Reviewing or playing through a game is a journey. Games often start off higher or lower in our head with regards to any sense of a score, or, less rigidly, just in terms of customer satisfaction. I already maintain a gaming diary as best as I can (My Gaming Diary) in order to chronicle my own introspectives on various games that I play. This year, I will be experimenting with the concept of a video chronicle of those playthroughs. First up is this second session of The Amazing Spider-Man 2, which started off at a fairly mediocre to low-point with me after the initial play-session. Things are looking up a bit here as I get into more of the meat of the campaign and start to feel a bit like the hero.
One of the main sticks in my craw (still) are the dialogue trees, which seem to be relatively useless. They are not good-evil branches like they are in games like inFamous or Mass Effect. You are presented three choices in responses or questions, but the order in which you ask them really doesn’t matter. And selecting one, at least as far as I have seen so far, does not then make another unavailable. My point here is that if my choices do not really make a difference, then there is no value added in forcing me to make one. These could have been done as cut-scenes that had to be watched and, as far as I can tell, that would not have made any difference to how the story unfolds.
As you start to level up, that feeling of being truly powerful that I mentioned in playsession 1, which was fairly elusive in the first hour, starts to come through. Improving your web efficiency increases your swing distance and speed. This has the effect of creating movement that is more akin to the 2004 Treyarch Spider-Man title on the original XBox. I still feel a bit clunky maneuvering around the levels, but it is getting better.
The other thing that is coming through is that the veneer is coming off of the graphics. The Amazing Spider-Man 2 has some pretty good lighting effects, and those make the graphics pop in the opening chapters because they take place at night. But as the game transitions to day, you become aware that some of the character modeling is not that great. This is especially true of non-superpower types that you have a lot of time to observe during cut-scenes. Peter Parker in particular comes off as much bulkier than Andrew Garfield, but also appears thicker than I would expect the guy in the Spider-Man suit, as he is modeled in the game, to be. While some of this is because Parker is always in a large coat, if you look at him in the face and neck, he appears to be a pretty beefy person, and not reflective of the sinewy wall-crawler that is your alter ego.
With all that being said, please feel free to check out my gameplay of the first encounter with a super-villain. The combat that precedes that fight is pretty satisfying. The jury is still out on the boss battle itself.
And if you want to see the longer video of the playsession, just head over to my Twitch channel here.