Spider-Man games have long bucked traditional expectations of what a video game based on a licensed property should be. Fun, fluid, expansive and faithful, Activision's previous efforts in adapting the Spider-Man movies into video games have set the bar for movie tie-in games. Now, with Spider-Man 3, look for the bar to be raised yet again.
Set in an enormous, dynamic, free-roaming New York City, the game gives players the freedom to choose their own gameplay experience through multiple movie-based and original storylines, fully integrated city missions and performance rewards including improved speed, combat maneuvers and agility. Activision and the developers at Treyarch, Vicarious Visions and Beenox have taken the concepts and "living world" feel of the previous games and amped them way up.
The teams have gone back and completely revamped Spidey's combat abilities to incorporate expanded aerial fighting techniques, new finishing moves and dynamic webbing mechanics. Oh yeah, they've also brought in Spider-Man's black costume, something that will provide much more than a superficial change to the game.
For the first time ever, gamers will control the black costume, an alien symbiote which magnifies Spider-Man's strength, agility and durability. Punish your enemies with vicious new attacks and awesome upgrades. But power has its price. As you'll learn the more you play, the black suit becomes harder and harder to control. Will you get it under control or allow it to consume you?
While locked in battle--both with your enemies and the darkness engulfing you--you'll find that you can go anywhere at any time in a large, dynamic, free-roaming New York City and get involved in whatever you want, whenever you want. The open world gameplay allows the player to decide how to proceed through the game and set their own goals. Should Spider-Man follow a plot twist, switch to an alternate storyline, fight off crime waves that threaten the city or explore vast interior and underground locations? It's all in your hands.
While you're swinging past skyscrapers, exploring the subways and deciding what to do, you'll have to contend with a number of wily enemies. Three gangs are vying for control of the city, each focusing their efforts on specific boroughs. The more you take down in each area, the more the crime rate drops and the city flourishes. Ignore a section and watch chaos reign. But tackling these crooks isn't done on a whim. The thugs have advanced AI which allows them to surround Spider-Man, grapple with him, call in reinforcements and do everything they can to retake their territory. Be sure to take advantage of the all-new combat system in order to stave off their cruel intentions.
Unfortunately, the gangs won't be the only thorn in Spidey's side. Joining the villains plucked from the film--Venom, Sandman and the Goblin--Activision has informed that there will be a host of legendary comic book foes who all take advantage of their environments, their minions, and the large-scale destruction that their superpowers cause in trying to defeat Spider-Man. Look for more on the villains as we get closer to the game's release date.
And what game these days doesn't come with a bit of RPG-style upgrading? Master Spider-Man's powers through natural progression and completion of missions and challenges in order to gain ability enhancements including improved web moves, swing skills and amazing melee combos.
With the game still several months away, many of the game's layers have yet to be unveiled. Keep an eye on Marvel.com for forthcoming details and keep an eye on our Spider-Man 3 movie and Spider-Man 3 video game hubs for all the latest info, images and trailers.
And now, check out the first trailer:
By Ryan Penagos