For their fourth Spider-Man title, and second Spider-Man movie tie-in, Beenox continue to bring scraps to the table with Amazing Spider-Man 2. Still ripping off Batman: Arkham City (likely since Arkham Knight hadn’t yet released between this game and its predecessor), the developer fumbles what should be a can’t-miss formula with a combination of carelessness and misunderstanding of the mechanics. Swinging around the sandbox New York can be satisfying–timing shoulder button presses to either gain momentum or height adds a physicality to Spider-Man’s movement not seen since Spider-Man 2, two console cycles ago (though without a run button, so you amusingly jog along when not swinging)–but more complicated maneuvers such as wall runs are easily undone by the camera spinning dizzily around, often sending you a half-mile in the opposite direction you were heading (stealth segments are similarly undone, with ceiling crawling nearly impossible). Combat is lacking, a straight facelift of Batman’s freeflow combat, minus Rocksteady’s commitment to varying animations and the physical crunch of a punch or kick. Bodies don’t collide, merely float in approximation to a hit. Generic witticisms on loop add aggravation to the boredom.
Adding insult to injury, Amazing Spider-Man 2 breaks up its nonexistent plot with tedious side quests (a surprising amount of time spent curb-stomping teenage loiterers), which the game prompts you to do even as you’re doing them like some middle-management busybody. Instead of swinging in, zapping a few one-liners while saving the day, then swinging out, cutscenes slow these sequences to a crawl. I would suggest Beenox go back to the drawing board, but that would suggest they ever had ideas.