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PREVIEW

THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN

Spidey is an amazing character.

I find him infinitely less soporific than Batman, and his attitude feels much more "honest" than the Dark Knight's.  I mean, Bruce Wayne's money could make anyone a superhero.

Yet, in the world of video games Batman had two masterpieces, while good old Peter Parker has only had a handful of tie-ins of dubious taste. 

Shortly before seeing The Amazing Spider-Man in action, the question turning in my head was: could I finally see a "Spider-Man goes to Arkham City" game? The answer, unfortunately, is no. 

But is a "no" full of positive elements. 

The Amazing Spider-Man

First of all, this game is a tie-in for the movie coming out this late spring. This is not a conversion of the film, though, but what we might call a "mini-sequel". The game, in fact, is set after the events portrayed in the film: it will follow the same themes and locations, but it will also introduce a new story line and some new characters (including some super-villains). This will allow players who have already seen the film to avoid replaying the same beats for the game.

The title takes place in Manhattan: a huge location that the developers have crammed in more than 1,400 buildings into. The city can be explored freely and, obviously, with the help of our trusty spider webs. Along the way we're going to face some mini-quests that will let us stop some criminals, help the police and - in general - kick some ass.

The Amazing Spider-ManThe Amazing Spider-Man
The Amazing Spider-ManThe Amazing Spider-Man
The Amazing Spider-ManThe Amazing Spider-Man

This is not, however, a free roaming game. The story leads the player to visit some indoor areas, dungeons if you will, in which the game becomes a brawler with some tactical elements. 

For the first time in a Spider-Man title, in fact, developers have tried to translate the spider-sense as a game mechanic. By pressing a button, the player can pause the flow of time and identify some hot spots: these can be a place to reach (indicated in yellow), an enemy (red) or an object to interact with, in order to solve some small environmental puzzles (blue). One of the most interesting features, however, is the ability to perform certain actions in stealth mode.

The Amazing Spider-Man

Spider-Man can climb on ceilings: the view is then turned upside down, and we see things as our hero would see from his uncomfortable position. From here we can then identify the enemies vulnerable to stealth attacks and knock them out

With a good variety of items and frantic combat, The Amazing Spider-Man will be hardly be called the new Arkham City. But the guys at Beenox have certainly taken - or swung - along the right path.

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