So says Peter Parker right at the end of Gameloft’s latest movie tie-in, The Amazing Spider-Man. It’s uncannily fitting, and while I’d love to leave it there, I’m obliged (i.e. compelled by a baseball bat-wielding Emma) to scribble a few hundred words explaining why you should save yourself a fiver and not buy The Amazing Spider-Man.
I’ll start with the positives. The very fact that The Amazing Spider-Man – set in a sandbox Manhattan – even runs on a smartphone/tablet is undeniably impressive. The web-slinging is (for the most part) sexily slick, and freefalling from the tops of buildings is really quite stunning.
The Amazing Spider-Man also boasts mostly-decent voice acting. Spidey is equal parts funny and annoying (as he should be), and it’ll take you something like eight hours to blast through all 25 of The Amazing Spider-Man’s missions.
There are also “random” missions (help the cops fight gangs, save citizens, defuse bombs), and a nice XP levelling system with loads of abilities to invest in.
Fighting is mostly good, as The Amazing Spider-Man borrows quite heavily from Rocksteady’s recent Batman games.
Sounds good so far, right? Don’t get too excited.
Sadly, The Amazing Spider-Man simply isn’t suited to touch controls, which renders most/all of the above moot.
Worse still, the nature of many of the missions (chase The Lizard through Central Park, defuse four bombs in five minutes) only serves to drive home just how infuriating the controls are. Really, The Amazing Spider-Man is crying out for dual analogue sticks.
There are other little things that irked me about The Amazing Spider-Man. Getting stuck in scenery, for one, and the inaccurate map that makes it stupidly difficult to locate missions/items.
There are also inconsistencies with The Amazing Spider-Man’s cutscenes: sometimes they can be skipped, other times not; sometimes the dialogue flows automatically, one time in particular you’re required to tap your way through it. Huh?
Worst of all, however, is being thrown right back to the beginning of missions when you fail. In particular, I’m thinking of the mission in The Amazing Spider-Man wherein you’re tasked with stealthily crawling along the outside of a skyscraper.
At the end of the stealth section, hard part supposedly over, there’s a tacked-on scene in which you leap off a bridge and save some engineer guy from plummeting to his death. It’s really just for show, and shouldn’t be particularly hard.
However, the controls make launching into freefall a needlessly difficult task. Press jump, for example, and the camera goes into a frenzy. The secret, I learned, is simply to walk off the edge of the bridge, but – with The Amazing Spider-Man’s touch controls – even that is much easier said than done.
As such, it took around half a dozen attempts to save the engineer. Sigh.
If I hadn’t been reviewing The Amazing Spider-Man, I would’ve given up after a handful of missions. But, particularly when I’m giving a bad review, I feel the need to see things through to the end.
Admittedly, I didn’t hate The Amazing Spider-Man quite so much near the end (despite the finale lasting 30 minutes), but it’s seriously hard to recommend when it quite often feels broken.
- Technically very impressive
- 25 missions
- Skill tree
- The controls
- The map
- Getting thrown right back to the beginning of missions
- It’s £4.99
- No Game Center support
Summary: The Amazing Spider-Man is technically very impressive, but simply not suited to touch controls.
Requirements: Compatible with iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPod touch (4th generation), iPad 2 Wi-Fi, iPad 2 Wi-Fi + 3G, iPad (3rd generation) and iPad Wi-Fi + 4G. Requires iOS 4.0 or later.
Price: £4.99 @ App Store