Movie video-game tie-ins aren't as abundant as they use to be. You rarely see any console ones now, they're usually for the mobile device. (Godzilla is a great example of this.) Perhaps it's for the best, because they have an infamous reputation. Poor gameplay and sub-par graphics are just a couple of the usual complaints. Developer Beenox however is a little different. Having made the fun Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions and the criminally underrated Edge of Time, fans were hyped since they would be the ones doing the game adaption for The Amazing Spider-Man in 2012. It sadly wasn't as good as the aforementioned games. Still, its gameplay was leagues ahead of other movie cash-ins. Also sadly, the story was incredibly dull. The Amazing Spidey 2 game received a lot of hype from the developer. Interestingly, they said the game would actually diverge from the movie, becoming its own thing. This was a controversial move, but it could be interesting.The Amazing Spidey 2 suffers in a quite a few areas unfortunately. Despite that, it's still a much more fun game to play than the first.
The story stars Spidey, who is after the Carnage killer, the Kingpin, and trying to help his friend Harry. All of these plotlines for the most part nicely work together. This is a story-based game, but sadly a lot of the writing is pretty poor. The opening scene is the biggest offender. It's a flashback to when Peter walked out of the grocery store in the first film. Sam Riegel, the voice actor for Peter, does a sensationally awful job at this moment. The part where he said in response to the cashier, "Not my problem" was so terrible I was convinced this wasn't actually Peter. Once Uncle Ben was seen however, my greatest fear became realized: the writing of the story was not going to be good.
Thankfully, the rest of the game didn't quite sink that low. A contender however would be Electro. His story is so poorly handled. If the writer wanted the player to sympathize with Max, it didn't work. Electro comes off as one-note, and his lines are so melodramatic it's laughable. While Electro was awful, some of the other villains were nicely introduced into this universe. Shocker, Kraven, and Chameleon were all introduced into their roles very well. The Black Cat also makes a return from the previous game. I really like how her character fits into this universe. It's a shame she was in this story so briefly. That's the interesting thing about this game, it sets itself up for a sequel. So the Black Cat and the Kingpin will surely come back in #3. Sadly like Electro, the Green Goblin feels completely rushed with no build-up. Perhaps the best part of the story is how the Carnage Killer, aka, Cletus Kasady was introduced. It was brilliant how they incorporated him into the plot, and emerging as the final boss. It added some much need pizzazz to the cast, something the first game didn't have at all.
The gameplay is identical to the first game's, with mild improvements. For one thing, you can use Spidey's right arm and left arm to swing, a concept that surprisingly hasn't been used until this point. While the gameplay is still sup-par compared to the more superior Batman Arkham series, it's still pretty fun. Some of the boss fights are pretty innovative. The Goblin fight was unique and interactive, and the Carnage one was climatic. The graphics sadly suffer the movie cash-in syndrome, it looks like a late PS2 game at best. This is not something we should be looking at in the year 2014. The soundtrack is surprisingly very good, you'll be enjoying it as you go through the campaign. One of my personal favorite features is the costumes. Early on you unlock many different ones to play as. From classic to Miles Morales, it's a nice diversity.
Overall, while there are quite a few factors holding back this game, it's still a solid Spidey experience. Carnage is a major highlight, but sadly also shows just how boring most of the other antagonists are. The gameplay isn't anything groundbreaking, but it's still not bad. The story ends on a cliffhanger, so needless to say Beenox has big plans for this universe. While not technically rising too far above the infamous movie cash-in reputation, it's still a fun play.