Spider-Man 3 - hands-on

“We like to say that the game is two-and-a-half D.” said J. Boone of publisher, Activision in regards to the look of Spider-Man 3 on the DS. It’s a 2D side-scroller at heart, but the rotating 3D backgrounds give the game a sort of faux 3D feel to it - providing the illusion that Spider-Man is swooping around corners as he swings his way from building to building.

Like its console counterparts, Spider-Man 3 on the DS will be a free-roaming adventure, allowing you to choose from a selection of story missions - based on the upcoming film - as well as a bunch of side missions. Expect to see the introduction of the dark suit, and battles with the Green Goblin reincarnate, Venom, and Sandman. Additional note worthy cameos will include Doctor Curt Connors (aka the Lizard), the Mad Bomber, and Jean DaWolff.

The bottom DS screen will be reserved for stroking and stabbing as you trigger Peter’s arsenal of combos to beat down bad guys and web up foes. We sampled a boss fight with the Green Goblin, where we tapped the screen with the stylus to latch on to the boxes scattered throughout the area. Then we needed to make a sort of sweeping motion to fling the boxes up at the Green Goblin to knock him off his board. Once we brought him down, we were able to take him out with regular attacks.

The DS’ control scheme felt smooth and fluid. But we’re a concerned that the simple slashing strokes you’ll use to deal with most of the criminals will feel repetitive after a while.

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