COLUMN: Aaron’s Backstage Pass: 'The Amazing Spider-Man 2' PS4 Review

Updated: 08/19/2014 10:57 AM By: Aaron Chalich

Photo courtesy of Activision
Photo courtesy of Activision

I am a huge fan of superheroes and comic books, and I try to play just about every superhero themed game that is released.  I have also been a fan of Spider-Man for as long as I can remember. 

The very first “Spider-Man” game I played was “Spider-Man” on the Atari 2600.  It was a simple game, but I played it for hours.  Ever since then, I have played just about every Spider-Man- themed game that has been released.

This past week I received a review code for Activision’s “The Amazing Spider-Man 2” for the PS4.  This is by far one of the best Spider-Man games that I have played.

The graphics are awesome, and this is one of the best looking superhero games that I have played.  All of the characters are very detailed and look like they are right from the movie. 

Speaking of characters, there are many villains and superheroes that appear in the game such as Green Goblin, Black Cat, Kingpin, Electro, Kraven the Hunter and many more.

Most of the action takes place in Manhattan, and the city looks great.  Spider-Man can roam freely through the city and each building and area is unique and looks different.  I thought that was nice, because in past games, all of the buildings looked the same, and you could tell that they were just created over and over again.

The story is really exciting and pretty interesting. The game starts out with Peter Parker walking down the street and lets a robber run by him.  Minutes later his uncle Ben is killed by that same robber.  The game jumps ahead and Peter is now Spider-Man, and he starts to track down the criminal that killed his uncle.  He finds out that the killer’s name is Dennis Caradine, and before he can get to him, someone else kills Caradine and leaves the initials “CK” by the body.  Now Spider-Man has to try and figure out who “CK” is.

I really liked the story a lot and thought that it was pretty well written.  I also really liked the fact that this is a brand new story, and it does not spoil the plot for the new movie coming out.  That’s the one thing that I was afraid of, because most of the time games based on films usually follow the story pretty closely, and if you have not seen the movie, the game reveals the entire plot.

The controls for “The Amazing Spider-Man 2” are very easy to learn, and there is an in-game tutorial that explains what you need to do to control Spider-Man.  I think that just about everyone should be able to pick up the game and play.

Spider-Man can swing through the streets with his webs.  He can how swing by alternating his left and right hands.  This allows him to swing through the city faster.  Spider-Man has a move called “web rush” where if you hold down the “R1” button, you can select where he will swing to (little Spider-Man icons will appear on the screen, and you just select which one you want to move to), and this is also a great way to move through the city quickly. 

Spider-Man can jump, crawl up buildings, and attack enemies.  I really liked the fighting system in “Spider-Man 2” a lot.  You can chain together multiple attacks into one huge combo.  As you are fighting criminals, Spider-Man can punch and kick them, and if one of the criminals is about to attack him, they turn red, and you can dodge the attack.  Spider-Man also has some special moves that he can do that look pretty amazing.  There are also thugs that carry guns and are much stronger to take down.  Spider-Man can shoot a web out and pull the gun out of their hands and with the tougher guys; you must try and figure out how to beat them, which is pretty cool.

Spider-Man can heal himself when he is injured by pushing down on the direction pad.  This is very helpful during boss battles.

Spider-Man’s spider sense plays a huge role.  If you push up on the directional pad, you can activate it to find import things in the game, and it will also go off whenever there’s danger.

Spider-Man has a smartphone that can be accessed by pushing the touch pad.  Here you can look at the map and see where your next objective is located, you can see your in-game progress, check messages, see your skills and upgrade your abilities.

As you are playing, different icons will appear on the map like a fist or a fire icon.  If you go to the fist icon, you will have to fight some criminals who are trying to steal something or breaking into a building.  If you go to a fire icon, you must rescue a civilian from a fire.  There are many heroic things that Spider-Man must do.   

There is a meter on the screen that shows you if you are a hero or a menace.  The more heroic things you do like stop crimes or rescue people from fires, the more the meter fills up to the heroic side.  If you fail one of these missions or ignore the crimes the meter starts to decrease, you become a menace.  If you become a menace, a task force will set up check points and traps, and you must try to avoid them.  If you start doing heroic things again the task force will go away.

You can upgrade your abilities and suit by finishing missions, tasks, and defeating enemies.  You will gain more experience if you considered a hero rather than a menace.

There is a comic book shop that Spider-Man can visit.  It is run by Stan Lee, and this is where you can view all of items that you unlock in the game.  Scattered around Manhattan city are comic books.  If you find a certain number of comics, a full comic will unlock, and you can read it at the comic store.  I thought that this was pretty cool.  You can also unlock action figures and art from the game by doing certain things in the game.  You can also practice your fighting techniques by playing a fighting game.  There are twelve different challenges that you can try and beat and I they are pretty challenging.

You can also go to your home and here you can change “Spider-Man suits (DLC) and replay missions.

I really felt that “The Amazing Spider-Man 2” has great replay value, because there are ton of collectables that you can try and find.

I really enjoyed Activision’s “The Amazing Spider-Man 2” for the PS4 a lot.  It was a fun and exciting game to play.  The graphics are unbelievable, and the controls are very easy to learn. I also really liked the fact that you could roam freely around the city, and I also thought the combat system was very well done.  I would highly recommend “The Amazing Spider-Man 2” to anyone that is a fan of Spider-Man or comic book-themed games.

“The Amazing Spider-Man 2” is rated “T”

*“The review code was provided by Activision for review purposes”

Aaron Chalich is a entertainment columnist.