making the game, they had to ask, “what are we going to do with central park?” It actually ended up when they started building the trees it was a quite natural place for Spider-Man to swing around in.

All in all, simply an amazing game and of the best on the market. Make sure you pick it up! I recommend the Xbox platform, from what I could tell in my opinion, the graphics were better, and if you are pretending to be Spider-Man swinging around the city, why not look the best!

A must have for all Spider-Man fans.

Visit the official game website for more information and click here for more images.

Source: Chuck the Movieguy