Spider-Man's always leaving that webbing in the worst places.
Release Date: 4 July 2012 RRP: £39.99 Format Reviewed: PS3 Also available for: Xbox 360 and PC Publisher: Activision
Poor old Spidey. Activision have been knocking out a web-crawling game every year since the PS1 days and – Spider-Man 2 aside – they’ve still only hit the lofty heights of “sort of okay”. Plus Arkham City hasn’t so much raised the bar as picked it up and taken it back to the bat-cave while saying, “This is my bar now,” in a Christian Bale-style raspy whisper.
In fairness, this is the best Spidey game in a while, mixing the acrobatic expectations of the movies with the cocksure teen bravado of the comics, and catapulting around Manhattan is an instant thrill. Although the limited animations and on-rails swinging system dampen the rush after a while.
There are some great moments. A battle with a giant robot has you swooping desperately between buildings to reach and pummel its weak spots. The mix of scale and speed is a highlight, but only serves to accentuate how pedestrian the other boss fights are.
It’s a game of gently diminishing returns – the more you play, the less it seems to offer. Side missions are simply repetitive busywork of no real consequence; upgrades offer no satisfying development, and much of the content seems to fill time rather than use it. Even the main mission – tailing a mutating virus loose in the city – alternates between indoor sections full of rudimentary stealth and guard punching, and the journeys between them. Friendly? Yes. Amazing? Not so much.