Spider-Man 3 review

If you're gonna buy Spidey 3, skip this version

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The bosses are leftovers from last gen, with repeating attack patterns and unreasonable health bars that recharge because the situation calls for it. You get to see Kingpin, Lizard, Kraven, Scorpion, Rhino, Venom and Sandman, but fighting them is actually less fun than the underlings. It's also incredibly silly to watch a group of street toughs shrug off hits from a genetically enhanced super hero who can bench 10 tons. How many times do we have to watch dudes armed with stop signs push Spidey around?

Most of the boss battles end with a "cineractive" cutscene. Even without the fancy name, you know what they are - taken from Shenmue or perhaps most notably now from God of War, these intense moments play themselves out while you hit buttons that are supposed to correlate with the on-screen action. Some may like the idea, some may not, but either way the button prompts don't match the action. At least in GoW the commands made sense - here they feel useless and arbitrary.

But before you can take down one of these big guys, you've got to get through the missions. Spider-Man 3 features multiple plot threads and you're able to pursue them in any order. It seems cool at first, but eventually you'll see that it's not open-ended and 80% of the missions have to be completed to move the story. The mission structure is not much different than before, either. Go here, guide Spidey through a horribly designed interior, flail around trying to fight waves of criminals while the camera does whatever it wants... yeah you know. Aside from a few clever bomb-disarming minigames, there's nothing that hasn't already been done to death.

Even the fighting is a mixed bag. Most of Spidey's new moves are hella cool with slick animations and the black costume's extra power is a cool bonus, but when one of your touted features is a "Rage Mode," you know the fighting is getting stale. Still, swinging dudes into breakable objects is super sweet. There are times when you can just let all your frustration go with an old-fashioned web lasso attack and break every bone in some unlucky bastard's body. Oh, and the skyscraper-spanning pile driver makes a triumphant return as well.

Finally, let's talk about the PS3 exclusive feature - the ability to play as the New Goblin. After a long and drawn out fight, you'll be able to take control of the glider and jet Harry around the city. But that's it. Just timed races around the city until you complete the game, and then you can start using the Goblin's goodies in regular missions. Does that sound like an extra $10 to you? Are you prepared to throw down $70 for Spider-Man 3?

More info

DescriptionThwip! The first two Spider-Man tie-ins proved that movie games need not suck; can the third keep the streak going?
Platform"GameCube","PS2","PC","DS","PSP","Xbox","PS3","Xbox 360","Wii"
US censor rating"Teen","Teen","Teen","Teen","Teen","Teen","Teen","Teen","Teen"
UK censor rating"","","","","","","","",""
Release date1 January 1970 (US), 1 January 1970 (UK)
Brett Elston

A fomer Executive Editor at GamesRadar, Brett also contributed content to many other Future gaming publications including Nintendo Power, PC Gamer and Official Xbox Magazine. Brett has worked at Capcom in several senior roles, is an experienced podcaster, and now works as a Senior Manager of Content Communications at PlayStation SIE.