I’ve just this moment allowed myself to get excited about this coming summer’s tie-in for Sony’s The Amazing Spider-Man. Movie franchises don’t usually fare well when it comes to videogames. I’d even go as far to say they’ve set a sort of benchmark as far as how the shoddily made, cash-cow corner of the games industry is seen by gaming fans. Ignoring movies’ games altogether, even Spidey’s not fared so well on current-gen machines. Spider-Man 3 was a buggy mess, Shattered Dimensions a schizophrenic slab of mashed potential and Web of Shadows is just plain yuck. Beenox, who’ve had their hands on the Spider-license for a couple games’ worth now, have just yesterday announced their intention to return to their next title the sandbox elements of past games (including the thus-far self-descreptive Ultimate Spider-Man) as well as releasing a sliver of promotion quickly derided by the savvy as looking perhaps a little too much like Mirror’s Edge (like any bugger played Mirror’s Edge.)
|The veryhardtofault Spider-Man 2|
So up until this point I was totally disinterested, to the extent that I hadn’t even thought about it in ages. I’ve been spurned by Spider-Man games in the past and really hadn’t paid these developments any mind at all. Then it hit me. As I nursed the burgeoning bruise, I recalled the last time the jump to sandbox gaming was announced to support a movie and it resulted in the superlative Spider-Man 2, a game at least as good as the excellent film it was attached to and at that time the best representation the character’d ever enjoyed on home systems (and that’s Maximum Carnage INCLUDED, you nostalgics!) And then I got to thinking just how much I’d enjoyed the really good Spider-games. I mean, here’s a character who lends himself and his whole world really well to the sort of interactive escapism best offered in shiny disc form on now- uniformly black, whirring consoles. Satisfying combat, seemingly-limitless platforming and an inherent humour (unless we’re talking mid-90s, wants-to-be-dead Spider-Man. Ugh…) makes for a heady mix and made for at least two must-own titles. Why can’t we have that again? Why can’t we? Who says? WHO? WHY NOT? WHO ARE YOU TO DENY ME MY…
I need to lay off the 5am Vanilla Cokes.
So it looks a little like Mirror’s Whatever. Who cares? It’s not like Faith McGruder (as far as I know she has no surname, so I’ve given her one of the best) owns the franchise on building-to-building travel. Good ol’ Pete’s been at it for fifty years now, ferchrissakes. I don’t imagine, with all the development since 2004, that a half-decent Spider-Man game in which you slap jerks upside the jaw, rescue portly contractors from the edges of rooves (my preferred, wholly incorrect pluralisation) and practice Uncle Ben’s credo of “Perfect, every time”* would be that hard to make. It’d be harder to get it wrong, you ask me.
So there it is. A declaration, perhaps naive, of pre-Amazement at the prospect of the first decent Spider-Man game in far, far too long. I don’t want it to be like Arkham City: Rocksteady have the grim ‘n’ gritty covered just fine, thanks. Gimme Puny Parker swinging webs and slinging jokes against the brightest blue Ney York skyline you can muster and I’ll be your forever, Beenox.
*Whoops. Wrong Uncle Ben…
For more things and words and that including fairly regular mentions of Spider-Man and plenty more pluralisation-centric humour (more than you can shake a stick at, or would ever ever want in a million lifetimes), check out Rambleast forthwith.