To tie in with the imminent arrival of The Amazing Spider-Man in cinemas worldwide Gameloft have released an iOS game featuring the webbed wonder. “Ugh Gameloft” I hear you sigh, well leave your preconceived notions at the door. Whilst the game developer is infamous for it’s heavily inspired *cough*blantantknockoffs*cough*, they have finally proved themselves as a top notch developer in my eyes, with recent near console quality releases Asphalt 7 and N.O.V.A 3 for the iPad.
Well thankfully The Amazing Spider-Man for iOS continues Gameloft’s recent trend, featuring some seriously beautiful graphics which honestly wouldn’t look out of place on the Nintendo Wii. There are a few graphical quirks, you can see textures popping into view as you near buildings, and some non playable characters (i.e everyone but Spider-Man) look a bit mutated in the face, especially the “beautiful” Gwen Stacey. But overall Gameloft have beautifully captured the look and feel of both Spider-Man and New York City. Even though Spider-Man himself looks fantastic his voice leaves a lot to be desired, without the movie cast on hand to voice the characters we find ourselves with an ever so whiney Spidey who sounds nothing like Andrew Garfield. With the exception of Spider-Man’s voice however the audio is great with some good deliveries from the supporting cast and good music and bustling city sounds.
The game is free roaming around NYC, much like the Spider-Man 2 tie in game on PS2, Gamecube and X-Box, and whilst it may not be completely geographically accurate Gameloft really have done a superb or recreating one of the most famous citys in the world, complete with bustling citizens and traffic.
Controls are always a hot topic when it comes to iPad gaming but thankfully they have been kept fairly straightforward in this game; you use a virtual left thumbstick to direct Spidey whilst jumping and webslinging are assigned to a single virtual button on the right, this helps keep webslinging elegant and simple, it takes a little while to become accustomed to the controls, but after a couple of minutes you will be swinging around New York like a seasoned pro. Likewise the combat controls are also streamlined to 3 buttons; attack, web, and dodge, with combat working in a similar vein to Batman: Arkham City. Occasionally you will miss the press of a virtual button or slip off the virtual stick but this is more to do with the iPads lack of physical buttons rather than a problem with the game itself.
I’ve only been able to spend a couple of hours with the game, with a large majority of that time enjoying myself swinging aimlessly around NYC, so I have yet to really get into the meat of the story, however it does appear to roughly follow the story of the movie. The missions have been fairly varied so far ranging from beating up generic thugs (there is quite a lot of this early on), to car surfing to taking on The Lizard on the Brooklyn bridge. There are also plenty of random encounters to keep you busy as you swing around Manhattan, and there are spider tags to collect which earn you points, which in turn can be used to unlock goodies. The goodies themselves aren’t that good with the exception of the ever so pricey alternate black Spider-Man suit, perhaps the game could have done with a few more alternate costumes to really incentivise the player, hopefully this is something Gameloft may add in a future update.
With The Amazing Spider-Man Gameloft have further solidified themselves as the go to developer for console quality iPad games, and at the same time shown that the iPad is a serious contender for gaming on the go. Featuring beautiful graphics and solid fun gameplay it will keep you entertained on your commute to work or long car journeys and is well worth your hard earned bucks.