Xbox One | 360 | XBLA  PS4 | PS3 | PSN  Wii U | VC    3DS  PS Vita  iOS    PC    Retro    

  » news
  » reviews
  » previews
  » cheat codes
  » release dates
  » screenshots
  » videos

  » specials
  » interviews

  » facebook
  » twitter
  » contests

  » games list
  » franchises
  » companies
  » genres
  » staff

Which game will you play the most this month?

Call of Duty Advanced Warfare
Halo The Master Chief Collection
Super Smash Bros for Wii U
LittleBigPlanet 3
Assassins Creed Unity

Game Profile
GENRE: Action
September 22, 2005

The Amazing Spider-Man 2

Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions

Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions

Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions

Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions

More in this Series
 Written by Kyle Williams  on July 24, 2006

Bargain Bin Review: Spider-Man, Spider-Man, does whatever a spider can...

Sam Raimi and Tobey Maguire have breathed new life into Marvel's flagship superhero over the last several years. Of course, while those two weave their silver-screen tribute to Spider-Man, the house that Stan Lee built has continued to revolutionize the way that they tell stories. One of their most successful experiments, the Ultimate universe, is the inspiration for Activision's latest outing for the ol' web-head: Ultimate Spider-Man.

For those of you that don't spend Wednesdays down at the local comic shop, the Ultimate universe is a modernization of the classic Marvel characters. For good or bad (depending on how you look at it), the years of history that the comic books have established were thrown out the window a few years back in favor of updating Marvel characters for a new generation. In addition to Spider-Man and his rogues gallery of foes, Ultimate Spider-Man is filled with characters from all around the Ultimate universe including familiar faces, like Wolverine and Johnny Storm, and the newly Ultimated Silver Sable.

Having some familiarity with the Ultimate version of the web-crawler will help you fill in the backstroy to Ultimate Spider-Man, but by no means is it a prerequisite to having a good time with the game. USM does a great job of telling the origin of Venom, setting up the story missions and fleshing out Spider-Man's world trough a unique use of animated comic-book panels (a gimmick that I would like to see replicated in the aforementioned animated series). Some serious thought went into designing this game and the execution is near flawless.

If nothing else, Ultimate Spider-Man creates a fantastic visual tapestry that feels as if it is torn straight from the pages of the comic book. Some may balk at cel-shaded graphics anymore, but they fit the bill perfectly for this title. There are many times where USM makes you stop and say, "They should make an animated series out of this." Really, it would be pretty slick. They've already got a pretty good voice cast pulled together, too. Each of the Ultimate characters jump right out of the comic books and transition near-perfectly to your PC monitor. There are a few moments where they animations just don't line up correctly, but it doesn't mar the otherwise solid graphic package.

However, as nice as it may look and as action-packed as the story may be, the PC version of Ultimate Spider-Man is seriously flawed when you sit down and actually try to play it. The mouse and keyboard control scheme are crippling when you are swinging about the city and even more frustrating when you try to chase someone around the city. Bizarrely, Activision doesn't mention that Ultimate Spider-Man actually supports a gamepad anywhere on the package. I say bizarre because actually hooking a dual-analog pad up to your PC actually makes the game not just playable, but good. I find it odd that they don't promote or recommend it from the get go.

Treyarch does a pretty decent job of mixing up the gameplay in Ultimate Spider-Man, though. Story missions are unlocked by completing a number of tasks around NYC including races and saving civilians from criminals and themselves (an amazing number of people find themselves falling off of buildings). There is tons of stuff for you completion freaks to find, too. Tokens spread around town are the key to unlocking comic-book gold. Production art is nice, but the slew of costumes is even better. It is too bad that there isn't a randomization feature on the city events, though. Adding it would increase USM's replayability infinitely.

Of course, the biggest twist in Ultimate Spider-Man's gameplay comes when you take control of Venom, one of Spider-Man's most deadly foes. The general control formula is similar to taking Peter Parker around NYC, but the changes to attacks (tentacles rock), "web" activity (jumping outclasses swinging) and life replenishment (poor civilians) make these sequences feel like a brand new game.

Bottom Line
Crippled in the transport over to the mouse and keyboard control, Ultimate Spider-Man just doesn't hit par. However, hook up a gamepad and swinging around New York as Spider-Man becomes a fantastic experience. The game is truly able to sing because it is coupled with pretty decent production values and an interesting story. If you want to give the Web-Head a spin make sure you have a gamepad. Otherwise, the PC version just doesn't make the grade.

User Comments

Microsoft is Celebrating Xbox One’s First Anniversary With Giveaways

Destiny Expansion I: The Dark Below Prologue Video and Details Released

Tales from the Borderlands Behind The Scenes Video Released

Super Smash Bros for Wii U and Amiibos are Now Available in Stores

HBO Go App Now Available On Xbox One in the United States

Game of Thrones First Look Revealed by Telltale Games

Persona Q: Shadow of the Labyrinth Launch Trailer Released

Activision Releases Call of Duty: Heroes on iOS and Windows Store

Nintendo Download Highlights New Content Arriving On Wii U and 3DS

Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare is the Biggest Entertainment Launch of the Year

Home    •    About Us    •    Contact Us    •    Advertise    •    Jobs    •    Privacy Policy    •    Site Map
Copyright ©1999-2012 Matt Swider. All rights reserved. Site Programming copyright © 2004 Bill Nelepovitz - NeositeCMS