Get ready true
believers; Spider-man has finally made his way to the PC arena! Finally, after making
appearances on Nintendo 64, PlayStation and Dreamcast, Spidey has hit the PC home turf.
With the hardware acceleration and high-resolution graphics that modern PCs are capable
of, it's no wonder that Spider-Man by Activision looks great.
Since we've seen this before, I'll just give you a brief recap of the
storyline. It seems that Dr. Octopus is up to his old ways again. He's developed a brand
new technology that will help humanity in ways that we cannot even imagine (I think he's
calling "it" Ginger for short). He seems to have the general public fooled, but
not Peter Parker. Peter, AKA Spider-Man, is checking out the scene when all of a sudden, a
Spiderman look-alike strolls onto the scene and swipes Octopus's new invention! So now
you're playing Spiderman on the run. In the course of the first few levels, you're also
framed for a bank robbery. So now the police are after you in addition to all of your old
supervillain buddies that would love to get their revenge on you by turning you over to
the cops. As Spidey would say, "Story of my life..."
The game graphics are very nice. With the resolution pumped up a little higher,
you can really get good detail in the rendering. The camera uses some decent panning
effects and Spiderman's webbing looks awesome. The cinematics between the levels, however,
are slightly disappointing. They pretty much look like the game graphics with a blur
filter turned on. I would have preferred that they use the game engine to render them.
You can't really beat a 3D free roaming world, unless it's a 3D free roaming
world that you can swing around on a web; that's my motto. Needless to say, I thought that
the game play was great. There's a ton of things that you can do with your web. I found
myself crawling around on the ceiling, dropping down to beat up a villain, and then
web-zipping right back up to the ceiling. What fun! In addition to his web slinging,
Spidey also has a standard array of punches, jumps and kicks to beat up on any common bank
robber or street thug. And you can't forget his wall crawling and super strength. I became
accustomed to the controls very quickly; they are customizable in the options menu for the
non-default gamers out there. I recommend a game pad or joystick though; it's not the
easiest game to play with the keyboard.
Ah, the sounds . . . the wonderful and often overlooked aspect of any game.
Alright, lets face it; I got kind of sick of the "Spider Man, Spider Man"
music. Sure, it's cute at first, but hearing it every time you turn on the game is going a
little overboard. The special FX were good, the thwang! of Spidey's web, and the various
background noises are all appropriate and realistic. The voices for the game also sound
convincing, but unfortunately the mediocre cinematics take a little away from the
dramatics of the voice actors.
There are some special extras that help to spice the game up a bit.
Theres a cheat code area that you can access from the main menu. There are also
additional costumes that you can unlock as the game progresses. This is something that
Ive always been fond of, but has never really changed a game much. Spiderman, on the
other hand, adds another level to the costume aspect; each costume has a set of abilities
associated with it. One costume might give Spidey additional strength while another will
boost his jumping ability.
The levels in the game are varied enough to hold your interest. They range from
one-on-one fighting against one of a plethora of Spideys arch-enemies to a building
to building helicopter chase. Other levels allow you to wall-crawl into a building and
take out guards to save hostages. Most of the levels are headed off with a conversation
with one of Spidermans allies, which is helpful to give you an initial idea of your
goal on the level.
is an enjoyable game that will keep the average gamer happy for awhile, but a hardcore
gamer would probably be able to cruise through the game in a day or two. The game graphics
were very well done, but the cinematics could have been redone for the PC; they resemble
the PSX version quite a bit. Game sounds, controls and options are very good. Overall,
like its console counterparts, Spiderman is a fun game and a good PC port. There
arent any big surprises, but the few PCish additions (scalable resolution and HW
acceleration options) are very nice additions and can create a great looking game on a mid
to high-end system.