Spider-Man 3 was released to theaters with quite the fanfare. There is nothing as hated in the gaming industry than a movie tie-in game that was ill conceived, poorly constructed and rushed to market to coincide with a theatrical launch. Spider-Man 3 for mobile manages to be a competent game but contains some of those elements cited above. Were it to have been released a few years ago, it would have been lauded as a stand up A++ game. But as an action platform game in this day and age when a granddaddy like Splinter Cell is having trouble finding innovation, Spider-Man 3 comes off as flat and prosaic.
Like most platform titles these days, Spider-Man 3 starts off gently with numerous pop up windows that help guide throughout the initial levels. Little by little, the training wheels are taken off and you’re forced to use the various skills you learn through the tutorial sequences to overcome obstacles. Each mission is only a few minutes long but there is a good enough variety of boss fights and rescue missions to break the monotony of killing everyone on sight. Sandman, Venom and the Harry version of the Green Goblin make up some of the boss fights in the story but I found beating on them is about the same as beating on any random thug in Spidey New York.
Perhaps that’s the problem with Spider-Man 3, there isn’t anything that Spider-Man is doing here that you haven’t seen in another game that looks and plays better than it. The use of the web as a means to travel (equivalent to grappling hooks or ropes in other games) as well as a mode of attack is about as original as this game gets. Yes, there’s also the alien black ooze but that’s no different from any other power up for action hero games. Otherwise, the urban backdrops could easily have taken place anywhere else for Batman, Superno doman or fill in your favorite superhero here.
After finishing through the campaign, you unlock the ability to replay any of the previous levels. Since none of the levels are particularly compelling most gamers will simply move on to the next title. It’s interesting to contrast the multiple storyline complexity of the film compared to the straightforwardness of the game. Some have criticized Spider-Man 3 for gambling too much but this game certainly didn’t gamble enough.