business

Spider-Man 3 for Xbox: A Tired Rehash

The tangled web of less-than-thrilling gameplay and poor audio overshadows the video game's improved visuals

Better graphics help make Spider-Man 3 for Xbox 360 better than its PlayStation 3 counterpart. However, it still stinks, thanks to numerous issues.

The map system works as players tap the select button to get a view of New York, choosing an objective and then swinging through the city to get there. The ability to choose between various missions helps the game's long-term appeal.

Spider-Man 3's biggest improvement lies in its visuals. While some of the character models look awful while the city looks more impressive than the PS3 version, with better rendered buildings and a more realistic Spider-Man. However, the camera remains a big problem, particularly when players need to see what happens behind them and take cheap hits as a result. The audio doesn't work any better, meshing good voice acting (J.K. Simmons, Bruce Campbell) with bad (Tobey Maguire, Topher Grace). The lame rock guitar riffs further ruin the experience.

Spidey still swings through New York with ease, but the combat grates on the nerves. Gangs attack Spidey relentlessly, whittling away his energy in no time. The boss fights work a little better, although not much. Sandman's alternate, super-sized form looks cool at first—until he cheaply pounds Spider-Man into the ground like a king-sized nail.

This latest Spider-Man excursion does offer more replayability, with various missions to complete and random crimes popping up all over New York. The addition of several unlockable Achievements also motivates gamers to keep swinging around, adding points to their GamerScore.

Past that, the game feels like a tired Spider-Man 2 rehash instead of a completely original game. Spider-Man 3 may appeal to hardcore fans of the comic book and films, but everyone else won't find the ride so thrilling.

    Before it's here, it's on the Bloomberg Terminal. LEARN MORE