North American cover art for the Playstation version
LTI Gray Matter (PC)
Vicarious Visions (GBC)
Edge of Reality (N64)
|Release||PlayStation, Game Boy Color|
Spider-Man is an action-adventure video game based on the Marvel Comics comic book series The Amazing Spider-Man, which features the fictional superhero Spider-Man. Although it features the likenesses and same voice actors, it is not based on the animated television shows from the 1990s. It was developed by Neversoft and published by Activision using the Tony Hawk's Pro Skater game engine for the PlayStation in 2000; the game was later ported by different developers to various systems including the Game Boy Color and Nintendo 64 that same year, as well as the Dreamcast and Microsoft Windows in 2001. The game follows Spider-Man as he is framed by a doppelgänger for stealing a device created by a supposedly reformed Dr. Otto Octavius. The game features Venom, Carnage, Scorpion, Rhino, Mysterio and an exclusive-to-game Symbiote Doctor Octopus as story elements and boss battles. Two direct sequels were released in 2001; one developed by Torus Games, Spider-Man 2: The Sinister Six, released for the Game Boy Color, and two developed by Vicarious Visions, Spider-Man 2: Enter Electro, released exclusively for the PlayStation, and the spin-off Spider-Man: Mysterio's Menace, released for the Game Boy Advance. This game and its latter sequel feature narration from Spider-Man co-creator Stan Lee.
The game has the player controlling Spider-Man as he goes through each level, either trying to reach the exit or complete a certain objective. The player must retry the current level if Spider-Man runs out of health, falls off a building or fails to complete certain objectives such as rescuing a hostage. Spider-Man is able to utilize his spider powers to traverse the environments, being able to crawl on walls and ceilings, swing short distances and instantly zip between certain points. In combat, Spider-Man can utilize a limited supply of web-cartridges to attack his enemies, either webbing them up to stall or defeat them, increasing the strength of his attacks or forming an explosive barrier. Spider-Man can also find comics, which unlock a Spider-Man comic book issue cover in the menu screen, as well as power-ups such as Spider-Armor which temporarily increases his strength and defense, and Fire Webbing which is effective against symbiotes.
There are a variety of different costumes that span the course of Spider-Man's career featured in the game, each one achieved by accomplishing various goals or by entering in passwords. While some are just alternate character skins, others give Spider-Man new abilities. These costumes include the Symbiote, Spider-Man Unlimited, street clothes, Quick-Change Spider-Man, Amazing Bag-Man, Spider-Man 2099, Scarlet Spider, Ben Reilly, and Captain Universe versions. Every time the game is completed, another costume will be unlocked.
A supposedly reformed Dr. Otto Octavius is holding a scientific demonstration at Science Expo 2000, in New York City, but is interrupted when an impostor Spider-Man attacks the crew and steals his equipment. Eddie Brock tries to take pictures for J. Jonah Jameson of the Daily Bugle, but the impostor shatters his camera. In rage, the Venom symbiote resurfaces inside Brock, and he swears revenge on both Jameson and Spider-Man, believing them to be evil and destroyers of innocence. Meanwhile, Peter Parker (the real Spider-Man, who was in attendance) is framed for the incident and the police begin to hunt him down. Elsewhere, two unseen figures put their plan into action and release a strange fog into the city, which quickly covers the streets.
After meeting with Black Cat and foiling a bank robbery by the Jade Syndicate, Spider-Man receives a phone call from Jameson, who tells him to call the police, as he is currently being attacked by Scorpion in his office at the Daily Bugle, who plans to kill Jameson for his role in the experiment that left him with his unremovable Scorpion suit. Spider-Man decides to rescue Jameson himself and rushes to the Daily Bugle, arriving just in time to defeat Scorpion and save Jameson's life, only for an ungrateful Jameson to call the police on Spider-Man. While trying to escape from the police, Spider-Man encounters Daredevil, who promises to spread the word about Spider-Man's innocence. After evading a police chopper, Spider-Man reunites with Black Cat, who informs him of two new problems that are currently taking place: Rhino is attacking a power plant owned by Omni-Tech, and Venom has kidnapped his wife Mary Jane Watson-Parker in order to lure Spider-Man. Refusing to let Black Cat handle Rhino on her own, Spider-Man decides to go with her first and the two battle Rhino together. Spider-Man defeats Rhino, who is then arrested by Dr. Octavius, but Black Cat has been seriously injured by Rhino during the fight and is taken away by "paramedics", who turn out to be the same unseen persons who released the fog into the city.
