These fights are boss.
Sam Raimi would like you to believe that power and responsibility are the central themes of the Spider-Man universe, but any real fan knows all that talk is just for placating parents. The real issues are web-slinging and ass-kicking; if you can do the former, you had better do the latter. And while previous Spider-Man games have certainly delivered healthy doses of web fluid, they’ve shirked on their responsibility to deliver great, violent power.
But if what we recently saw at an Activision event is any indication, we may finally get the epic, comic-book-style battles we’ve been waiting for in Spider-Man 3
for the PS3 and Xbox 360. The battle we saw was a showdown between the Sandman and Spidey in the subway tunnels. Spider-Man ran up and started stuffing his usual punch, punch, kick combination down Sandman’s throat, when an X button flashed on the screen.
This led to Spider-Man flinging Sandman into a wall, then whipping him back with a web strand into a grand slam of an uppercut (I didn’t see Spider-Man point to left field first, but I might have missed it), followed by more context-sensitive button prompts, and several more minutes of the kind of hard-hitting, imaginative action we’ve always associated with Spider-Man’s battles.
I know this sounds like God of War
, but when you see Spider-Man 3
in action, you’ll be reminded instead of your favorite comic books. Except, unlike on paper, battles in the game can unfold in different ways. You see, the Sandman boss fight is also a chase, and on the first attempt the presenter messed up and let him literally slip through the cracks. The second time, though, the battle looked completely different. Sure, it was in the same setting, but the context-sensitive cans of whoop-ass were different flavors.
Now, we didn’t get to play, so we can’t say exactly how the system has been integrated into the normal combat mechanics. But we can say it yields the best looking Spider-Fights we’ve ever seen, and the first ones to really harness the proportional speed and strength of a spider.
We also saw some run-of-the-mill street fights, where Spider-Man webbed up multiple foes and swung them into various hard, urban accoutrements, as well as a sequence involving the fancy black suit. With this thing on, Spider-Man jumps higher and moves faster, but also seems appropriately out of control. And when he fights, he visibly builds up red, glowing rage to unleash on his foes.
Call it spider anger or spider incensed, we don’t care, because there’s a lot we still don’t know about this game. Except for this: the boss fights fit like spandex, and should finally pack the punch you’d expect from pugilists capable of ripping cars in half. This May, with great power should come a great time.