Spider-Man: The Movie

Publisher: Activision Inc.

Developer: Treyarch

Category: Action

Release Dates

N Amer - 04/16/2002

Spider-Man: The Movie Review

When Activision and Neversoft Entertainment released Spider-Man for the PlayStation back in August of 2000, everyone's first reaction was that there is another horrible comic to game translation. Activision proved everyone wrong, as it was the first game to capture the essence of a comic book superhero. Since the first games' release, Vicarious Visions developed a second game entitled Spider-Man 2: Enter Electro. That game improved on several things of the original game, but still had its share of problems. This time Activision has chosen the talented developers at Treyarch to create the latest Spider-Man game (based on the movie opening next month).

Peter Parker was orphaned at a young age, and his Uncle Ben and Aunt May took him in. One day his high school class went to see genetic scientific experiments done on spiders. While the experiment was being conducted, one of the spiders escaped and bit Peter. Over the next week, Peter released that when the spider bit him, he obtained superhuman spider powers, such as the ability to stick to any surface, superhuman strength, and he became super agile. Peter is very intelligent individual, so he was able to create a pair of devices to shoot out webbing so he now can swing through the New York skyline. To help out with some of the expenses, Peter decided to use his newfound strength to wrestle; he then made a costume to disguise himself so no one would recognize him. One night his boss was robbed, but Peter decided not to interfere since the boss didn't pay Peter all that he owed him. When Peter got home that night, he found out that his Uncle Ben had been murdered, he was so enraged he tracked the killer down to an abandoned warehouse to find that the murderer was the same person that robbed his boss earlier. From that point on Peter became Spider-Man and he remembers the phrase his beloved Uncle told him from his childhood: "With great power comes great responsibility."

The story line in the game closely follows the movie, as Spider-Man main enemy will be the malicious Green Goblin, before he can get to him, he will face off with several other well known nemesis as well such as the Shocker, Scorpion, Vulture, and others. To stop these villains Spider-Man will have a wide variety of moves at his disposal. He will be able to combine any of his moves to create the ultimate combo using his hands, feet, jumping, and webbing. Common web techniques used in the game are the web dome, web fists, impact webbing, and web line. He will use all of these techniques while fighting on the ground and aerial combat as well.

The missions are varied enough, some taking place in confined areas such as a subway to catch the supervillian Shocker. While another you will be fighting the Vulture in the air. Some missions Spider-Man will have to protect and rescue civilians instead of just catching the enemy, which gives the game a more realistic feel. Treyarch did an astonishing job with all the air combat missions, the camera always finds the best angle, and the players will get the real sense that they are Spider-Man!

When creating a 2D comic book character and bring them to life in full 3D there are always some problems to overcome. The hardest problem to overcome is the ever-nagging camera control. Treyarch did a wonderful job on the camera control while in the air, and it always kept up with him, and remained on the ever-constant action. They even fixed a minor problem that plagued past games, when Spider-Man is on top of the ceiling or on a wall, it becomes transparent so the gamer will have the best angle while playing. Even though Treyarch did an excellent job, it still has its fair share of problems, and they are most persistent when Spider-Man is on the ground. When Spider-Man is fighting off multiple enemies, it can be easy to lost track of him. To help suppress this problem, gamers have full control over the camera with the right analog stick and they can lock in the camera by pressing down on the button.

One thing that all the Spider-Man games have in common is all the extras the developers put in there to help extend the replay value of the game. Treyarch put a lot of hidden goodies to obtain in this game as well. To obtain these extras players will have to obtain a certain overall score. At the end of each level Spider-Man is graded on different things such as his combat moves, timing, and other things. These points are than added up at the end of the game, and if you have enough you will be able to unlock such things as Pinhead Bowling.

Spider-Man is rated E for Everyone and will take up 80KB on your memory card.

Reviewer's Scoring Details

Gameplay: 9.0
The only bad thing about the gameplay is the camera problems, when on the ground it can be easy to lose track of Spider-Man. Despite this, the controls are really tight, and there is an option for two different control schemes.

Graphics: 8.9 
The game is breathtaking, wonderful use of textures and the environments are huge. Spider-Man, and all of his enemies are well modeled and look exceptional!

Sound: 9.1
The sound in this game is really good. Activision got Tobey Maguire to do the lines of Spider-Man, so as to keep it true to the movie. Bruce Campbell did a wonderful job as the narrator and always kept things funny as in the comic books. The music and sound effects further help keep the game and movie tied in much closer together. A really good job!

Difficulty: 9
The game can be a little difficult for the new players, but Treyarch included a tutorial mode to help everyone become familiar with the controls so they will become the Amazing Spider-Man in no time. The tutorial also kept things going very smoothly and was not like other tutorials as the gamer will want to continue to play it just to hear the funny one-liners by the narrator.

Concept: 9.2 
While it will not win any awards for originality, the concept for the game is really good. The air battles are magnificent, the constant one-liners are hilarious, and the storyline is something pulled out of one of the comic books. Treyarch did a well job of making the comic book superhero come alive on the Sony PlayStation 2.

Multipler: N/A

Overall: 9.0
The game will keep players occupied for a long time. The game is addicting and there are tons of unlockable items for gamers to come back to. Even if you are not a Spider-Man fan, buy this game as it will not disappoint you.

GameZone Review Detail


GZ Rating


Spider-Man, Spider-Man he does whatever a spider can!

Reviewer: Michael Knutson

Review Date: 04/30/2002

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