After encouragement from the Human Torch, Spider-Man sets out to find Venom, only for him to appear behind him and lead Spider-Man on a chase through the city. Spider-Man eventually corners Venom and has a brief battle with him, but Venom escapes into the sewers. The chase continues through the sewers, with Spider-Man having to overcome numerous elaborate puzzeles and mazes, as well as several lizard people, before eventually coming across an imprisoned Lizard, who explains to him that the lizard people are his, but Venom locked him up and took control of them, to use them as part of his elaborate game for Spider-Man. Lizard also points Spider-Man to the location of Venom's lair, where the hero finally confronts Venom and finds Mary Jane. Venom activates a trap to kill Mary Jane while he and Spider-Man battle, but Spider-Man manages to rescue Mary Jane and defeat Venom, whom he then explains that someone has framed him and, thus, they have deliberately been turned against each other. To make amends with Spider-Man after all the trouble he has just put him through, Venom decides to aid him in finding out the identity of the impostor, and the two arrive at the Daily Bugle, where they begin searching through Jameson's files for the impostor's true identity.
During the search, Venom senses the presence of Carnage nearby and leaves to find him, while Spider-Man is left alone in the Bugle and discovers an infestation of symbiotes in the entire building. After fighting the symbiotes through the building, Spider-Man eventually comes across the impostor, who is reavealed to be none other than Mysterio. Mysterio grows giant to battle Spider-Man, but he manages to defeat him and then interogates him to learn about his boss' plan. Mysterio explains that his boss plans to infest New York with symbiotes, with the fog over the city acting as a beacon for the symbiotes, which will prepare the citizens for symbiosis, and, after Spider-Man breaks his helmet, he also tells him about his boss' hideout at Warehouse 65. After leaving Mysterio for the police, Spider-Man makes his way to Warehouse 65 and, along the way, runs into the Punisher, who is working with the police to hunt Spider-Man down. After convincing him about his innocence as well, the Punisher helps Spider-Man locate and infiltrate the warehouse.
After battling numerous symbiotes through the entire warehouse, Spider-Man discovers a massive undersea base and infiltrates it, where he finds a symbiote manufacturing operation, as well as an imprisoned Black Cat. After stopping the fog and rescuing Black Cat, Spider-Man finally confronts her kidnappers and the masterminds behind the symbiote invasion: Octavius and Carnage. Taking up his Doctor Octopus persona once again, Octavius explains that he faked his reform and that, with the help of Carnage's symbiote, which all the symbiotes are cloned from, he plans to create a new world dominated by symbiotes, under his rule. After Spider-Man unsuccessfully tries to explain that the symbiotes can't be controlled, Venom shows up and engages Carnage in a battle, while Spider-Man battles Doctor Octopus. He manages to defeat him, but Carnage defeats Venom, forcing Spider-Man to fight the symbiote himself. Spider-Man defeats Carnage as well, using a sonics machine built by Doctor Octopus in case Carnage would try to betray him, but the symbiote fuses with Octopus instead, creating an enormous, out-of-control monster called "Monster Ock". After a long chase through the undersea base, which begins to self-destruct, Spider-Man eventually escapes Monster Ock, who is caught in the explosion, removing the symbiote. Spider-Man takes the unconscious Doctor Octopus back to the surface, where he is rescued from the destruction of the base just in time by Captain America, who was called by Black Cat and Venom.
