Spider-Man 3

Xbox 360

Review by Matt Paprocki



Graphics: 9

Sound: 8

Gameplay: 4

Overall: 4


Cameras are rarely fun, at least in terms of video games. When you're Spider-Man, that fun factor hovers around a zero on the enjoyment factor. While sharp to look at in terms of the environment, you'll struggle to see it in Spider-Man 3 as you swing your way from one goal to the next in this open ended mess.

spiderman31360.jpg (135389 bytes)As Spider-Man, you're tasked with completing missions to clean up New York, hosted across an expansive world. The rapid, nearly non-existent load time is a spectacular technical achievement, especially given the level of detail. The storyline branches into multiple directions, with different gangs moving around in their plotlines.

Swinging through the air on the webs is always fun, particularly as you pick up speed and make your way through rush hour traffic. Certain missions require web-swinging skills to be at their peak, such as those that have the player carrying an annoying Mary Jane to a specific destination.

Missions like that bring about the camera issues. Trying to figure out exactly where she needs to be can be infuriating, and it's even worse when Mary Jane requires a pass through a checkpoint high into the air and her eventual target is on the street level. Indoors, the situation is even worse. Camera control is touchy, and sometimes feels completely unresponsive.

Some quests are still unbearable even without the camera issues. Combat is erratic, and while there is some attempt to finally move away from the same fighting feel from back on the PlayStation Spider-Man titles, it's still loose and clunky. The ability to slow time via spider sense becomes critical. Actually, it's too critical.

In order to counter, you have to be in this mode and you're only given a few brief seconds to do so. When surrounded by enemies, which is far more common than it should be, you're at the mercy of this mechanic. Add in the camera problems here too, and the mission set is ridiculously frustrating in spots, and the only reason the game breaks the six-hour mark.

If you're involved in a deep storyline, it's also irritating that you can't continue it until you complete other tasks first. New options are only accessible after beating other challenges. It's a massive hindrance, and can only eliminate the term "open ended" from the genre classification. A minor annoyance is the inability to warp to any challenge you wish, and instead forcing the player to swing through the city in its entirety at times.

While high production values give the game a polished feel, Spider-Man 3 is anything but. Glitches are a problem, and on top of everything else wrong, the title simply falls flat. Spider-Man should stick to Hollywood.


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Last updated: Thursday, May 31, 2007 08:23 PM