Activision is awfully proud of their movie tie-in project, The Amazing Spider-Man. Now before you start judging (don't be too hard on yourself, I was guilty of judging too), this particular movie game takes a different tack than most. For starters, The Amazing Spider-Man is a bridge title, providing content between the movie launching in a few days, and its sequel. This means that instead of playing a rehash of the movie's storyline, you'll actually get new information that is canon to the Sony Pictures Spider-Man universe. And that means you're not wasting your time playing a game version of a movie you've already seen.
At its core the game is pretty basic. It's a Spider-Man game, so the elements that you would expect -- web swinging, wall climbing, Marvel villains -- are all present and accounted for. This particular installment in the Spider-Man series doesn't rely on physics-based web swinging, but rather focuses on the cool factor. Spidey can do lots of slick things in the movie, and they wanted to make sure the players of the game had the same power. So instead of relegating awesomeness to cut scenes, the developers built strong travel systems into the game that allow players to bound throughout the city and feel very cool doing it.
The strongest new mechanic is something they call Web Rush, an overdrive system that lets Spidey kick his senses, and thus his abilities, into high gear. Web Rush is useful not only in traveling the city, but also in combat situations, and lets players feel extremely powerful for a limited amount of time. Speaking of combat, The Amazing Spider-Man gives gamers a chance to use fighting techniques only seen in the arenas of Luchadores. Inspired by the Mexican wrestling style of fighting, ASM's combat is fluid, fast and frenetic. As ninja as you feel flying through the air, you feel just as powerful on the ground fighting bad guys.
You'll also feel ninja using the stealth systems added to the game. The Amazing Spider-Man has built into it a complete ceiling walking system, so that instead of being able to grab onto select points as with previous games, Spidey can hide in every nook and cranny. This would be less fun if the NPCs were too dumb enough to find him, so they ramped up the AI to allow for guards and bad guys who will systematically search for Spidey in every corner until they find him. Knowing the devs took to the time to make even this small bit of gameplay interesting means that you can expect a higher level of quality from this title than from previous ones.
I'm pleased about what I saw of The Amazing Spider-Man. I like the idea of taking the storyline from the movie and expanding it to explain origins from some of the Marvel universe's villains -- Rhino, Vermin, and Scorpion among them. I think it's a clever way to provide a unique spin on a world so many already know and love. You'll be able to see for yourself when the game launches June 26th.