Spider-Man 2 Review


Why do so many superhero fans want to be like Spider-Man? Is it the spidey senses or the cool costume? No, it’s his ability to swing from web to web at high speeds, climb up walls, perform acrobatic jumps, and basically go anywhere he wants without worrying about the limits of fear or gravity. The power that this freedom gives to Spider-Man has never been captured in a videogame … until now. Spider-Man 2 succeeds in finally allowing you to experience this freedom by giving you the ability to sling, swing, and crawl wherever you want throughout the borough of Manhattan. And is it ever cool to be Spider-Man.

Screenshots
You can go anywhere that you see.

The game’s web slinging feature works really well and you’ll be able to get the hang of it pretty quickly. The R1 button will shoot a web in the direction you’re pressing the left stick, the web will attach itself to the first building, lamppost, or other stationary object it hits and you’ll begin to swing. If you do nothing else you’ll swing back and forth like a pendulum until you eventually come to a stop literally hanging by a thread. This is not that much fun, but luckily you can shoot your next web while swinging and use it to continue moving down the street, swinging from web to web. Once you’ve got this move down pat you’ll be able to have even more control by jumping from the first web at the height of your swing and then using your momentum to fly forward before shooting your next web. You’ll also learn to time and place your shots so that you can do things like whip around corners and use two webs to turn yourself into a human slingshot. The webslinging part of the game is very well done and you’ll have an absolute ball zipping down the streets of Manhattan – especially when you begin to add tumbles, tricks, and flying dismounts to your travels.

Spider-Man’s ability to walk up walls is also included in the game. You can swing off of a web, jump from the top of a skyscraper, or merely walk up to a building on the street and with the touch of a button in each case you will walking up the wall. You can effortlessly scoot up walls and buildings, around corners, and even onto ceilings or the undersides of bridges. When walking on walls the camera automatically rotates so that you maintain the same third person chase camera perspective. When you combine the webslinging with the wallcrawling you have the freedom to get to anywhere in Manhattan and to go there in style. In fact, once you have a feel for the controls you’ll find yourself flying through the streets of Manhattan, leaping off of skyscrapers, and exploring the rooftops not just because you need to to complete your current mission, but simply because you can.

As almost any tourist will tell you, it is easy to get lost in the concrete canyons of New York. To help out the gamers who know Manhattan only from the movies the game provides some excellent navigational aids. The first is a map that can be called up at the press of a button. It will show your current location and facing and the location of nearby mission markers and landmarks. The map is a top-down view of a 3D model of the city, so you can zoom in and instantly see the relative height of the buildings between you and your destination. The game also helps you out when you are moving through the city by using head-up display style markers that point out the relative direction of nearby points of interest. There is also a small onscreen minimap that not only shows your relative position to nearby points of interest, but the elevation difference as well allowing you to easily tell if you need to be at the top of a building or the street below. The navigational aids and maps in the game are well-designed and thought out and work wonderfully when you’re trying to get around town quickly.