I'm a pretty big Spider-Man fan. As such, I tend to get pretty excited when a new Spider-Man game is announced. I was pretty impressed with some of the things Beenox accomplished with Shattered Dimensions, but still didn't feel like the game hit its potential. Last year's Edge of Time game was a monumental disaster, and kind of has me turned off a bit with regard to Beenox's approach to Spider-Man games.
Having been underwhelmed by Beenox's last attempt at a Spidey game, I was a bit disappointed that they were going to be handling the movie tie-in.
I haven't discussed the movie much on the blog recently, partly because almost all the news since the announcement of the inclusion of the Lizard has been pretty negative news. The movie seems too heavily based on the Ultimate Spider-Man comics rather than the original stories, despite the name "The Amazing Spider-Man". I've stayed mostly quiet on the blog because I'm trying to reserve judgement on the movie, since, as The Dark Knight showed us, a movie doesn't have to stick to comic book canon in order to be awesome. But I'm not as much of a Batman fan, so I have higher personal standards for my Spidey movies. But in a nutshell: I've been disappointed with the direction that the movie seems to be taking Peter's character (emo skater kid?); his relationship with Gwen Stacy (she knows he's Spider-Man?); and an underwhelming supporting cast when compared to the amazing supporting cast of Raimi's film (J.K. Simmons, Cliff Robertson, Rosemary Harris, Elizabeth Banks, and Bill Nunn were all picture perfect in their respective roles).
Anyway, I digress. Back to the game...
I haven't been keeping very well-informed about the game. I haven't watched any trailers or previews. Pretty much the only info that I've gotten for it have been a few previews in GameInformer. But I did finally watch some E3 footage:
This first video is a preview of E3 footage that also includes some critical commentary. The previewer does not seem particularly impressed, saying the game doesn't feel like it's as ready for release as a game that is due out in several weeks should be.
Interview/preview with Beenox representative.
Check out when Spider-Man starts swinging out of the park at 0:53. What are his webs connecting to? They seem to be going straight up into the empty air.
The second video included an interview with a Beenox representative, so of course there's going to be nothing but glowing praise and hype coming from the commentators here.
The biggest thing that I noticed though, is that in both videos, I didn't see any sign that any actual physics system is being implemented in the game. Spider-Man 2 on the PS2/Xbox is widely regarded as the best Spider-Man game to date, and it was the one that introduced the open-world. That game included physics simulation that required Spider-Man's webs to actually have to physically connect to buildings and other objects in the game world. You know, like they would have to in real life! The preview footage that I'm seeing for this new game doesn't seem to have any such requirement.
Am I wrong here? Am I the only one who's seeing this? I hope it's just a mistake on my part. If someone can point me to a video that proves me wrong, please post a link in the comments section.
So a 10-year old game on a technically inferior console can have real-time physics simulation for the webswinging, but this new game can't? I call shenanigans! I just can't get excited about a game that ignores such a fundamental element of immersion. Especially when the developers are hyping up the "closer camera" that makes you "feel closer to Spider-Man than ever". Bullshit!
If you can't give me proper web-swinging physics, then I'm not giving you my money. So unless a playable demo shows up on PSN to demonstrate to me that proper physics are implemented in this game (as they were 10 years ago on the PS2), then I am not going to be purchasing it. If I want to play it, I'll borrow it from a friend when he beats it after 2 days, or I'll wait a week and get it used from GameStop.
UPDATE: June 17, 2012: Uncut gameplay video from GameInformer validates my complaints
Came across this preview of The Amazing Spider-Man game that was released yesterday on GameInformer's website. The video contains several minutes of uncut gameplay, which includes footage of Spider-Man webswinging well above the tallest buildings in the vicinity, making it all but impossible for his webs to actually be connecting to anything.
I'm sorry, Beenox, but you don't get to hype up a game's sense of immersion, while at the same time going out of your way to remove fundamental laws of physics from the game!