In the epilogue, at the S.H.I.E.L.D. headquarters, Spider-Man is shown playing cards with Captain America, Daredevil, and the Punisher, while Black Cat and the Human Torch are dancing. In prison, Mysterio, Rhino, Scorpion, and a Jade Syndicate thug are also playing cards, while Doctor Octopus is banging his head on the cell bars. Scorpion openly mocks the other villains for failing to defeat Spider-Man despite all working together, while Mysterio puts the blame on Doctor Octopus' plan (ironically pretending that he knew all along that the symbiotes can't be controlled), and Rhino remarks that all of them have animal names, except for Mysterio (causing him to dumbly ask "what's a Mysterio"), accidentally launches the Jade Syndicate thug up, leaving him hanging from the celling, and gives everyone a speech about always calling him dumb after he mistakenly believes that he won the cards game, only to quickly realize that it's not the case, which causes Doctor Octopus to bang his head even more.
Spider-Man uses the same game engine as Tony Hawk's Pro Skater. Spider-Man was a hidden character in Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2, and a reference is made to this during gameplay. The PlayStation, Dreamcast, and Windows versions have pre-rendered cutscenes, whereas the Nintendo 64 version shows captioned freeze-frames done in the style of a comic book and with fewer voice clips, due to that console's technical limitations for cutscenes. The Lizard was meant to appear in the final cutscene but was not included in the final version of the game's cutscene. The earliest footage of the game was found in a German demo disc entitled PlayDemo Vol. 17, and featured some drastic changes from the final product. These include a different opening sequence, different (most likely placeholder) voices, different music, and an entirely different model for Scorpion and an entirely different Rhino boss stage, as well as a sewer level not found in the final game.
Some of the voice actors from both the 1990s Spider-Man and Spider-Man Unlimited cartoons reprise their respective roles. For instance, Rino Romano reprises his role as Spider-Man/Peter Parker from Spider-Man Unlimited, Jennifer Hale reprises her roles as both Black Cat from the 1990s Spider-Man cartoon and Mary Jane Watson from Spider-Man Unlimited. Efrem Zimbalist Jr. reprises his role as Doctor Octopus from the 1994 Spider-Man TV series. The main song is a rock and roll remix of the 1960s Spider-Man cartoon. Stan Lee narrates key parts of the story. Daran Norris voices Venom/Eddie Brock, Mysterio, Scorpion, Punisher, Human Torch and Captain America, while Dee Bradley Baker voices Carnage, J. Jonah Jameson, the Lizard, Daredevil and Rhino.
The game's soundtrack was composed by Tommy Tallarico. It features a variation of musical loops mostly influenced by popular genres of the time, such as industrial rock and nu metal. The Nintendo 64 version includes a sound test where individual samples of tracks can be listened to.
Sequels and spin-off
The PlayStation version of the game received a sequel entitled Spider-Man 2: Enter Electro.
The Game Boy Color version has spawned two sequels: Spider-Man 2: The Sinister Six for the same console, and Spider-Man: Mysterio's Menace (also as a spin-off game from Spider-Man and Spider-Man 2: Enter Electro) for the Game Boy Advance both released in the same year. Spider-Man 2: The Sinister Six has new features added such as a difficulty selection such as Easy, Normal and Hard, some features were removed such as the upgrading items, health and durability. Spider-Man: Mysterio's Menace brought back the upgrading (but only of items and durability) and also has similar music to the Game Boy Color version of this game.
While reviews varied from system to system, Spider-Man received critical acclaim. GameRankings shows aggregate scores of 86.53% for the PlayStation version, 66.91% for the Game Boy Color version, 82.52% for the Nintendo 64 version, 80.23% for the Dreamcast version, and 67.96% for the PC version. Metacritic shows scores of 87 out of 100 for the PlayStation version, 72 out of 100 for the Nintendo 64 version, 80 out of 100 for the Dreamcast version, and 68 out of 100 for the PC version.
IGN gave the PlayStation version a 9 out of 10, calling it "arguably, the best Spider-Man game". GameSpot gave the same version a 7.7, calling it "excellent framework on which to base future Spider-Man games – and an exceptional game to boot".
Spider-Man's PlayStation version received a "Platinum" sales award from the Entertainment and Leisure Software Publishers Association (ELSPA), indicating sales of at least 300,000 copies in the United Kingdom.
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