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‘The Amazing Spider-Man’ Game E3 2012 Hands-On Preview [Video]

Developer Beenox has been releasing Spider-Man video games like clockwork each year since 2010′s well-received Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions. With this summer’s release of The Amazing Spider-Man movie, though, they’ve been charged with bringing Marc Webb’s cinematic reboot into playable video game form with The Amazing Spider-Man video game. I caught up with producer David Boudreault on the last day of E3 last week and he took some time to talk and demonstrate some of the upcoming movie tie-in for us on the Xbox 360.

The Amazing Spider-Man game is set in the same continuity as the movie, but isn’t a simple rehashing of the events in the film. Though David couldn’t divulge any plot details, he would say that the game’s story takes place after the film and that fans will be able to play through the game without spoiling anything from the movie. Since the game releases a week prior to the film, you should be good to go to get the game on release day and play through without ruining your potential moviegoing experience.

I’ve played more than a few Spider-Man games in my time and I have to say that visually, this one best captures the sheer thrill it must be to be Spidey. By placing the third-person camera a little closer to Spider-Man and tilting it a little in a more cinematic angle, you really get the sense of swinging through Manhattan with ease. Spidey’s character model is so fluidly animated that you can see him going from a skydiving freefall pose into flips and twirls with completely effortlessness. Frankly, I could probably just watch him do that all day and not get sick of it.

The entire island of Manhattan is your playground in The Amazing Spider-Man. However, while that may give you visions of Grand Theft Spider-Man, the game isn’t exactly a completely open world affair. Rather, the island acts as more of a hub area, where you can either start the next story mission or go off and play around or do sidequests. Still, it appears to be expansive enough to be able to lose yourself in the game world if you so choose.

One gameplay highlight for me was the updated combat system. While Beenox is very sensitive about comparing their combat system for The Amazing Spider-Man and the Batman: Arkham Asylum/Arkham City games, it’s hard to ignore some of the similarities between the two franchises. Like the Arkham games, combat is a freeflowing affair based off of attacking and dodging at the right time. Of course, being that you are controlling Spidey now and not The Caped Crusader, your character’s fighting style is quite a bit more lithe and agile, with more flips and quick evasive maneuvers. And before you ask, yes, Spidey’s Spider-Sense does tingle when it’s time to dodge an attack.

The other major new mechanic is called “Web Rush,” which helps you do some really awesome things in the game with a couple of button taps. One way of thinking about it is as a sort of amalgamation of “Freerunning” in Assassin’s Creed combined with Batman’s “Detective Mode” in Arkham City. When you’re swinging around Manhattan, Web Rush will let you quickly plan out a route across town by slowing down time and picking a new point of interest to zip to via picking a golden Spider-Man silhouette across different landmarks. In combat, Web Rush will open up new tactical options for you to quickly dodge attacks using the environment, for example.

Years of crappy movie-tie in games have made me a bit jaded when it comes to checking them out, but I have to admit that The Amazing Spider-Man looks better than it ought to. Of course, the game will sink or swim based on the actual content, but the short time I spent with it at E3 impressed me enough to keep the game on my radar.

Check out real time gameplay footage of the demo being played by Beenox producer David Boudreault from the show floor (The convention center actually closes mid-video, so you might notice that in the clip. Thanks again to David for staying a little late to finish up the demo):

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